“Sanctified in Christ Jesus…” —1 Corinthians 1:2
In another sense we are sanctified through Christ Jesus, because it is his blood and the water which flowed from his side in which the Spirit washes our heart from the defilement and propensity of sin. It is said of our Lord, —“Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle or any such thing.” Remember again, “Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” “He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” I say, again, there are hundreds of texts of this kind. “Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.” In that memorable passage where Paul, struggling with corruption, exclaims, “Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” the answer is not concerning the Holy Spirit; but he says, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Space forbids the multiplication of texts; but there are many passages to the effect that our sanctification is the work of Jesus Christ. He is our sanctifier, for He filled the sacred laver of regeneration in which we are washed, filled it with the blood and with the water which flowed from his side, and in this by the Holy Spirit we are washed. There is no being sanctified by the law; the Spirit does not use legal precepts to sanctify us: there is no purification by mere dictates of morality, the Spirit of God does not use them. No, just as when Marah’s waters were bitter, Moses to make them sweet commanded them to take a tree and cast it into the waters, and they were sweet; so the Spirit of God, finding our natures bitter, taketh the tree of Calvary, casteth it into the stream, and everything is made pure. He finds us lepers, and to make us clean he dips the hyssop of faith in the precious blood, and sprinkles it upon us and we are clean. There is a mysterious efficacy in the blood of Christ not merely to make satisfaction for sin, but to work the death of sin. The blood appears before God and He is well pleased; it falls on us— lusts wither, and old corruptions feel the death-stroke. Dagon falls before the ark, and although the stump thereof is left, and corruptions still remain, yet Christ shall put an end to all our inbred sins, and through him we shall mount to heaven perfect even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect.
—Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, February 9, 1862 at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 8 Sermon No. 434, “Threefold Sanctification”