Close button
The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

Born again – Part 24


Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

What Exactly Is Sanctification? Contd.
True sanctification requires that believers maintain intimate communion with Christ (see John 15:4), engage in fellowship with believers (Eph 4:15-16), devote themselves to prayer (Mat 6:5-13; Col 4:2) obey God’s Word (John 17:17), be sensitive to God’s presence and care (Mat 6:25-34), love righteousness and hate wickedness (Heb 1:9), put sin to death (Rom 6), submit to God’s discipline (Heb 12:5-11), continue to obey, and be filled with the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:14; Eph 5:18).

• In the NT, sanctification is not pictured as a slow process of forsaking sin little by little. Rather, it is presented as a definitive act by which the believer by grace is set free from Satan’s bondage and makes a clear break with sin in order to live for God (Rom 6:18; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 2:4-6; Col 3:1-3). At the same time, however, sanctification is described as a lifelong process by which we continue to put to death the misdeeds of the body (Rom 8:1-17), are progressively transformed into Christ’s likeness (2 Cor 3:18), grow in grace (2 Pet 3:18), and exercise a greater love for God and others (Mat 22:37-39; 1 John 4:7-8,11,20-21).


• Is Regeneration the same as Baptism in the Holy Spirit?
Key verses
—Read John 20:19-22. Jesus appears to the Disciples behind Locked Doors

On the day of Jesus resurrection
“And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (Jn 20:22)
—Read Acts 1:4-8. The promised Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Before Jesus ascends to heaven
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
The Regeneration of the Disciples
“And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (Jn 20:22)

There is life in the breath of God. Man was created but did not come alive until God breathed into him the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). God’s first breath made man different from all other forms of creation. Now, through the breath of Jesus, God imparted eternal, spiritual life. With this inbreathing came the power to do God’s Will on earth.


The impartation of the Holy Spirit by Jesus to His disciples on resurrection day (Jn 20:22) was not the baptism in the Spirit, as experienced at Pentecost (Acts 1:5; 2:4). It was rather the disciples’ initial new covenant experience of the regenerating presence of the Holy Spirit and the impartation of new life from the risen Christ. (1) During Jesus’ last discourse with His disciples before His trial and crucifixion, He promised them that they would receive the Holy Spirit as the One that would regenerate them: “He dwells with you, and will be in you” (Jn 14:17). Jesus now fulfils that promise. (2) That John 20:22 refers to regeneration can be inferred from the phrase, “he breathed on them.” Just as God breathed into the nostrils of physical man the breath of life and he became a living being (Gen 2:7), so Jesus now breathed on the disciples spiritually and they became a new creation in the new covenant sense.

Through His resurrection, Jesus became a “quickening [life-giving] spirit” (1 Cor 15:45). (3) The phrase “Receive the Holy Spirit” establishes that the Spirit, at that historical moment, entered and began to live in the disciples. The Holy Spirit was given to regenerate them, to make them new creatures in Christ (cf. 2 Cor 5:17). Mobile: +234 803 344 6614; +234 808 123 7987


Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

No comments yet