How Shall They Hear?

How Shall They Hear?
Robert Wurtz II

For “WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” (Romans 10:13-16 NKJV)

I have quoted this passage at length in order to focus on the importance of “hearing” the Gospel. Certainly, there is a sense in which all people everywhere ought to know that there is a Creator. We know that the world is filled with people that should acknowledge the light that they have, but they suppress it. In fact, God has written His laws in the hearts of men and women, so that from birth, we all have a basic sense of right from wrong. Nevertheless, unless people are challenged in some way they will go on suppressing these realities. Paul reminds us that some are so hardened in heart that they do it and approve of others that do it as well. How will they hear? God’s method of challenging these sinners is through what Paul called, “the foolishness of preaching.” Not that preaching is foolish, but rather people (especially those who consider themselves educated) often view preaching as a foolish thing to do. Nevertheless, this is God’s method. 

Unless They Are Sent 

It stands to reason that there are realities that must be true before a person can be sent to preach. Saul of Tarsus is an example. Until his Demascus Road experience, he was not qualified- nor did he desire to preach the Gospel. In fact, he was at odds with God’s revealed Gospel in mind and in practice. To a lesser or greater degree, all unbelievers (the unregenerate) are in a state of disagreement with God when it comes to the Gospel. Saul went so far as to persecute those who believed and would have stamped out the preaching of the Gospel if he could have. However, when Saul was converted and became (as it were) Paul (as a new creation in Christ) he satisfied the first requirement for preaching the Gospel. 

Until Paul was truly born of the Spirit he was not in agreement with God from the heart and could never preach the Gospel. This is because the carnal mind is at enmity with God and cannot be made subject to His law. Bear in mind that I am speaking of the Gospel as it is known in the book of Acts and the rest of the New Testament and not the post-tent crusade, man-centered gospel as it has been known now for roughly a century. The unregenerate can preach the “modern gospel,” but they could never preach the Gospel of the book of Acts. So we have to make the distinction between the preacher of the modern gospel and the Preacher that Paul is speaking of when he says, And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?”

The “Report”

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” (Romans 10:16)

Paul, referencing Isaiah, calls the Gospel message “our report.” The first aspect of the message is the revelation of the sinfulness of all men and women. This is argued extensively in the early chapters of Romans and was preached regularly in the book of Acts. It typically produced one of two responses: anger or trembling. When Stephen preached, the people got angry and stoned him. When Paul preached to Felix, he trembled. Paul heard Stephen’s message and later repented. We have no record of Felix repenting. So we see then that it is not enough to tremble at the notion that we have offended God and are accountable to him in the great Judgment. We have to repent (change our mind) and turn to Christ. We have to agree with what God has said about our sinful behavior and our sinful condition. 

Roman’s 10:16 equates obedience with believing the report (message). If a person does not believe they will not obey. This is an act of the will- not a matter of being convinced. God Himself has shown man the truth. Many people have received far more “light” than they should have ever needed to believe, but they go on in disobedience. The religious leaders even saw Lazarus raised from the dead; and rather than believing- they sought to kill him again. Amazing. But this is how obstinate man can be. This is how hostile to the truth of the Gospel some people are. 

A God and A Gospel that Sinners Will Accept  

 Israel was loaded with false prophets that told the people what they wanted to hear. How could these wolves in sheep clothing ever bring Israel to a place of repentance? They were too busy telling the people about peace and safety. The same is true today. Men and women have fabricated a “god” that will accept their sinfulness and be available at their beckon call. Grace has become a synonym for license to sin. Some people will go to their grave worshiping this god- because the process answers their inward need to worship their Creator. It is a placebo. It is false. 

Paul was greatly challenged by Jews that believed they were the elect and could not possibly be at enmity with God. They saw no need to repent under the deceptive religion they believed. We get the impression in Romans that many believed themselves above the common people because they were teachers of the law and of “babes.” In their mind this made them exempt from the very things they taught. They were born and raised Jews and therefore were God’s people by divine right. Paul thoroughly challenged this belief. 

