4 Sanctification: What Does the Lord Expect of Us? PDF Print E-mail

Prof. Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, South Africa (August 2010)

4. Victory in the struggle

Through sanctification we are empowered to prevail against temptations of the Evil One since the power of the Holy Spirit is also at our disposal in this regard: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:10-11).

Christians who are not filled with the Holy Spirit are powerless to contend against the temptations and attacks of Satan. They sometimes say that we are defenceless against sin and temptation, and that the Lord has destined us to remain sinners until we go to heaven one day. This is a completely wrong perception as we have been called upon to be more than conquerors in the Name of Jesus Christ here on earth.

“God is faithful, who will allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). The Holy Spirit helps us to escape temptations. However, if we are not filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore do not walk in the Spirit, but instead we grieve and resist the Holy Spirit, we will not have the power to prevail against temptations. Do you live in the power and victory of the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit also equips us to handle all problems, afflictions and tribulation which may come across our way, including illness. These things sometimes come upon us to test our faith: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (Jas. 1:12).

The Holy Spirit enables believers who are fully surrendered to Him to remain faithful to the Lord under the most trying circumstances. When they are persecuted because of their faith they are not overcome with thoughts of vengeance but rather pray for their persecutors. Some Christians are painfully tested at their work, by children who have apostatised, by financial setbacks, accidents or diseases which afflict them. In all these things they can still be more than conquerors if the power of the Holy Spirit is working in their lives, unrestricted by carnal attitudes. In some cases the Lord delivers people from their diseases and distress, but in other cases He gives them strength to endure and to keep on bearing their cross. Paul also suffered from personal afflictions, but the Lord did not heal him and ensured him that: “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12:9).

Do not become despondent when you have to enter the kingdom of God through many tribulations, but persevere in good faith to the end. Some people backslide and then become embittered against their circumstances, family members, society and even against the Lord Himself (Heb. 12:15). We must persevere in faith, even when everything around us becomes dark: “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Heb. 12:3).