Saved, You Will Be Sanctified

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Whereas the Apostle Paul was used by God to talk about salvation, James is used of God to talk about sanctification. What are the differences between the two?

Salvation Is What Jesus Does FOR Us
Sanctification Is What God The Holy Spirit Does TO Us

We are saved by faith in Christ. Receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit into our lives. The Holy Spirit causes us to be “born again” as new creatures in Christ. The Holy Spirit causes us to be adopted into the Family of God. The Holy Spirit stays with us, guiding us into daily being more like Jesus.

The saved by faith are always sanctified by works

James focuses on the process of Sanctification, a real part of a genuine Christian’s walk with God. When we studied the first twelve verses of James chapter 1, we saw how God uses trials (the KJV renders it as “temptations”) are used of God to make us like Jesus. James makes the point that genuine faith “endures temptation” or trials.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

The Greek Noun πειρασμός peirasmós, {pronounced pi-ras-mos’} refers to “a trial or difficulty that proves the genuineness of saving faith”. Those who will not endure the tests of life will not get the crown of life!

As water tests whether a creature is aquatic or a land animal, the trials that God allows us to go through prove our salvation. Trials can be initiated by God, or allowed by God, always with the intent of SANCTIFYING us. The truly saved endure TRIALS. A hurt child runs to its parent. A suffering believer runs to Jesus, calling on the Father. Those under the Sanctification of the Holy Spirit cannot fall away. The Scripture says:

1 John 3:8-10 (ESV) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

The saved are changed by God the Holy Spirit, and the Law of Christ is written in their hearts by the action of Sanctification (2 Corinthians 3:3). Christians are called “Saints”, which literally means “Sanctified Ones”. This is what God prophesied in the Old Testament, saying

Jeremiah 31:33 I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

TRIALS Grow The Believer, And Are From God.

James 1:13-18 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Word Study: Here James is not using the noun peirasmos, but has switched to the verb peirazo. Though this verb can be used in a good sense, in most uses in the New Testament it is something that only the evil do. For instance, before Jesus began His earthly ministry, Matthew tells us:

Matthew 4:1, 3 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted {peirazo} of the devil. … And when the tempter {peirazo} came to {Jesus}, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Though God the Holy Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness, it is Satan who peirazo, tempted Jesus to do evil. Later on in His ministry we see the Pharisees and Sadducees trying to destroy Jesus’ ministry:

Matthew 16:1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting {peirazo} desired Him {Jesus} that He would show them a sign from Heaven.

As these religious unbelievers continued to attack Jesus, our Lord called them out:

Matthew 22:18 … Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt {peirazo} ye me, ye hypocrites?

When Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Church, the Apostle said:

Acts 5:9 … How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt {peirazo} the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

Trials may come on believers, initiated by either the world or by God, to grow the believer. Such trials are governed in duration and dimension by God our Father. But temptations to sin do not come from God, but solely from Satan, the world, or our flesh. God may allow Satan to tempt you to sin, but God has nothing to do with the temptation.

James 1:13-14 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Temptation to sin – peirazo – never comes from God. In fact, part of the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray focused on asking God to lead us away from temptation:

Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

The Soniclight Commentary notes:

No good earthly father would deliberately seduce his child into sin by trying to make him or her sin. However, every good father will deliberately allow his child to enter situations in life in which the child must make moral choices. We realize that sending a child to school or into the community, at the proper age, is good for a child because it matures him or her. Likewise God grows us up spiritually by allowing certain experiences, including temptations, to assail us—though He Himself only gives good gifts to His children …”

The devil and this fallen world often sends enticement to do evil. As humans, we can be enticed to evil by our own darkened sin nature. Every person in this room – saved or unsaved – has an “old sin nature”. Every person is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

God is never the Author of sin

People today try to make out that God is sin’s Author. They say, “God made me thus, so how can God judge me?”. God did not make us “thus”. We were born in sin, children of Adam. Each one of us was born with a propensity toward one sin or another sin. Sin draws us away from God. “Our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6). Sin itself comes short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

Sin is darkness, not light. Sin is death, not life.
Sin never brings glory to God, so God will never entice to sin.
Death and darkness do not exist in God.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

If what you perceive as a trial draws you to a place of lust, it draws you away from God. This is not God’s will for our lives. God wants us to walk WITH Him, not apart from Him. God will not put something in our paths that will draw us into sin. If it entices to sin, it is of Satan, not of God. James says:

James 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

Word Study: “DO NOT ERR” is the Greek πλανάω μή planaō mē, which means “do not wander away from God, do not be seduced, do not go astray”. The same phrase is used in:

1 Corinthians 6:9 (ESV) … do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived {planaō mē}

1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV) Do not be deceived {planaō mē}: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Galatians 6:7 (ESV) Do not be deceived {planaō mē}: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

1 John 3:7 (ESV) Little children, let no one deceive you {planaō mē}. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.

There is no sin nor darkness in God. God is Light. The first command that God gave in the Bible was “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” If it is evil, if it is sinful, if it dark, it is not of God, but of Satan and the fallen world.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

If it is evil or dark, it comes from Satan or fallen humanity. If it is goodandperfect, it is from God our Creator and Father. The word translated perfect is the Greek τέλειος téleios, {pronounced tel’-i-os}, which means “complete, finished, lacking nothing necessary to completeness, of full age or mature”. God does not do things by halves.

God always does everything for His own glory
and for our growth in Christ.