In modern times we have a similar dilemma. Many people are born into Christian homes, and like the Jews, believe that this is what makes them a Christian. They would never admit this, but we have to account for the fact that historically the many children of true Christians are likely to have never undergone a true conversion experience. The Puritans experienced this in the 16th and 17th century in America and had to make compromises in church procedures to accommodate them within the churches. Paul would have challenged these peoples’ assurance-just as John the Baptist had done. God is able of stones to raise up children in Christian homes; nevertheless, this does not make the person a true child of God. 

We can train up a child in a way he or she should go, but this does not make them believers. This was Paul’s message in Romans. We all, no matter our upbringing, have to come to a place of Godly sorrow and true repentance. We have to acknowledge our sins just like everyone else. We have to repent of many of the sins that run rampant within churches and go completely unchallenged. In fact, we have to begin to see how many churches have established their rules of conduct in such a way that it allows children raised in church to fly under the radar. There are a lot more sins in the world than drunkenness and homosexuality (sexual immorality). Hypocrisy, greed, lying, gluttony, pride, and a host of other like things are often the very sins that answer to sinners rebellion. This is what the Pharisees and religious leaders (who thought they were elect) we often guilty of. When these go unchallenged-many people never see their sinfulness and therefore will never repent. Stephen was the type of preacher that could look at Saul (Paul) who was “blameless as touching the law,” and declare “you stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did – so do you.”

 How Shall They Hear?

If there is any question that I dwell on more than any other it is this, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” Until we get some people truly born of the Spirit and called of God- there is no hope in our lands. We have “ministers” a dime a dozen- but where are the preachers like Paul and Stephen that will call the people to repent and believe the Gospel? How long must we go on wearying ourselves as did Israel with false prophet after false prophet? The only hope we have is for the preachers that are truly born again to preach the Gospel as it is supposed to be. Not ear-tickling, and not abusing the people, but ministering the “report.” I have no doubt that if men will do this God will back the words and we will begin to see real change in our lands.         


Receive or Resist

Receive or Resist
Robert Wurtz II

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. (Acts 8:14-17)

The book of Acts is a breath of fresh air in every chapter. In Luke’s narrative we discover, in the simplest of ways, how the Gospel was preached, what was preached, and how the various people responded. From Jewish leaders to Roman officials; common Samaritans and pagan Greeks, multitudes heard the Gospel. There was no time to get too bogged down in theological debates; things were pretty straight forward. The Apostles preached the word and the people responded. Indeed, the book of Acts contains a God’s eye view of man’s reaction to the message. In this entry I wish to examine two categories of people: they who gladly received the word and they who resisted the Holy Spirit.

You Always Resist

You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. (Acts 7:51-54)

Our first example is taken among the very people that the Gospel was originally sent. Many Jews had already believed, but many had not. Some, such as Saul of Tarsus, were persecuting the Church. He would be present for this sermon.

The Holy Spirit was at work with the preacher to bring to bear the truth of what was spoken. Stephen had preached a powerful message; perhaps one of the greatest of all time. Nevertheless, the people refused to receive what was said, but, rather, continued in the pattern of their fathers- resisting the Holy Spirit and persecuting the messenger. You will notice later in Acts chapter 8 that the thing which characterized they who received the Holy Spirit was that they first received the word of God. This is the key. 

In Acts 2 the people were said to have “gladly received the word” and as a consequence were baptized. However, in Acts chapter 7, the people resisted instead of receiving. They resisted Stephen’s preaching and they resisted the Holy Spirit. God was trying to set them right, but they closed their eyes and stopped their ears. We have this passage in Isaiah:

That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. (Isaiah 41:20)

You will recall that part of Paul’s commission was to “open their eyes” so as to turn the people from darkness to light. Paul preached so that “they may see, and know, and understand, and consider…” This is what Stephen had done. At first Paul (Saul) resisted the message and refused to consider. Nevertheless, in time Paul did see and understand. In fact, when we get to Acts 28 he thoroughly explains the process by another reference to Isaiah:

And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Acts 28:25-27)

 Will you notice, “their eyes they have closed.” This is an obstinate refusal to recognize the truth of what is preached. Their heart had “waxed gross” or in the language of Hebrews, they had an evil heart of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:12) This means that their heart refused to receive what was said and consider it. No matter how much evidence was brought to bear, the people still refused to believe. They needed to be healed of their backsliding and rebellion, but they resisted the one who wanted to come in to them and do the work. One cannot receive the Holy Spirit without agreeing with God’s word and believing on Him. We simply cannot receive and resist at the same time.

