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Our Sanctifier

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THE HOLY SPIRIT, OUR SANCTIFIER 

Scripture: Romans 12:1–2; 1 Corinthians 6:11, 19–20; 2 Corinthians 6:17–18, 7:1; Philippians 4:8

Memory verse: 1 Corinthians 6:11
“You were washed, you were sanctified, and you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Lead—In

For this object lesson, you will need an ironing board or table, an iron, and a wrinkled cloth. Before class, plug the iron in, but leave it turned off. Begin the lesson by trying to press the cloth. When it is obvious to the students that no amount of pressing will remove the wrinkles from the cloth, ask the students what is wrong. Touch the cold iron to show that it is not hot. Explain that in order for the iron to work, it must be turned on. Now turn the iron on and begin to press the cloth.

Tell the students that our lives are like the wrinkled cloth. It is not easy to be good all the time because it does not come naturally. When we try to fight temptation by ourselves, we will probably lose and end up sinning, making our lives a mess—wrinkled like the cloth. Explain that this is why we need the Holy Spirit. He helps us fight temptation so we do not sin. He sanctifies us. The Holy Spirit is like the heat from the iron that removes the wrinkles from our lives. Finish ironing the wrinkles out of the cloth as you speak.

Emphasize the fact that we often face people and situations that pressure us to do wrong. Satan wants us to give in to this pressure because he knows it will hurt our relationship with God and ruin our witness. However, we do not have to fight Satan alone. Encourage the students to listen for how they can have power to do what is right and keep their lives pure.

Hearing God’s Word

Have you ever known someone who went along with whomever he happened to be with in order to make everyone think well of him? Those people are not being “real.” They do not know what they stand for because they try to go along with everyone. They wear a different “mask” everywhere they go.

Did you know that some people try to fool God that way? They act dedicated to God when they are at church, but the rest of the time they do not live the way they should. God is not fooled. He knows what is really happening in their lives.

As Christians, we are to live godly lives all the time, not just on Sundays when we are in church. People may be watching us to see if we are living as Christians should. How we act is as important as what we say. If our actions do not match what we say, we will not be good testimonies for Jesus.

Sanctification Defined

Our goal as Christians should be to live lives that are free from sin. We use a big word to describe this—sanctification. This means “the state of being holy—set apart from sin.”

When we ask Jesus to forgive our sins, we become alive spiritually to God. The Holy Spirit sets us apart for God’s service. That does not mean we can never sin again. We must continually allow the Holy Spirit to set us apart from sin and keep our hearts pure. Sanctification is not a onetime thing. We live in a sinful world, and Satan is always tempting us to do wrong. Sometimes people give in to temptation and sin. While we are here on earth, we will never be perfect. But the process of sanctification goes on throughout our lives as we seek God’s will and strive to become more like Jesus. We need the Holy Spirit’s help to keep from sin or to remind us to repent if we do sin.

Sanctifying Our Thoughts

Sanctification should affect the way we think. Doing wrong begins as thoughts in a person’s mind. Wrong thoughts are like seeds that can sprout and grow. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to sanctify our minds so seeds of sinful thoughts will not take root and grow.

Ask: What are some things that can plant bad seeds in our minds? (Allow responses.)

(Let the students mention things, such as music with explicit lyrics, books or magazines that can cause wrong thoughts, TV shows that have sex or violence, bad conversation, etc. Discuss how these can put wrong thoughts in people’s minds.)

In Philippians 4:8 Paul tells us the kinds of things we should think about. (Let a student read the verse. Make a list of the proper thoughts we should have. Discuss these together.)

Our Bodies—Temples of the Holy Spirit

The Bible is also clear about keeping our bodies pure and holy. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. (Instruct the students to read 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.)

Ask: What are some ways we can keep our bodies pure for the Holy Spirit to dwell in? (Allow Responses.)

(Discuss student responses and any sins against the body that you feel they may be facing pressure to commit, such as drugs, alcohol, sexual activity. Ask a student to read Romans 12:1, 2.)

Some things that we do not always think of as big sins also harm our bodies. Often young girls try to starve themselves to conform to how they think this world wants them to look. They are hurting their bodies and are not honouring the temple that God has given them. At the same time, people who fill their bodies with unhealthy food and purposely do not get enough nutrition are also not pleasing God with their bodies.

