(Exo 20:5-6) . . . visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Sanctification. It means to be set apart for God’s special purposes. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit in my life whereby I am becoming more like Jesus. (John 3:30; Rom 8:29)
Psychology. It means the science of mind and behavior. It is the study of human behavior and why we act the way we do.
The psychology of sanctification. What do you mean? Isn’t one secular and one sacred? Can these two terms ever fit together? I believe they can, but you have to let me explain.
When you were born you inherited many of your parent’s physical traits. We are a blend of our father’s and mother’s characteristics. We also have behavior traits passed down to us from our parents. Our psychological makeup then is a backdrop provided by our parents and is the foundation for our own distinctive characteristics as we grow and emerge as individuals.
But from a Biblical sense we are divinely informed that we are sinners from the moment of conception. (Psa 51:5) That means when you were born you were seven pounds of sin! (Yeah, you were pretty cute, too!) You inherited this corrupt and fallen and sinful nature from your folks along with your physical and psychological disposition. You are just like your original parents, Adam and Eve. You are also just like your immediate parents in your family tree.
Now with this background there is derived the term “the psychology of sanctification.” This means that we inherited many good traits from our parents that God will dignify by His Spirit and use for His glory. (Pro 22:6) But those sinful traits that we naturally adopted . . . those have to go! But praise the Lord that it’s all going to be a work of God in us!
(1 Pet 1:18-19) knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
(1 Thes 5:23-24) 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. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Don’t be discouraged about who you are. There are many things we want to change about ourselves but let’s let God do the changing! (1 John 3:1) Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! . . .