Two Types of Hearers

In time the message was almost lost in the main stream as the Church became locked up in the Catholic system. God corrected this in time with the Reformation other great moves of God. Nevertheless, the high-speed evangelistic methods of the early 1900s destroyed nearly 400 years of progress in evangelism and New Covenant, book of Acts, Christianity. When the people refused to receive the word, many ministers changed the message. When this happened with famous preachers, many local ministers followed the trend.  this is why it is so rare to hear expounded the basic message of Acts: repent, believe, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit.

It is important to point out that following popular preachers feels like the safe thing to do. It’s an ancient temptation we all must deal with from childhood. How many of us have used the excuse, “Well, everyone is doing it!” – only to have our parents or teachers reply, “If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do that too?” Moses writing in Exodus 23:2a states,Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil. We have to preach God’s word no matter who likes it. That seems brash, but it is as simple as we can say it. We can’t keep wasting time worrying about offending folks. Rather, we ought to worry about offending God who has given us His word to see clearly. What sense does it make to follow the pattern of the radio and TV guys when the Bible is in our hands? We follow no one beyond their agreement and conformity to the Book. Stephen was gnashed on with the peoples’ teeth, but refused to compromise the message. We have not yet resisted unto blood striving again compromise. But then again, Stephen was genuinely full of the Holy Spirit.

How the people received what was preached was out of Stephen’s control. He knew this. It is not our responsibility to force people. We lay out the message and the response is between the hearer and God. If they receive it, wonderful! If not, Jesus said to wipe the dust from your feet. (Mark 6:11) Paul had to do it at times. Stephen didn’t get a chance. He was killed for merely being the messenger. However, when Philip preached in Acts 8, those people gladly received the very word that the people in Acts 7 rejected and resisted. What can we learn from this?

People Are What They Are

Modern western culture is sales-driven. It has been this way since the early 1900s when central banking came into fashion and money was readily available. Nobody is alive that can remember a time when products were sold strictly on their performance. Today, items are made to appeal to the unconscious desires of consumers. that is how you make sales. 

The trouble with this aspect of our consumer driven culture is that sales people have been taught to “land a sale” at almost any cost. People are prepared to stretch the truth, manipulate, appeal to selfish desires, or anything else to “get the sale.” Typically, and more basically, when you want to sell something to a person the goods or services have to appeal to their wants. We need to ask, should this method be employed in the Gospel?

When this consumer philosophy carries over into evangelism the preachers become salesmen and the product is the Gospel. Bill Bright, in the 1950s, actually employed a “crackerjack car salesman” in his training of the four spiritual laws. That sounds almost unbelievable, but it according to his wife, it happened. This is the “billion in print” tract that begins with, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life…” Is that ever said in the book of Acts? Absolutely not, but it is a safe thing to say and in part it is true. Nevertheless, this is not how the Gospel was presented. The problem was that this corruption of evangelism was never challenged in the main stream, so salesman preaching became the norm ever since. 

In contrast, the book of Acts reveals that none of the preachers were “crackerjack salesmen.” The Apostles presented the message and God’s requirements, and didn’t worry about landing the sale. Obviously they cared about souls, but they knew that if the message did not change the person- the preacher can’t change the message. Change only flows one direction; and it is towards the hearer.

