Seeking Sanctification in Others

Humility is one of the most important characteristics for us as Christians. For Jesus Himself says “I am meek and lowly in heart” and Jesus, in the greatest act of humility “emptied Himself and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” [Phil 2:7-8] Jesus has given us the ultimate example of humility by completely emptying Himself and obeying The Father. Likewise, we are to empty ourselves of self and obey Jesus, giving our lives up for Him to live through. Jesus Himself says,

"But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." [Mt 20:25-28]

One of the aspects of humility is seeking not our own, but others’. It is to seek the welfare of others and their spiritual good. Paul says,

"But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's." [Phil 2:19-21]

From this passage, we can see by implication that to seek Jesus Christ’s instead of our own, we must care for the state of others. Look at a passage in Zechariah that shows us this visually:

"Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by." [Zech 3:3-5]

Notice what Zechariah says, “let them set a fair mitre upon his head.” When we see The LORD sanctifying and making our brethren glorious, what is our reaction? Is it one of joy and thanksgiving or is it one of bitterness, jealousy, or apathy? We should be like Zechariah, who sought to make his brother more glorious. Zechariah saw The Lord’s work in Johsua’s life and asked for even more beauty to be bestowed upon him, even more sanctification. We ought to be doing the same, “labouring fervently” in prayer that our brothers would “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

Paul often prayed and thanked God for his brethren. Below are two examples from Ephesians,

"Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power…" [Eph 1:15-19]

"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." [Eph 3:14-19]


When we see the working of God in a fellow-believer’s life, it should not provoke us to jealousy or bitterness; we should not be wishing that one thing was happening in our life, or that God had showed us that first so we could get glory. No, but our reaction should be pure and full of love: we should praise and thank God for His working in others’ lives, and ask Him to work in them even more. If that is what we truly desire in our own lives, then why would we not desire it for others as well?

One thought on “Seeking Sanctification in Others

  1. Pingback: Desiring the Best for Others – Bright And Morning Star

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