Lesson 8—Positional Sanctification—Practical Sanctification
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:22-25
Lesson Goal: To gain a better understanding of how important it is for believers to love and support one another.
One result of being truly saved is a sincere love and genuine care for others. The mark of the Christian life, regardless of circumstance, persecution or difficulty should be love. Nowhere should this love be more evident than in the family of God. The believer’s new life in Christ brings about a special relationship with other believers—brothers and sisters in Christ. Peter’s audience, although under intense persecution, is given instruction and encouragement on loving and caring for each other. Peter instructs his readers to love one another.
(Verse 22) “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth,” refers to the believer’s salvation.
Throughout Scripture we see that God’s work of salvation in our lives should lead to action expressed by our lives. God’s work of salvation in our hearts results in the outward actions of our lives. For the genuine believer, action follows faith. Genuine faith in Jesus Christ produces genuine action.
“Purified” in the original language is a perfect participle. The perfect tense helps us understand the meaning. It describes a past action with continuing results. It is the divine work of God in our lives that brings purification. When we placed our faith in Jesus Christ, God the Father cleansed us of our sin. Through the Holy Spirit we are sanctified in our position in Christ. Our positional standing is made possible by, secured by, and made perfect by the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. “Positional sanctification” refers to our standing in Christ before God.
Positional Sanctification compared to Practical Sanctification
Practical sanctification does not refer to our position, but to our state, which is imperfect. We stumble, we fall, we yield, we succumb to temptation, but we do not lose our salvation, because it is based on our position in Christ; however, in practical consequence we do lose our joy, peace, often our testimony, and frequently the blessed assurance that belongs to the believer. Our positional sanctification is our holiness through and by Jesus Christ which establishes our position. Our practical sanctification is our living out our faith daily resulting in holiness and purity. The process of our positional sanctification becoming practical sanctification should be evident daily. This process began at our salvation and continues and grows throughout our lifetime. As we mature in our faith and as we follow Jesus Christ as true believers, our practical sanctification has to be brought more and more in line with our positional sanctification. The Word of God reveals and declares to us both our standing positionally and our state practically.
(Unchanging position, perfection in Christ)
My position ● ● Heaven
Conversion My lifetime Death
(Becoming holy as Christ is holy)
➢ Read John 13:35. What is the sign to the world that we are disciples of Jesus Christ?
➢ What does Peter say about this love in 1 Peter 1:22?
➢ How can you demonstrate this love of verse 22 to those in this class?
➢ Explain your life as holy in terms of your positional standing in Christ, as compared to your practical standing.
(Verse 23) Peter writes encouraging fellow believers to love and support one another. The manner in which believers love others is a result of salvation. Through the new birth of salvation, we have been born into the same family; we should love and support this family.
“having been born again”—the perfect tense of the participle emphasizes that the new birth which occurred in the past has ongoing results in the present. One of those results is that believers will show love for one another. Read Romans 6:3-4.
“seed”—represents the source of life. “Everything that comes to life in the created order begins with a seed, the basic life source that initiates plant and animal existence” (MacArthur). When God generates new life in us (born again), He uses the imperishable seed of the Living Word. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to open the sinner’s eyes to Christ and his heart to a realization that he needs to accept Christ as Savior and Lord.
(Verses 24-25b) Peter quotes from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah (40:6-8).
“Endures forever”—made of the stuff of eternity. It will never perish; it continues.
(Verse 25b) With his readers from verse one in mind, Peter simply comes alongside a gospel comrade, the Apostle Paul, and simply endorses the truth of the gospel they have heard from Paul. Peter bears witness of Paul’s divine inspiration. What had been preached to them is the wonderful, true and pure gospel of Jesus Christ.
Questions for Life Focus
List five evidences found in your life that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Lord
How can you show love to others at Mars Hill Baptist Church?
Why do some people try to separate true salvation from living a holy life?
What are some eternal results of your salvation?
What are some practical “living life” results of your salvation?