Sanctification: God’s Grand Plan

  • August 27, 2016
Saturday 27

Jeremiah 29:11

The heavenly Father has a grand plan for the life of every person, and it can be summed up with the word sanctification. If you have never been certain of the term’s meaning, you are not alone—many people are unclear about its definition and application. However, believers should understand it because the word applies to them.

In its verb form—sanctify—the term means “to make holy” or “to separate.” So when something is sanctified, it is separated from its former common usage and is dedicated for sacred purposes. The Old Testament mentions a number of things that the Lord sanctified: He made the seventh day holy, set aside the Levite tribe as priests, and even consecrated places like the Holy of Holies inside the tabernacle (Gen. 2:3; Num. 3).

The heavenly Father still sanctifies people today. Before a person places faith in Jesus Christ, he or she is spiritually dead and, in fact, an enemy of God (Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 5:10). But the moment the choice is made to trust in Jesus Christ, sins are wiped away, and the individual is adopted into God’s family—set apart as a child of God, with a sacred purpose. This means believers aren’t here to chase after personal gain but are to serve the Lord and bring Him honor and glory.

As members of God’s family who are called upon to reflect His glory, believers are referred to as “saints.” We’re given this moniker—which shares its root with sanctification—not because we live sinless lives, but because we live a life consistent with the One we represent.

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The New You I

If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, we must love ourselves first. At salvation, each of us became a new creation and were given a new life. We now have much to love about who we are as children of the King. We can also look at others and love them too because God loves them, and we can see all that Christ has done for them.

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11 `For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, `plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

1 Now these are the records of the generations of Aaron and Moses at the time when the LORD spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai.

2 These then are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

3 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed priests, whom he ordained to serve as priests.

4 But Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD when they offered strange fire before the LORD in the wilderness of Sinai; and they had no children. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests in the lifetime of their father Aaron.

5 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

6 Bring the tribe of Levi near and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him.

7 They shall perform the duties for him and for the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, to do the service of the tabernacle.

8 They shall also keep all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, along with the duties of the sons of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle.

9 You shall thus give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons; they are wholly given to him from among the sons of Israel.

10 So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons that they may keep their priesthood, but the layman who comes near shall be put to death."

11 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

12 Now, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of every firstborn, the first issue of the womb among the sons of Israel. So the Levites shall be Mine.

13 For all the firstborn are Mine; on the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, from man to beast. They shall be Mine; I am the LORD."

14 Then the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying,

15 Number the sons of Levi by their fathers' households, by their families; every male from a month old and upward you shall number."

16 So Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD, just as he had been commanded.

17 These then are the sons of Levi by their names: Gershon and Kohath and Merari.

18 These are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families: Libni and Shimei;

19 and the sons of Kohath by their families: Amram and Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel;

20 and the sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their fathers' households.

21 Of Gershon was the family of the Libnites and the family of the Shimeites; these were the families of the Gershonites.

22 Their numbered men, in the numbering of every male from a month old and upward, even their numbered men were 7,500.

23 The families of the Gershonites were to camp behind the tabernacle westward,

24 and the leader of the fathers' households of the Gershonites was Eliasaph the son of Lael.

25 Now the duties of the sons of Gershon in the tent of meeting involved the tabernacle and the tent, its covering, and the screen for the doorway of the tent of meeting,

26 and the hangings of the court, and the screen for the doorway of the court which is around the tabernacle and the altar, and its cords, according to all the service concerning them.

27 Of Kohath was the family of the Amramites and the family of the Izharites and the family of the Hebronites and the family of the Uzzielites; these were the families of the Kohathites.

28 In the numbering of every male from a month old and upward, there were 8,600, performing the duties of the sanctuary.

29 The families of the sons of Kohath were to camp on the southward side of the tabernacle,

30 and the leader of the fathers' households of the Kohathite families was Elizaphan the son of Uzziel.

31 Now their duties involved the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, and the utensils of the sanctuary with which they minister, and the screen, and all the service concerning them;

32 and Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest was the chief of the leaders of Levi, and had the oversight of those who perform the duties of the sanctuary.

33 Of Merari was the family of the Mahlites and the family of the Mushites; these were the families of Merari.

34 Their numbered men in the numbering of every male from a month old and upward, were 6,200.

35 The leader of the fathers' households of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail. They were to camp on the northward side of the tabernacle.

