Sanctification In Two Parts
There are two parts to sanctification. First, there is spiritual growth and transformation. Second, there is healing and restoration.
As we mature in Christ we will grow in intimacy with God and gain grace, knowledge and wisdom through studying, learning, praying, meditating, communing, etc. During this process, we will gradually be transformed and conformed to the likeness of Christ. There is a very real sense in which the more time we intentionally spend with Jesus, the more we will be like Him.
The other component of sanctification involves healing and restoration through repentance, deliverance, and submission/ Lordship. To accomplish this goal, however, we must intentionally enter into the process.
Romans 12:2 commands us to quit being “conformed” to the world; rather, to be “transformed” by the renewing of our minds. That this is a command to Believers implies we have a choice. If we don’t enter in to the healing and restoration part of sanctification, however, we will carry unnecessary burdens and hurts and leave footholds and strongholds for the enemy to exploit.
Repentance, Deliverance, and Lordship
Sanctification is God’s process of cleansing and purifying from unrighteousness. According to 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Too often we settle for forgiveness of sin without entering in to the cleansing and purifying process. This leaves us with hurts, spiritual bondage, and defilement that become footholds for the enemy -which can become strongholds. This often leads to a continuous cycle of sin and confession.
Repentance in the Old Testament (teshuva) means to turn away from or to change direction. Repentance in the New Testament (metanoia) means to change one’s thinking. Combining these two thoughts gives us a fuller understanding of what it means to repent: We must have a change of thinking that leads to a change of direction.
To seek forgiveness of sin without a change of thinking or a turning away from it is not full repentance. We cannot truly turn away from sin, however, without dealing with the roots and internal issues that drive it.
Full repentance, then, must involve inner-healing which deals with internal issues like hurts and wrong thinking; deliverance which deals with areas of bondage and addiction; and Lordship which involves submission and obedience to God.
When we talk about deliverance, people often think of demon possession. Inevitably, this conversation leads to an argument about whether those who are saved can be possessed or merely oppressed by the demonic.
This is an argument rooted solely in man’s best thinking and not in Biblical understanding. It is important that we have Biblical understanding if we want true spiritual freedom.
In order to understand what the Bible teaches about deliverance, we should look at a couple of Greek words that are used in Scripture to describe the demonic.
The first is Daimonizomai which means “demonized, afflicted, vexed, tormented by a demon or evil spirit.”
The second is Echo Daimonion which means “seized by, possessed by, controlled by a demon.”
This is important because there are quite a few places in the New Testament where the English translation says “demon possessed.” In only one of these passages, however, is the Greek term echo daimonion used (seized by, possessed by). All other passages use the word daimonizomai (afflicted by, vexed by).
The implication is that rarely -almost never- are people (saved or unsaved) actually possessed and controlled by demons. It is not uncommon, however, for people to be afflicted or vexed by demons.
Even after trusting Jesus for salvation, we might have footholds and strongholds that need to be specifically dealt with in order to minimize temptation, affliction and vexation.
Here are a few typical footholds and strongholds that might need to be addressed as the inner-healing or deliverance part of the sanctification process. These areas might need to be specifically dealt with if they continue to affect or influence us or if they seem to constantly derail our spiritual progress.
Personal iniquity and sins we have committed -rebellion, racism, hatred/unforgiveness, drug/alcohol abuse, sexual experimentation, etc.
Generational iniquity, sin & curses -choices and sins of our ancestors that continue to affect us.
Occultism and false religions -new age, witchcraft, voodoo/ santeria/obea, fortune telling, ouija, astrology, seance, krishna/ buddhism/hinduism/islam/mormonism, etc., freemasonry, Bible- based cults, etc.
Soul-Bonds -sexual soul ties, fear-bonds, anger-bonds, authority-bonds.
Vows and Judgments -internal vows, decisions and promises that continue to direct our thinking and choices. Also, condemning /negative judgments we have made towards others.
Accidents and Trauma -physical or emotional traumas that deeply affected us.
Poverty and Lack -consequences of not getting what we needed to be emotionally, spiritually or physically healthy.
Closing the open doors in our spiritual houses is not magic. It is about healing, deliverance and the Lordship of Jesus. Making Jesus Lord has to do with both belief and will.
Romans 10:9-10 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
We must believe that Jesus is Lord and confess that truth. We must also intentionally choose to submit every area of our lives to Jesus and allow Him to be Lord.
•Acknowledging God’s sovereignty in our lives and intentionally submitting and obeying His commands and principles.
•Believing that Jesus is truly our King and acting accordingly.
•Giving up our rights (giving them to Jesus).
•Choosing to live in the simplicity of His Kingdom.
•Intentionally removing everything else off the throne of our hearts.
•Being willing to accept suffering as well as blessing. Trusting that God knows best.