Gladly Receiving

It is amazing how smooth things go when people “gladly receive the word.” No fuss over repentance and faith. No fuss over water baptism. No fuss over receiving the Holy Spirit. No proof-texting to avoid all of this. Sadly, when the resisting begins – so does the fuss. Many people appeal to reason, the epistles, or even the Old Testament to try and sidestep the straight-forward message of the book of Acts. Repent, believe the Gospel, be baptized in water, and receive the Holy Spirit is the basic package. The ink has been dry for almost 2000 years. Nevertheless, at issue is inward rebellion against God and a refusal to agree with Him and turn from the evil. Man can manufacture excuses like Henry Ford produced automobiles; but God is never at the mercy of excuses. He searches the hearts and knows its true condition.

Why So Many Never Receive

I believe that one of the greatest problems we face in the world today is that people, generally, have no idea how powerful God is. They are blind to the fact that He knows the deepest thoughts and intentions of our hearts; and He cannot be fooled. Many try it and end up empty. They refuse to receive the word and repent; they refuse to receive Christ; they refuse to receive water baptism; and they refuse to receive the Holy Spirit. Indeed they resist the word; they resist Christ; they resist water baptism (as did the Pharisees); and they resist the Holy Spirit. They will receive our fellowship and social activities; they will receive the pop music and singing (and the soulish feelings – believing it is the Holy Spirit); they will receive the aesthetics that feel more and more like the sinful world they enjoy; but they refuse the very reason for our existence. Many are unwittingly trying to fool sinners into feeling and experiencing something that they think is the Holy Spirit. Majestic impressions are not the Holy Spirit; they are emotional impressions. This is the modern consequence of rejecting Romans 12:1-2. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit does not come to bring a feeling- He comes to convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. That is a staggering and sobering consideration. 

Two “One Accords”

 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. (Acts 8:5-6)

 The people in the previous chapter ran upon dear Stephen with one accord in their rejection of his word and their resistance of the Holy Spirit. In contrast, the Samaritans with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake. Both Stephen and Philip worked miracles. What was the difference? It was plainly the people. There was no middle ground. Fortunately things were cut and dry back then. There were no ministers changing up the message to allow a group that resisted the Holy Spirit and rejected the word to join and participate in the church. That would come later. So the question becomes, what line are we in? The new standards of modern times have no authority. They are a smoke screen. We must hold up the mirror of God’s word to our lives. If we were transferred back into Acts 7 and 8; what category of people would we be placed into? Would we run upon the man of God with gnashing teeth; or would we gladly receive the word, repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit? All of the fussing in the world boils down to this reality. 

The Blessing of Receiving

The wonderful thing about receiving the word and the promises is that God will leave off convicting of sin and will pour in love, joy, and peace. The operation of the Holy Spirit changes when we stop resisting and finally submit. What an awesome truth! Once the foundation is laid, God wants us to live in a continual flow of His Spirit. The reason why Stephen could endure the violence of the crowd was because he had something the crowd did not have. He was full of the Holy Spirit. Full of love. Full of joy. Full of peace. How? At some point he had to open his eyes and see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this. He had to gladly receive the word; and then receiving the rest was not a fuss. 