36 Now the appointed duties of the sons of Merari involved the frames of the tabernacle, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, all its equipment, and the service concerning them,

37 and the pillars around the court with their sockets and their pegs and their cords.

38 Now those who were to camp before the tabernacle eastward, before the tent of meeting toward the sunrise, are Moses and Aaron and his sons, performing the duties of the sanctuary for the obligation of the sons of Israel; but the layman coming near was to be put to death.

39 All the numbered men of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered at the command of the LORD by their families, every male from a month old and upward, were 22,000.

40 Then the LORD said to Moses, Number every firstborn male of the sons of Israel from a month old and upward, and make a list of their names.

41 You shall take the Levites for Me, I am the LORD, instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the cattle of the sons of Israel."

42 So Moses numbered all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, just as the LORD had commanded him;

43 and all the firstborn males by the number of names from a month old and upward, for their numbered men were 22,273.

44 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

45 Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel and the cattle of the Levites. And the Levites shall be Mine; I am the LORD.

46 For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites,

47 you shall take five shekels apiece, per head; you shall take them in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs),

48 and give the money, the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons."

49 So Moses took the ransom money from those who were in excess, beyond those ransomed by the Levites;

50 from the firstborn of the sons of Israel he took the money in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, 1,365.

51 Then Moses gave the ransom money to Aaron and to his sons, at the command of the LORD, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

1 Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.

2 (On the fifth of the month in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's exile,

3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the LORD came upon him.)

4 As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire.

5 Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form.

6 Each of them had four faces and four wings.

7 Their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf's hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze.

8 Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them,

9 their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward.

10 As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle.

11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies.

12 And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went.

13 In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire.

14 And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.

15 Now as I looked at the living beings, behold, there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings, for each of the four of them.

16 The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship was like sparkling beryl, and all four of them had the same form, their appearance and workmanship being as if one wheel were within another.

17 Whenever they moved, they moved in any of their four directions without turning as they moved.

18 As for their rims they were lofty and awesome, and the rims of all four of them were full of eyes round about.

19 Whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also.

20 Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.

21 Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still. And whenever those rose from the earth, the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.

22 Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads.

23 Under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward the other; each one also had two wings covering its body on the one side and on the other.

24 I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.

25 And there came a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.

26 Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.

27 Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him.

28 As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.

1 Then He said to me, Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!"

2 As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me.

3 Then He said to me, Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day.

4 I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, `Thus says the Lord GOD.'

5 As for them, whether they listen or not--for they are a rebellious house--they will know that a prophet has been among them.

6 And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house.

7 But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.

8 Now you, son of man, listen to what I am speaking to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you."

9 Then I looked, and behold, a hand was extended to me; and lo, a scroll was in it.

10 When He spread it out before me, it was written on the front and back, and written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe.

1 Then He said to me, Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel."

2 So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll.

3 He said to me, Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you." Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.

4 Then He said to me, Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them.

5 For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel,

6 nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you;

7 yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me. Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate.

8 Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads.

9 Like emery harder than flint I have made your forehead. Do not be afraid of them or be dismayed before them, though they are a rebellious house."

10 Moreover, He said to me, Son of man, take into your heart all My words which I will speak to you and listen closely.

11 Go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not, `Thus says the Lord GOD.'"

12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me, Blessed be the glory of the LORD in His place."

13 And I heard the sound of the wings of the living beings touching one another and the sound of the wheels beside them, even a great rumbling sound.

14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away; and I went embittered in the rage of my spirit, and the hand of the LORD was strong on me.

15 Then I came to the exiles who lived beside the river Chebar at Tel-abib, and I sat there seven days where they were living, causing consternation among them.

16 At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

17 Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.

18 When I say to the wicked, `You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.

19 Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself.

20 Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.

21 However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself."

22 The hand of the LORD was on me there, and He said to me, Get up, go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you."

23 So I got up and went out to the plain; and behold, the glory of the LORD was standing there, like the glory which I saw by the river Chebar, and I fell on my face.

24 The Spirit then entered me and made me stand on my feet, and He spoke with me and said to me, Go, shut yourself up in your house.

25 As for you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and bind you with them so that you cannot go out among them.

26 Moreover, I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be mute and cannot be a man who rebukes them, for they are a rebellious house.

27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you will say to them, `Thus says the Lord GOD.' He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.

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Publish Date August 27, 2016
Sanctification: God’s Grand Plan

As members of God’s family, we’re here not to chase after personal gain but to bring the Lord glory.

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