Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. (1Th 5:21-24)
From the last post, we saw two keys to the process of sanctification (consecration). We learn from the above verses that it is God’s will that His people be sanctified as we wait for the return of our Savior.
Key 1 – The power of personal sanctification is the sovereign work of God
Key 2 – The practice of personal sanctification is the submission to the will of God
To help us in our journey into personal sanctification and submission to His will, God gives us a three-step process. These steps are listed in our text above. They are, “Prove All Things”, Hold Fast that Which is Good”, and “Abstain from All Appearance of Evil”.
It is extremely helpful to take these three in order. Too many times our problem is that we skip over the first two and try to accomplish the third. While we might be able to do so for a short while, we will not be able to maintain the process, or at best, we will do it without joy.
Here is a brief explanation of the three-step process to personal sanctification from 1Thessolonians 5:21-22.
Step 1 = Prove all things
The meaning of proving is to test, determine validity, check its quality, and determine if substance or statement is true or counterfeit
The methods for proving all things
- By searching the Scriptures
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so (Act 17:11)
- By seeing the fruits
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Mat 7:15-16)
- By seeking the excellent
That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; (Php 1:10)
This means we are not satisfied with the mediocre or the “good enough” when it comes to our work and walk with God. We desire and give our VERY best for Him.
The measure of proving all things – all things…
What part of all do we not understand? All areas, all practices, all means, “all things”. Our dress habits, our church attendance habits, all doctrines, all Biblical positions, child disciple, marriage, and relationships, … ALL THINGS
Step 2 = Hold fast that which is good
Once proven good, hold on to the good
- Hold fast to our integrity
And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. (Job 2:3)
- Hold fast our profession
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (Heb 4:14)
- Hold fast our faith
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Heb 3:6)
- Hold fast good instruction
Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. (Pro 4:13)
Step 3 = Abstain from all appearance of evil
- We should abstain for temptation’s sake
- We should abstain for testimonies sake
The Practice of abstaining. We may need to be cautious and abstain from all appearance of evil as it regards to:
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2Ti 2:22)
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. (Pro 4:14-15)
I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked. (Psa 26:4-5)
Conclusion – Take all three steps and let God sanctify you.
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