Bought With A Price

Bought With A Price

Robert Wurtz II

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 NKJV) 
Our passage offers tremendous insight into the thought process of Christians that started out well, but now were walking as unregenerate men and women. (1 Corinthians 3:3) If we grasp what Paul is revealing here we will understand much better a great problem in many Christian lives that prevents them from going on with God. When Paul uses the phrase, “do you not know” it can generally be taken to mean that many Christians ‘do not know’. This is either because they have not considered the fact, they have forgotten or they are living in such a way that it appears that they do not know. Let us observe the fact that how and what we think has a direct effect on how we live. Many of the Corinthians were in a carnal state of mind, living as if they did not have the Spirit nor were ever born again. Paul brings them around to the point with this tremendous statement, “…you are not your own. For you were bought at a price.They had been living as if they were never redeemed and sanctified unto the Lord. Think of how horrifying it would be to hear this and yet know you had been doing sinful things with a body that actually and truly belonged to God alone. Now consider how Paul introduces again as he did earlier in 1 Corinthians the Temple motif. He had already said to them, Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (1 Corinthians 3:16,17 NKJV) Both the individual and the organism of the local church constitute the temple of God. I believe both are in view in this passage.
You are the temple
A cursory reading of the Old Testament beginning at Moses would reveal to a person how absolutely the things of God had been set apart for His use alone. This is why reading the Old Testament is vital to understanding the New Testament. If a person never read or were never taught about the Levitical Priesthood they would have no clue as to the seriousness of the handling and use of the holy things of God. All of the examples from Nadab and Abihu to Uzziah and a host of others that profaned the temple or its members (vessels, etc) were written for our example and learning. Over and over again we encounter this issue in the Old Testament. People like Uzzah were smote dead on the spot for their error. (2 Samuel 6:7) Even when Jesus came into the Temple and found the money changers He took up a whip and drove them out. Why? The House of God is not an ordinary house. This demonstrates how strongly God feels about keeping that which is sanctified unto Him- sanctified unto Him. If I might so say it demonstrates our Lord’s reaction to the notion of ‘progressive sanctification’. The Temple is not an ordinary place. It belonged 100% to God and they that have been bought with a price belong 100% to God. The Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple could not be rented out for weekend parties, shindigs or any of that. It was holy ground and was to be treated with godly reverence. Now we can reckon with the fact, do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
Profaning the temple? 
Now, tremble at this thought. Imagine it just dawned on the guilty person that Paul is writing to at Corinth that their bodies were God’s ideal of a Temple of the Holy Spirit in the earth and that the Wilderness Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple were only types and shadows of what God had planned. The temples made with hands were not where God wanted to dwell (Acts 7), He wanted to dwell in man. And yet these Corinthians had been treating their temple (the members of their body), that were sanctified unto the Lord at least as much as the Lamp stand, Laver, Veil, etc. was in Israel, as if they were common items. I wonder if some of them looked up on the wall to see if a hand had appeared with the words, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. (Daniel 5:25b) You will know that these are the words Belshazzar saw and then his knees smote together. What was he doing? He was using the artifacts from the Temple of God that had been sanctified unto God alone for party dishes! They were holy vessels unto the Lord. Perhaps this is an area that we desperately need to revisit in this dreadful age, the difference between holy and profane. All throughout the Old Testament, especially in areas that pertained to the priesthood, man was being taught that God is holy and the things that are sanctified unto Him are to be used for Him alone and are not to be taken out for common use. Even the most pagan of societies understand the concept of sacred. The things of God were to be treated with the highest levels of respect out of reverence for God. Belshazzar did not reverence God so he profaned and desecrated the holy things of God. What God did to Belshazzar and how God responded to what Belshazzar was doing is a standout example unto all Saints as to how He feels about irreverent profanation of things sanctified to the Lord. When God sanctifies a man He does so for His service. We are made kings and priests unto God. Very sobering indeed.  
The Saint Belongs to God
When a person is truly born of the Spirit and the Holy Spirit comes in to take up residence, they become the possession of God instantly. This is an instant setting apart of ourselves to God as His unique possession. That is to say, were are at the point of transaction 100% sanctified unto God. I’m now using the word sanctified in the true biblical sense rather than the modern Evangelical sense. Modern Evangelicalism would suggest that we are being progressively set apart unto God, but this is a strange notion that has no parallel in scripture. It stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means for someone or something to be sanctified unto the Lord. Carnality blinded Corinth to this reality and it blinds today. God paid the full price to redeem the Saint and He retains 100% ownership and rights of property from the moment of transaction. God does not redeem man on an installment plan or on layaway. Let Paul ask us, Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. Here ‘were bought’ is in the first aorist, meaning that the event has taken place. The consequence? You are not your own. Who do we belong to? Obviously, the purchaser. 
Temple Sanctified 
Imagine the enemies of Israel attacking the Temple mount when the shekinah glory of God was filling the house. If Nadab and Abihu could not stand before the Lord in disobedience when He glory was on the House, how could the enemies of God have ever stood? There is no reason whatsoever for a believer to be defeated by sin and Satan. The Fire of God burning in man consumes everything that is not of God. It is just unfortunate today that true sanctification has been so ignored that to discuss the subject almost feels heretical. “Because of failure in their own lives men lower the standard and tone down the message because they do not wish to preach something they are not living. When a man preaches his own experience as a substitute for the pure word of God, there is always a loss of power. This cannot be helped, because it is based on and proceeds from man. 1 Thessalonians 5:23:  “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sanctification, by intention and provision of God, embraces the whole man. God has committed Himself to this and He is faithful to do it. God makes a man holy in a moment of time and, if that man is co-operative, will keep him holy through the successive moments of time till the Lord comes.” (G.W. North) 
Jesus not ashamed of us
One of the great challenges of our times is to get Christians to stop what they are doing and start to think about what God has purposed for them in this life. Jesus desires that we live a manor of life in which He would not be ashamed to call us His brethren. (Hebrews 2:11) Yet sadly and tragically today many folks seem to only care about having their sins forgiven and then they are ready to move on to a thousand other church related subjects from prosperity to politics, daring not to mention purity. Those that do touch the subject focus on how we are being sanctified as if we are called to live lives of sin- but ever slowly surrendering ground to God as He progressively sanctifies us. In other words, we’ll give God what is rightfully His as we get ready. As if a person is saying in their heart, “if I want to use my hands, eyes, ears, etc. as members of unrighteousness to sin, then I can do that.” Why? Because God understands that I’m being progressively sanctified, and I don’t have to concern myself with truly being one of His sons until I get ready. God forbid! What did God say, “And they delivered the burnt-offering unto him, piece by piece, and the head: and he burnt them upon the altar. (Leviticus 9:13 ASV) Paul in the language of priesthood then takes up the subject,  And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:13 NKJV) Piece by piece and member by member. It not just the blessings that we should count.” (Ron Bailey)

