“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” (1 Peter 1:1-2)
“Sanctifying work of the Spirit” sounds so formal and religious, but in actuality, this is exactly what happens. Some translations put, “His Spirit has made you holy.” But even that really doesn’t capture the essence of it for me ….
What I believe Peter is trying to tell us is that our souls were like an old stained rag we use to clean up messes in the garage. When the Spirit comes into our lives, He takes this stained rag and He cleans it, makes it new, and gives it incredible value. Instead of being the rag for messes in the garage, it is now the tablecloth reserved for special occasions and very special guests …
The Holy Ghost takes our broken, stained, and battered souls and makes them clean, new, and valuable; and not just for us, but for God. This concept is crucial because it is repeated several times in the Bible: (Romans 15:13,16), (1 Corinthians 6:11), (2 Thessalonians 2:13), and the most important confirming factor is found in (Acts 1:8); “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
This is the infallible, indisputable Word of God, and He cannot and will not lie (Numbers 23:19). And the subsequent result: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4).
This is the only way that true sanctification is truly attained. The baptism of the Holy Ghost. This is the transforming power necessary to change a broken vessel into a vessel of honor, that is to say a life of filthiness and mess, detitute of any redeeming value, and make it holy and acceptable before the Lord. It is a free gift, available to all, as is the promise:
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:38-39).
As we previously studied; just as the 12 disciples were ordinary men, once the power of the Holy Ghost came through the indwelling, they were filled and then empowered to do extraordinary works. Peter, who at first was timid and afraid; through the power of the Holy Ghost was able to stand up boldly and proclaim the message of the gospel (Acts 2:14-41), and that one day 3000 souls were saved! That’s not something an ordinary man can do.
And we must not forget the Apostle Paul, who though not one of the original 12, was one of the most amazing stories of total transformation. Once called Saul, he was a serious persecutor of the Christians, breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples, and had total disdain towards Jesus, until he was knocked off his horse by a bright light from heaven, and blinded. (Acts 9:1-20).
This expeience on the road to Damascus led to his conversion and him to be filled with the Holy Ghost. The Word says, “and immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.” (Acts 9:18). Amazing grace ~ I once was blind, but now I see …..
This amazing transformation came about only through the power of the Holy Ghost. And he increased in strength and became one of the greatest witness to this power and his teachings in the New Testament are all confirmation of the necessity of this force in our lives ….
In closing, (yes, finally) without the baptism and indwelling of the Holy Ghost, Christians will not be adequately equipped for battle in the perilous times that are ahead. It is by His power and His strength that we are enabled to wage war against the enemy. I pray that each and every one of you would aspire to come into the fullness of Christ, and seek this free gift, that you may be better able to live holy, sanctified lives. Therefore, I ask you:
Have you received the Holy Ghost since you first believed?
“He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? ….. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
Make me new, Lord God. Make me new and holy and valuable to you through the work of your Holy Spirit. Forgive, cleanse, and make precious my heart so that I can bring you glory and live for your honor. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
If anyone needs prayer in this, please message me. Have a great weekend. Walk in love and may you be blessed …..