Has God made known His will concerning the condition of His people?
"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification." 1 Thess. 4:3.
NOTE: Sanctify. "To make sacred or holy; to set apart to a holy or religious use; to consecrate by appropriate rites." Sanctification. "The act of God's grace by which the affections of men are purified, or alienated from sin and the world and exalted to a supreme love to God." --Webster.
Can man accomplish this work for himself?
"I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing." John 15:5.
Through what medium is this change wrought?
"And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." John 17:19.
In order to enjoy sanctification, what attitude must one assume toward the truth?
"God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." 2 Thess. 2:13.
But is a simple acknowledgment of God's requirements enough to secure this desirable boon?
"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1, 2.
NOTE: Though one cannot sanctify himself, yet it is certain that he must act some part in that work. He must connect with God, by believing His truth (word), and obeying it. The Spirit of God will then, through that truth, sanctify, or set apart, the individual for the service of God.
What change is necessary to make us branches of the Vine?
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17.
Then how much of the individual is affected by sanctification?
"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." 1 Thess. 5:23.
Before we can enjoy this great honor, what must we have?
"The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility." Prov. 15: 33.
NOTE: Humility. "Lowliness of mind; a modest estimate of one's own worth; a sense of one's own unworthiness through imperfection and sinfulness." --Webster.
When united to Christ, what is our duty?
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Col. 3:1, 2.
Besides humility, what other grace is necessary?
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness." Eph. 4:1, 2.
In all things, what should be our mind?
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Phil. 2:5.
Then what response can be sincerely made?
"Not My will, but thine, be done." Luke 22:42.
When in this attitude, what will God do for the petitioner?
"God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth." John 9:31.
In what words does the apostle express the same sentiment?
"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight." 1 John 3:22.
NOTE: By comparing the last two texts, we conclude that doing God's will is keeping His commandments.
What will the Lord do for those who love Him sufficiently to keep His words?
"If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." John 14:23.
In what condition are those in whom Christ dwells?
"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." Rom. 8: 10. "All thy commandments are righteousness." Ps. 119:172. "And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He hath commanded us." Deut.6:25.
How is this state of things brought about?
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." Rom. 12:2.
Then what will we be able to do?
"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." Col. 3:17.
To what extent must our deeds be done with reference to God's glory?
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31.
Why should we be so careful of our bodies?
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Rom. 12:1.
How much must we give up to become a true disciple of Christ?
"So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:33.
After forsaking all of self, what must we accept, in order to learn of Christ?
"Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matt. 11:29.
How large a place in our affections should the love of Christ occupy?
"He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." Matt. 10:37.
If we thus follow Christ, what will be the result?
"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." John 15:20.
But will this persecution separate us from Christ or His love?
"For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 8:38, 39.