I love words, don’t you? And I like old things too. (Maybe because I am one…) So when I found a Webster’s New World Dictionary at the thrift store, copyright 1958, I was dancin’ myself dizzy. A bit of its otherwise unrevealed history was unveiled with a neatly handwritten signature on the front page: Kelly, January 22, 1960. Doesn’t that just send your imagination atwirl? Who is Kelly, and how did her life unfold? Is she still a lover of words? Only God knows.
Anyway, I was meditating on I Thessalonians 5:23-24 this morning which reads: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.” I was anxious to read the mid-20th century definition of sanctify from my new Webster, and it didn’t disappoint.
sanctify: to make holy; to make free from sin; to set apart; to make sacred or inviolable.
Inviolable. Hmmm… that was a new nugget for me. Back to Mr. Webster.
inviolable: not to be violated; not to be profaned or injured; sacred; indestructible.
Oh boy, did those words make my Spirit soar! My brain started to bubble with glee. In order to infuse my soul with this profound message from Pastor Paul to the church in Thessalonica, I started substituting phrases:
May the God of peace completely set you apart.
May the God of peace make you holy.
May the God of peace keep you from violating His commands that your spirit and soul and body be kept blameless.
May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely - keep you from profaning His Spirit in any way. May He make you inviolable. Indestructible.
Personalizing His word presses it into my Spirit. I stood up, raised my hands high and proclaimed aloud:
My God of peace makes me holy.
My God makes me sacred.
My God makes my whole spirit and soul and body blameless - free from any profanity or irreverence.
I am inviolable in His Spirit!
Glory Halleluiah Saints!
Your body and spirit are not to be profaned. You are sanctified. Purified. Made holy through Christ. The Holy Spirit in you is just that - HOLY - abiding in you, making you inviolable!
Sisters and brothers, embrace this critical truth which is so easily forgotten in our weak and broken flesh. Because it is truth. His Word is Truth. We have been crucified with Christ so fear and anxiety are dead. You are sacred. Blameless. Indestructible. How? Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. “The life that I now live I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:21)
Claim it Church! Your purification in Christ is indestructible because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Oh yes, it is easy to doubt this Word of Light in this world of tears, trials and tribulation. We tumble into grumble when dark clouds hover. But those gloomy days are when we must fasten our belts of Truth that Jesus died for our profane and irreverent sins. We put on righteousness. Come on, Church! Righteousness - sanctification - holiness - doesn’t just happen in this sinful world. In the Spirit, our inner purification will not be violated. Put on your sacred self by renewing your mind. Proclaim aloud:
My God cleanses me completely.
I am set apart as sanctified through Christ.
I am a new creation who is inviolable - impenetrable - to Satan’s schemes.
My spirit and soul and body are indestructible because I am sacred in the Spirit.
I am holy because He is holy and He lives in me.
Brother Paul summarizes his profound teaching in verse 24: He who has called you is faithful; He will surely do it.
Oh Church, how privileged we are to live in the protection of the Almighty. He who has called you to sacredness - to holiness - to purity in the spirit, soul and body is faithful. HE will do it! Live by faith in the Son of God who loves you and gave Himself up for you.
Has some circumstance flattened you with fear? May the God of peace sanctify you completely.
Are you angry at someone? May the God of peace purify you completely. You can’t ‘cus you’re too resentful in the flesh, but He is faithful. He will do it.
Struggling with maintaining your temple? You succumb way too often to sugar and sluggishness? Do you not know? Have you not heard? You are inviolable in your body! If your Father is calling you to care for the home of His Holy Spirit - if the God of peace is calling you to keep your body blameless - then your resolve is indestructible. Dine well as a holy sacrifice, acceptable unto God as His chosen one - set apart - sanctified - purified.
Victory over our fleshly desires, human frailties, and long-time lies Satan loves for us to believe, even when they’re demeaning and destructive, is possible only by truth-claiming: He who has called me out of the darkness is faithful. He will surely strengthen me. He will uphold me with His righteous right hand. Glory!