Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Holy Sanctifier of God

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8a).

Why is the Holy Spirit called “holy”? Obviously, each of the three persons of the Godhead is holy, so why is the Spirit singled out for the adjective holy? Surely part of the reason is that it is the Spirit who has been sent to make God’s people holy. He is the sanctifier of the elect.

When man was first created, he was called to mirror the nature of God. When God set up His plan of redemption and called to Himself a people (Israel), He said to them, “You shall be holy, as I am holy.” The goal of redemption is the same as creation: That we might become holy, conformed to the image of Christ. It is the Spirit who works that holiness in us.

When we are brought into the kingdom, the Spirit indwells us in order to change us. We are changed from sinful people to holy and righteous people in a gradual process of sanctification. Because this change is not instantaneous, we find we still sin, and this is one of the most frustrating things with which we have to deal. We have hope, however, because we have the promise that the Spirit of holiness is working with us and in us.

The changes that take place as we mature in conformity to Christ, work from the inside out. We are changed inside first, but the goal of such internal changes is external. God wants to see the fruit of righteousness worked out into our world as it is worked out in our lives.

There are three ways the Spirit works to change us. The first is repentance, which means “to change the mind.” The Spirit works to change our minds about sin. Second, the Spirit convicts us of sin, so that we have convictions about what is right and wrong. This is more than merely knowing the difference. It is a matter of increasingly intense conviction. Third, the Spirit works on our consciences making us affirm God’s Word in our hearts. Our consciences more and more say “amen” to God’s laws.

In our day, when many espouse positive thinking, conviction of sin and the humbling act of repentance are not popular. Nor, due to our pride, is repentance easy. Today, look at yourself honestly in the light of Scripture. Even a short look will reveal areas needing repentance.