Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ“
sanctify you completely;
God will sanctify you “completely,” sanctify you to every part of your being, all three essential parts of your being. God will sanctify us through and through, with no area escaping His sanctifying influence. He will sanctify us quantitatively, qualitatively and ultimately when He delivers us from our sin capacity. God sanctifies us from stem to stern, from time into eternity.
Jesus will save us “completely” (Hebrews 7:25). We believe in the finished and we believe in unfinished work of Christ. Jesus did a work for us on the cross and He is doing a work for us in Heaven. He is saving us daily. He is in the business of keeping saved people saved.
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10).
“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
We have a “great high priest” (Hebrews 4:14). We are not trying to get one. Jesus is taking care of our affairs over there.
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2).
As a “high priest,” Jesus advocates for us as a lawyer. He represents us personally and pleads the case of His shed blood.
Jesus will work for us until He comes back again.
“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 1:6).
and may your whole spirit, soul, and body
The word “whole” means complete, sound in every part. This is a qualitative term implying having integrity, complete, undamaged, intact, blameless. The Lord can make us complete in all our parts, in the entity as a whole. God is not interested in getting just our “leftovers” or “unwanted items.”
Paul describes the believer in this passage as having three parts. The “spirit” is the capacity to relate to God. This spiritual dimension puts us in touch with God. The Bible never says that God saves the “spirit,” only the soul can be saved.
The “soul” is the person, the psychology of man. This is the mind, emotions and will of man, the seat of personality (Luke 1:46,47; Hebrews 4:12).
The “body” is the material part of man; it is what carries the immaterial part of man, the spirit and soul.
No part of our spiritual existence escapes the impact of God upon our lives. God must sanctify each of the three aspects of our being. Then, we avoid every category of evil.
be preserved blameless
The word “preserved” means to watch over, keep. The Lord will watch over our entire spirit, soul and body, the complete person. God will guard our blamelessness even up to and including the point of the coming of Christ. He is the one who keeps us saved.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).
A “blameless” person is someone against whom no one can lay a charge. The Lord will preserve us in such a way that no one can lay a change against us. The Christian in this sense is without fault, innocent.
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
No one can point an accusing finger at us, even at the coming of Christ.
It is not simply “until” the coming of Christ but “at” His coming. When Jesus comes, no one will point a finger at us. Not only will holiness stand the test of life’s trials and temptations but it will have a permanent, real existence that Christ will recognize when He comes.
God sanctifies us at three levels.
Thank God, He saved us perfectly in the person and work of Christ.
There are three kinds or times of sanctification:
· Positional – we hold the same status that Jesus holds before God when we believe in the death of Christ to forgive our sins whether we are carnal or spiritual. This is perfect sanctification in God’s eyes, not in our experience (4:3,4,7).
· Progressive – we become more and more like the Lord Jesus as we yield to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives (John 17:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 5:26). This is a relative sanctification.
· Permanent – ultimately we will be just like the Lord Jesus without a sin capacity in the eternal state (Romans 8:29,30). We will not have the capacity to sin ever again.
God saved us positionally when we believed on His Son’s death on the cross as the only way He will accept us into His Heaven.
When it comes to our progressive sanctification, God may have to discipline us to get our attention. The more we yield to the Spirit to enable us to apply more and more of the principles of God’s Word to our experience, the more we will become like the Lord Jesus in time.
One day, God will sanctify us totally, absolutely, completely. God will perfectly sanctify us in the eternity. As far as God is concerned, our eternal sanctification is as good as done.
Jesus saved us from the penalty of sin. He is saving us from the power of us. Eventually, He will save us from the presence of sin.