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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.


God calls us to a Holy Life, a life set apart for God from anything that is against Him. This can seem unattainable.  He has taken the first step and cleansed us Himself.  (The word Sanctified is used in the NIV, cleaned in the NLT.)  The Bible explains how God does this from different angles, each contributing to the picture.  Here are some

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A Sanctified Life

The Bible does not give dictionary definitions.  We gain understanding through contrasts 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Note: Different versions translate this word differently. The NLT uses cleansed, in others holy. Sanctify is used in many church settings.

  1. What list of activities are given as examples of what God is not pleased with?
  2. How do those who behave like this come to be right with God?
  3. What is then is involved in being ‘washed clean’ or ‘made holy’

1 Corinthians 6:9 Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Made Holy

Jesus explains to Paul the means by which He makes people holy.  Acts 26:17-18

  1. What is involved in the new life that Jesus wants for people?
  2. What is the means by which people are made holy?

Acts 26:17 ... I am sending you to the Gentiles18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me.'

Washed not Reformed

Many try very hard to live the new life by their own efforts.  The Bible is quite clear that this is not what God is looking for.  Titus 3:3-7

  1. How is the life without God describe here?
  2. What is the motivation for this kind of lifestyle?
  3. How has God intervened to make us right with Him?

 Titus3:3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.

  4 But—"When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love,5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.*6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.7 Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life."

Sanctification lived

Having been sanctified as a gift of God, we then need to continue in the sanctification.  This implies a change in lifestyle. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

  1. What lifestyle is commended?
  2. What implications are there for those who do not live a holy life?
  3. What is involved in developing this lifestyle?  (notice v1 ‘live that way even more.’  The expectation is that this is something that is grown into.)

1 Thessalonians 4:1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters,* we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more.2 For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

3 God's will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.4 Then each of you will control his own body* and live in holiness and honor—5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.6 Never harm or cheat a Christian brother in this matter by violating his wife,* for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before.7 God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.8 Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Sanctification through prayer

Jesus does not just wash us, and leave us to get on with it.  He gives the resources to help transform us and maintain this sanctification.  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

  1. What does Paul pray for the Thessalonians?
  2. How could you pray along these lines?

1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

SANCTIFIED (made holy)