In the upper room our Lord prayed that His disciples should be sanctified. The next day He went to Calvary and died that it should be so. “Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant Church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
We cannot enter heaven with any sin in our hearts, for “Without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Somewhere, and some time, our sinful nature must be completely destroyed. This may take place on our deathbed, or at the coming of our Lord, but God is able and willing to sanctify us now.
“But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1). We dare not preach sinless perfection, for it is not taught in the Word of God. We can have an experience where it is possible not to sin, but we shall not, in this life, reach a state where it is not possible to sin.
To the sanctified man defeat will not be the rule, but the exception. He will show his holiness by humbly admitting his fault, and by putting things right with God at once, and if need be, with man also. We do not lose the blessing of sanctification by one act of sin or disobedience, provided we confess it at once and seek God’s forgiveness.
A sanctified believer is always learning new lessons, growing in grace, and bringing forth more and better fruit. Perfection will be progressive. Thus a perfect bud may become a perfect flower, and then a perfect fruit. Even when the fruit is fully grown it will need to become perfectly ripe and sweet. Sanctified Christians too should become riper and sweeter as the years go by.
A cup of water can be perfectly filled, but it will not hold as much as a jug. A sanctified Christian should be always filled with the Spirit, but his capacity should increase, as it were, from that of a cup to that of a jug, then to that of a bucket, a tank, a reservoir. There is always more to follow.
We must ever be climbing higher up the mount of holiness, though we cannot reach the summit in this life.
Allister Smith, Made Whole