There’s a phrase I’ve heard used a number of times before, it’s “Sanctification by the washing of the water of the word”.  This originally comes from this verse.

So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word. – Ephesians 5:26

In this case it was speaking of a husband toward his wife, but I hear it said for all of us.  In fact, oen of the times I’ve heard it talked about was God restoring all things to us.  We started with the apostolic church right after Jesus, then things went downhill to the dark ages.  Finally God had enough and began to restore.  First was Martin Luther with salvation by Grace.  Next was Sanctification.  Then the baptism of the spirit.  There are verse I can go into that speak more to it, but for this subject I’m going to skip those.

I’ve had trouble really understanding sanctification.  The definition is to set yourself apart to be holy, but I have had a lot of trouble feeling like I understood this in my heart.  I know there’s something huge here that I’m not understanding, but the guys I listen to seem to just breeze past it.  Finally I heard it mentioned in reference to John Wesley, so I went looking and found this writing of his.

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection by John Wesley

Immediately as I began to read things started clicking into place.  I still don’t have it well enough to really articulate my thoughts, but his writing is the basic idea of a Christian become like Christ.  He talks about it like reaching perfection.  That a Christian can get to a point where he doesn’t sin.  That’s not to say he can’t sin or might not slip, but that he can reach a place free from sin.

I’m still reading through this and I can’t say yet that I completely agree, but I do agree that we sell ourselves short, or perhaps the better way to say is that we sell God short.  We are content with the sin in our life.  We’re not willing to set our lives apart from the world, to go to the extreme effort to let God clean up every piece of us.  We may say we want to be like Jesus, but when it comes down to it, we still like our things our well.  We aren’t to the Galatians 2:20 point of saying “I am crucified with Christ”.

I’m becoming more convinced how essential this must be to drawing closer to God.  This was a fundamental truth of the church that was lost and is found again. We can perfect ourselves to be like Christ.  We have his mind in us, we have the Spirit helping us, and grace overflowing out of us.  Why are we so easily beaten down.

I am again committed to living a life above what I have.  I don’t want petty arguments, worldly struggles, financial issues or any other worldly thing to keep me down in the muck.  I choose life.  I will walk my days not willing to give into the temptation to let sin slip through just because I don’t feel like trying.  As I mentioned before, I will take the trials and rejoice, for they speed up my race to perfection.