Present Active Sanctification
Jesus is our example in all things, including sanctification. He was the Temple of the Holy Spirit while He walked the earth. (John 2:19) Just as the Wilderness Tabernacle was utterly sanctified to God as was the Temple of Solomon, Jesus Christ was sanctified unto God. He was not being progressively sanctified, He was presently being sanctified and there is a great difference. What did He say?
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. (John 17:19)

Here Jesus says “I sanctify myself” where hagiazo (sanctify) is in the present active. He does this so that we “might be sanctified” where hagiazo is in the perfect passive. Keep in mind that He made this comment just prior to the cross event. He was a mature man and readied for the final trial. The context of the passage is life in this present evil world. Jesus left the sanctuary of Heaven to teach you and I through the word of truth that God could keep a holy man ‘holy’ in this present evil world. So what did Jesus mean, “I sanctify myself.” Certainly He did not mean that He was being progressively sanctified in the Evangelical sense. This is the language of priesthood, purification and holiness. He is guarding against defilement. By using hagiazo in the present tense He is teaching us that He consciously set Himself apart unto God continually and in every circumstance. “I am not of this world” was a common attitude of His. He then continued for our sakes, And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are]. Keep them what? Keep them sanctified even as Christ kept Himself sanctified. How? When Satan came to defile Him with sin He told Satan that He lived (and we all must live) by every word that is proceeding from the mouth of God. This is ‘right now’ revelation and grace from the Father to deal with the present circumstance so that He could go on sanctifying Himself unto God. That is to say, He kept Himself unspotted of the world. Jesus was and is perfect and He has perfected us while simultaneously sanctifying us. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are (being) sanctified. (Heb. 10:14)

 I suggest, that like Jesus we too must be being sanctified. Not in the Evangelical sense of the word, but in the same sense that Jesus used the phrase. We must consciously set ourselves apart unto God continually and in every circumstance. We have to do it the same way Jesus did it, by every word that is proceeding from the mouth of God. That is not to say that we will be without mistakes or errors in judgment (as Wesley would say), but that we would not willfully and knowingly go against the revealed will of God. Having been bought with a price and sanctified, we are continuing to be sanctified as we present ourselves in obedience to Him.

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