1 Thessalonians 4:3 Tells us that it is God’s will that we should be sanctified. Sanctification is a second work of grace after salvation, a moment when we fully surrender ourselves and our lives to the Spirit of God and ask that the nature and desire of sin be destroyed and that we be filled with the Holy Spirit.
This is the two-fold nature of sanctification, the sin nature being destroyed and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
We will first look at the sin nature being destroyed. Romans 6:11-14 NIV “In the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey your evil desires. (13) Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. (14) For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”
It is apparent that Paul is talking to those who have already received Jesus as savior but as Paul points out we need to not let sin reign in our lives and this is what sanctification is, it is making Jesus the Lord of your life and the Holy Spirit cleansing us of the nature of sin.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 NIV “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. (26) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (27) and I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws”.
Verse twenty-seven points to the second aspect of sanctification, being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:8 tells us what happens when we receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus said in John 14:26 NIV “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
The purpose of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict unbelievers of sin, sanctify believers and lead in guide them into all truth.
Jesus repeatedly said that the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit would be a heart of love (John 14:21; 15:7-10). The heart of love towards God and others, Matthew 22:36-39 NIV “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” (37) Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (39) And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Sanctification or the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the starting point of the full experience of the Christian life; having the nature and desire of sin destroyed and being filled with the love of God.
When we come to that place of fully yielding ourselves to God we will be filled with the Spirit and have a new nature in us and we will desire and walk holy before God.
sanctification is received just as salvation, by faith, we ask to have sin cleansed and be filled with the Spirit of God, there is no need to overcomplicate the grace of God in sanctification, just ask and receive by faith.
It is not important what “feeling” you have as it is received by faith and not feeling. There is no ecstatic language that accompanies the infilling of the Spirit, we simply receive pure hearts and walk holy before God.
When Peter explained the Baptism of the Holy Spirit he said in Acts 15:8-9 NIV “God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.”