Keeping our hearts, minds, and bodies pure means we will be different from the world. If we love God, we will always try not to act like those who do not know Him. Some people call themselves Christians, yet they do not always act as Christians should. They seem to change to fit each situation. They wear a different “mask” to fit whatever group they are with by acting as the group does, even if it is wrong.

Separate from the World

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18 that we should be separate from the world. (Allow volunteers to read these verses.) This does not mean we are to go out of our way to be odd or strange. It means we should obey the Bible’s teaching to be modest in everything. Our actions should be pleasing to God and we should have the same standards of behaviour at all times. If we would not smoke around Christian friends, we should not smoke around non–Christian friends. We should always act as Christians no matter what our circumstances.

Making fun of others is not pleasing to God. Suppose that one day at school, some of your friends were making fun of a boy in your class. It seems he does not play football very well. Would you go along with the crowd and make fun of the boy too? Or would you act as a Christian should and treat the boy with kindness?

Steps to a Sanctified Life

Living a holy life is a result of sanctification. It is a day-to-day process of doing what is right by the Holy Spirit’s help. Our memory verse tells us: “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). (Repeat the verse several times with the students.)

The Holy Spirit is the one who sanctifies us. We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to help us be more like Jesus.

Ask: How can we cooperate with the Holy Spirit? (Allow responses.)

(Then list the following points on the chalkboard as you discuss them.)

  1. By praying. In prayer, we talk to God and allow Him to speak to us through our thoughts.
  2. By reading the Bible. Reading God’s Word will help us know how we should live. As we rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us, He will help us understand what the Bible says. We will also learn acceptable behaviours.
  3. By being an example. As we try to be an example to others by living the way God wants, we will become stronger Christians. The stronger we grow, the easier it will become to live for God and tell others about Him.
  4. By seeking the baptism in the Holy Spirit. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will speak in a language we have never learned. But this is just the beginning of the power available to us in living a holy life. The Holy Spirit wants to use us to be strong witnesses of God’s love and power.

If you have been changing your behaviour to fit in with whatever crowd you are with, stop and let the Holy Spirit begin His work in your life. He will sanctify you and keep your thoughts and actions pure—if you will yield your thoughts and actions to His control.

Accepting God’s Word

Remind the students of this week’s memory verse. Tell the students the Holy Spirit begins His work of sanctification in the life of each person who accepts Jesus as Saviour. He will help believers grow stronger spiritually as they obey God’s Word and do right.

Divine Appointment

The Rufiji people live on both sides of the Rufiji River in Tanzania. The majority are subsistence farmers, with many taking advantage of periodically flooded alluvial soils. Most villages have a centrally located market, a primary school and a dispensary. Islam plays a dominant role in their culture.

“Which village shall we visit?” was my topic of discussion with the tour guide. We stopped at a town on the main road in the heart of the Rufiji homeland to drink a Coca-Cola and try to obtain information as to the location of a pure Rufiji village.

Parking in front of a bicycle repair area, we found only one store on the block that sold soft drinks. After purchasing our Cokes, we sat down on chairs at the front of the shop.

The owner came, sat down and began to visit with us. We learned that he was a Rufiji and knew of a village about 10 kilometres off the main road where all the people were Rufiji. He said, “It is difficult to give directions to the village so I will lead you.” A man who was from that village overheard the conversation and asked to ride with us. Within 15 minutes the Lord arranged a guide and an escort. It was truly a divine appointment!

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Rufiji Businessmen

1. Rufiji businessmen to be honest in serving the public,
2. Believers in Christ to give a witness when visiting a place of business,
3. Christians in business seek to meet the spiritual needs of the Rufiji.

Prayer Promise

"Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth...opened her heart to respond to Paul's message..." (Acts 16:14).

Remember: THE HOLY SPIRIT, OUR SANCTIFIER

Memory verse: 1 Corinthians 6:11
“You were washed, you were sanctified, and you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

1. By God's grace, I will live a clean and holy life.
2. The Holy Spirit will help me think pure thoughts.
3. With the Holy Spirit's help, I will turn away from sinful activities.

Pray for Rufiji businessmen.

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Study 7 | Prayer Power / Holy Spirit | africaatts.org/go-teach

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