Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sanctify Yourselves

sanctify: to separate from profane things and dedicate to God; to purify
When I was on Facebook, I once posted something about the need for Christians to sanctify and consecrate themselves unto the Lord.  This led to sincere questions from other Christians who believed that we are incapable of doing such for it is God alone who does this work. 

This type of view is common amongst certain denominations in Christendom, but does not align with Scripture.  There is a work which remains for Christians to "do" and that is in receiving what God has already "done". 

The following message is from Pastor Zac Poonen which I think aptly addresses and presents a balanced Scriptural perspective on this topic.

May we all make ourselves ready as time draws short.

The Bride Has Made Herself Ready
Pastor Zac Poonen

We read in Revelation 19:.5-7 And a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Give praise to our God, all you His bondservants, you who fear Him, the small and the great’. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude and as the sound many waters and as the sound of mighty peals of thunders, saying, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready’.

Notice that it doesn’t say that the Lord made the bride ready. No. It says that “the bride made herself ready” It is WE who are to make ourselves ready for the coming of the Lord. Many believers know that if we walk in the light as God is in the light the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn.1:7). But that is only one side of the truth. The other side of the truth is that we too must cleanse ourselves. This is how the bride makes herself ready. It is also written in Rev 19:8 And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

The phrase “given to her” makes it clear that it was a gift from God. This teaches us that, even the desire and ability to cleanse ourselves is a gift of God. It is God “Who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil.2:13). We cannot take any credit for that, nor can we boast over other believers in any way. The godly man is a humble man who gives all the glory to God for any goodness found in him. He knows that nothing good is found in his flesh.

If this clothing is a gift, then why don’t all receive it? Because God never forces anyone to receive His gifts. Even His gifts can be received only by those who respond to His Word.

The fine linen here is not the righteousness of Christ but “the righteous acts of the saints”. It is true that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us as soon as we are born again (Rom.4:22-24; 1 Cor.1:30). But we are also told that “the righteousness of law (should then) be fulfilled in us (inside of us)” (Rom.8:4). That is the dress of the bride here: “the righteous acts of the saints”. That is so clear in Rev.19:8, that one has to be blind as a bat, not to see it.

Her own righteous acts are her garment. She got it by taking the Lord’s commands to cleanse herself and to purify herself, seriously. She worked out her own salvation “with fear and trembling” (Phil.2:12). Every time she worked out her salvation with fear and trembling in the power of the Holy Spirit, she put one more stitch, as it were, on her bridal garment. Over a period of years, she wove the whole garment.

What about a Christian who takes all this carelessly, saying, “The blood of Jesus has cleansed me. So I am all right”. To such Christians the Lord says, “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest HE WALK ABOUT NAKED” (Rev.16:15).

Have you ever seen a bride coming naked to her wedding? The Lord warns His people not to be found naked - naked, because they do not have a garment on the wedding day. They had no righteous acts of their own.

The deception of Babylon, the mystery of iniquity, the magic spell that Babylon has cast on so many Christians is this: “Don’t worry. You are clothed with the righteousness of Christ. It doesn’t really matter how you live.” James clearly warns us that faith without works is dead. Yet Babylon has prevented believers from taking such warnings seriously.

There is a difference between our own righteousness, which are like filthy rags in God’s sight (Isa.64:6). and the righteousness wrought in us in the power of the Holy Spirit as we take up the cross and walk in Jesus’ footsteps in our daily life. It is the latter which is the bridal garment. When we first come to the Lord all we have as clothing are the filthy rags of our own righteousness and even filthier rags of our sins. But when we are born again, God first of all justifies us - imputing the righteousness of Christ to us (Rom.3:24; 4:5). Then He writes His laws upon our hearts and minds (Heb.8:10), fulfilling the righteousness of the Law within our hearts (Rom.8:4). This results in that righteousness gradually becoming our outward attire, and our outward character becoming Christlike.

The bride’s garment is made of fine linen, bright and clean. What a contrast there is between her simplicity, and the gaudy, scarlet dress and gold ornaments of the harlot. In the “Bridal Psalm” (Psalm 45), we read about the Lord, our Bridegroom,as One Who “loved righteousness and hated iniquity” (Psalm 45:7). And the bride is described thus: “The king’s daughter is all glorious WITHIN” (Psalm 45:13). She has a meek and quiet spirit (1 Pet.3:4). And it is with this inner garment that “she will be led to the King”(Psalm 45:14). That will be fulfilled in Rev.19:8.


  1. good morning sis~
    i say yes and amen to our call to sanctify the Lord Jesus Christ in our hearts to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. it is a day to day discipline of submitting our wills to the God and making every effort to walk in the Spirit.

    yes, it is God who works in us to will and i'm so thankful for His help. apart from Him i can do nothing. this article was another good one by brother zac. the Lord has saved us unto good works. grace is not an excuse to live any kind of way. as believers we are called to live circumspect and self-examining lives.

    may we always upon rising, be filled with the desire to live that day for the glory of God for tomorrow isn't promised to us. God bless you and your readers~

    joyful saint

  2. Praise the Lord! Beautiful post! Thank you for blessing us with words of wisdom the Lord, our God, has given you. Blessings from the tropical island of Puerto Rico. :)

  3. This has been on my heart for some time now, Repentance and Holiness.

    Get Clean and Stay Clean!

  4. Praise the LORD for this wise teaching according to His word. Indeed, we must WORK OUT what the Holy Spirit WORKS IN us, by His empowering grace.

  5. I just stumbled upon this site by way of and this post truly answered my prayer. I've just started my walk in Christ and I thought everything would just flow so quick and easy. However, reading this made me realized that I must surrender myself daily. It's not easy living with a family that don't follow Christ at all. I'm trying but in no way do I want my family to think that I'm trying to be "better than", but I want them to see how amazing God is. It's a blessing that Jesus gave me this opportunity again and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I refuse to turn back. This is confirmation for me that I will continue to go forward if I not only read His Word but follow it. I know that God will give me the tools and continuous, growing desire to live righteously. I pray that my family will come to Him as well.

    1. I thank God for your testimony. Thank you for sharing it here. It is God's will for all to be saved and He certainly rejoices for every one who found who was lost.

      Be encouraged in the Lord! Yes, we are called to deny ourselves daily, but what we get in return is simply priceless in comparison. Yes, God will give you every tool to live for Him. He not only made the way possible, but orders our steps so walk in the way. He is an awesome God!

      May God continue to guide you and grow you in Him as He completes the work that He has started in you.

      Much love in Christ!


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