Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
When we are going to participate in some important event, we always prepare carefully. And more if we have an active participation in it. We try to be clean, well bathed, with our hair well combed, we use a good perfume, we put on our best clothes and we wear shoes that shine clean. We Christians will be participants in the most important event in human history: the triumphal and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ. For this occasion, we must look more impeccable than ever, being completely sanctified.
It is clear that in order to see the Lord, we must go to Him in full dress of holiness. That total and complete purity is impossible to achieve in our corrupt humanity. Self-effort is useless because our nature is sinful and sin is the opposite of holiness. And just as our salvation is received by grace and not by our works, our sanctification needs divine intervention. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 says, may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely.
God has various resources available to bring us to our complete sanctification. In 2 Corinthians 7:1 we read, Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Fear of God does not mean to be afraid of running from Him, but to be afraid of being far from Him. The fear of God is to obey and respect Him, is to recognize His lordship and majesty over our lives. When we submit to God, even the devil flees from us.
In the fear of God, we must put on our side and that means to bend our will and submit to His. Then comes the loving response of God that helps us achieve sanctification. 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. Our sins were made white in the blood of Jesus and, in His name, we are justified and sanctified by the Spirit of God.
The same Holy Spirit who convicts us of sins so that we may repent and be ready to receive grace, acts in the process of our sanctification. In 2 Thessalonians 2:13 we read, But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. Our part in this process is to bring faith, is to believe God that we can overcome obstacles and reach the goal.
We see that sanctification must be of our whole being: and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not to think that we should only have our spirit clean because God is Spirit. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and the holy does not dwell in an unclean or filthy place. Our soul, which includes our emotions and our will, must also be completely decontaminated to receive our Lord and King Jesus Christ in His glorious coming. God bless you.