God is forever unchanging. He cannot do evil, nor be tempted to do evil. Everything that God brings into our lives is for His glory and for our growth. God is called the Father of lights, that is, He is the Creator of not just the Sun, the Moon, and the stars, but also of light. Most people do not realize that – in the Creation account – God created light, and named the light “Day, and the darkness He called Night” (Genesis 1:5). This occurred on the first day of creation. But God did not create the Sun, the Moon, nor the stars until the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19). Light’s Source is NOT the Sun, the Moon nor the stars. The Source of Light is God Himself. He made Light itself, in all its forms, apart from the lights we see in our solar system. Darkness does not come from God – only Light.

In the True God our Bible speaks of there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Too many people assume that a “mean God” wrote the Old Testament, but over time God became more mellow and wrote the New Testament. One commentary notes:

God gave you every single good thing in your life. He is the source of all the good you have and all the good you crave. Who God is does not change when our circumstances change. He doesn’t go from being a good God to a bad God when our trials began. He is still the source of all the good in our lives; He never changes.”

As a Church we often say, “God is good – all the time. All the time – God is good”. God gives nothing that is not good. God leads us no where where it is not for our good. If we are led to a bad place, a place where sin has us in its grip, this is not where God led us, but where evil trapped us and we sinfully walked. In God there is no shadow of turning. With ordinary light – like the light that comes from our sun – the earth turns or rotates so that we move into darkness a few hours every day. Normal light casts shadows. But God’s light is shadowless. Though Israel often wandered away from God, and often broke His covenant, God’s promises stood true. God told Israel:

Malachi 3:6 (ESV) … I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

We change daily – but God never changes. The promises He makes to us are promises He is bound to keep. God does not wander from the path of light – nor will He lead us to wander away from light. I read this and loved it:

If there is darkness in your life, it’s not because God, the Father of Lights is turning; it’s because you are turning. He is the Father of Lights and in Him there is no shadow. There is no darkness in Him.”

The Apostle said:

1 John 1:5-7 (ESV) This is the message we have heard from {God} and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

God’s purpose in our lives is that we walk with Him in the light. God will never lead His child into darkness, into sin, into the ways of evil. When King Solomon wandered away from God, our Beloved Heavenly Father punished him. God punishes His children whom He loves. Solomon wrote in

Lamentations 3:1-6 (ESV) I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of {God’s} wrath; 2 He has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; 3 surely against me He turns His hand again and again the whole day long. 4 He has made my flesh and my skin waste away; He has broken my bones; 5 He has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; 6 He has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago.

The chapter continues in this vein, as Solomon complains about the pain and the suffering he has undergone because he turned from God. But then, in the middle of the text, Solomon writes:

Lamentations 3:21-26 (ESV) … But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. 26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

If The Lord is your portion, if you are His child by faith in Christ, then He will never abandon your cause. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning. God never forgets the child that He purchased with the Blood of His dear Son. God watches over us morning and evening. God only allows things to come our way that are for our ultimate good. God made us to be with Him – in companionship with Him – not just in Heaven, but every day we walk on this earth.

James 1:18 (ESV) Of His own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Of His own will” God caused us to be born again when we responded to the Gospel in the affirmative. God was not forced to give us new birth. We did not coerce God when we believed on Jesus, receiving Him as our Lord and Savior. God freely and of His own will made the promise of the Gospel:

Romans 10:13 ..everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

When we broken creatures were convicted of our brokenness, and heard the wooing of the Holy Spirit, when we cried out to Jesus to heal us, God was not coerced. He wants us. He loves us. He bids us come to Him and receive life. He wants us to walk with Him daily, moment by moment. We are not called to a Sunday go to meeting religion, nor a religion of empty rituals. We are called to walk with God in the light, not to remain in the darkness of sin. The Scripture says:

2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV) For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

God did not save us to sin, but to serve Him in the light, to walk with Him through this present life.

Since God Is Sanctifying Us,
How Should We Then Live?

James 1:19-20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

There is an old saying among students of Scripture, which is “When you see a WHEREFORE, ask yourself “What is it THEREFORE”? If we are saved by faith in Christ, and sanctified daily by the operation of the Holy Spirit of God, then we are to work with God. We are to intentionally walk with God. What does an intentional walk with God look like? James gives us three directives:


We are called of God to imitate Jesus in controlling our tongues and our emotions. As Americans, we have a First Amendment right that gives us freedom of speech. But as Christians of the Kingdom of God, we are to glorify God our Savior in all that we say and do. Thus we are to be SWIFT to HEAR. Open our ears, listen to others completely. If you exercise your tongue too soon, you may, by that tongue, drive away a potential lost soul. You may also hurt the sanctification process in a fellow brother or sister in Christ. LISTEN to others, then carefully consider your words. Be SLOW to SPEAK. Our mouths are always getting us into trouble. King Solomon said:

Proverbs 17:27 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

Proverbs 21:23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Just because you have the freedom to say it, doesn’t mean that you should say it. Restrain your words. Also, restrain your temper. We are to be SLOW TO WRATH. Again, Solomon said:

Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

Proverbs 16:32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

As God’s Children we are commanded to:

Romans 12:19-21 (ESV) Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Trust that God will look after you. He will. God is faithful. He will never leave us, nor forsake us. If offended, let God deal with it. Follow the method that Christ gave us in Matthew 18:15-17. I pray you’ll read that text, and do as God says do. And Beloved, if your walk in life is not that of a child of God, then dear one, you probably still need to be saved. Do not assume you are going to Heaven because you performed some ritual that the local Church endorsed. Those who go to Heaven are the same ones who walk with God on this present earth. As Christians we are not perfect – but God is our portion.

Is He yours? May God the Holy Spirit draw you close to Christ this very day. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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