Sanctify God In Your Heart (ATP)
In I Peter 3:15 it says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” What does it mean “to sanctify the Lord God in your hearts”?
This word sanctify has much to draw out. It means to render, to acknowledge, or to hallow as separate from profane things, and to consecrate and dedicate (our heart) to God. This means that we need it on the inside of us that the Lord is holy, and need to be so consecrated in our hearts that we keep separate from sin and profane things in our lives. Along with this, we need to always be ready to give a defense or explanation of why this hope, we could say sanctification, is in us.
Many times nonbelievers in the world look at Christianity and think it’s all about rules. Christians are no fun because they don’t live the same way and partake of the same things. When I tell people no thank you when they offer me alcohol and express that I don’t drink, they think it’s some sort of rule that I’m trying to follow. When people find out we’re not for our teenagers dating they think we’re just too strict. When people find out we go to church three times a week they think it’s because someone makes us do it. All this, while when in reality, it’s because we realize the sanctity of the Lord that lives on the inside. Romans 12:9 says, “….Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” We hate sin, because God hates sin. Look at 1 John 3:9, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” If we truly understood that the Lord lives with us and goes wherever we go, we’d be very careful of sinning. This is sanctifying Him in our hearts. We need to be able to express why we love the Lord and live for Him, always having a defense to everyone who asks. 2 Timothy 2:21-22 says, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” It’s by purifying our lives that we become vessels of honor.
Let’s read John 17:15-19, which says, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” Notice what keeps us from evil, being sanctified by His truth! That means we hold the truth as HOLY! That means we hold ourselves as Holy. That means we glorify God in our body.
Ephesians tells us the heart of the Lord, that He loved us, His church, so much that He gave Himself up for us, as Ephesians 5:26 says, “so that He might sanctify her (the church), having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.” Jesus loved us enough to give up His life to leave us with His truth which would wash us and sanctify us, as separate from profane things, and as consecrated and dedicated to God. Just as Jesus gave His life so that we could be sanctified. We give our lives in order for Him to be sanctified in return.
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.