How can a spouse be sanctified through his wife? Isn't it an individual choice? In line with it, it sounds like children are also made holy in God's eyes through their parents.
1 Corinthians 7:14
ESV - 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
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In general, Christians living in the western world do not have a good grasp of the meaning of holiness. Because we like to reduce everything to manageable concepts, the essential depths of holiness elude us. Holiness is anything but manageable (e.g., Lev. 10:1-3). Holiness is one of those extraordinary qualities, conditions, or forces that bridge the natural and supernatural dimensions. Other examples include spirit and God's Word. When humans are aware of being in the presence of God's holiness (the sacred), they naturally feel fear. Believers respond to holiness with reverence. Whatever our experience of holiness, it is derived from God's nature (Lev. 19:2). We tend to think that holiness is a moral term and miss the fact that it is primarily relational. Whatever belongs to God is holy (the Sabbath, the temple, His people, etc.). The things that belong to God are unique--the Sabbath is not like any other day, the basin in the temple is not like any other basin and, therefore, could not be used for any other purpose than what God commanded. We also underestimate the real influence of holiness in various relational and social settings. For example, the mere presence of ten righteous people living in one city could "sanctify" (in this instance, "preserve from judgment") an entire city along with neighboring cities and villages (Gen. 18:20-33). The lack of those ten people spelled the doom of Sodom and Gomorrah. In a similar way, an unbelieving husband is sanctified by the faith of the believing wife. This does not mean the unbeliever is automatically right with God, but that he has been identified as someone related to someone else who belongs to God. He is not "made holy" in the sense that he is now fully accepted by God, but in so much that he is on God's radar, so to speak. If he is going to make any progress in holiness, it will be up to him to surrender himself to God. Short answer: In the context of 1 Corinthians 7, a believer does not need to divorce an unbelieving spouse, because the marriage is made holy by virtue of the believer's faith. The unbeliever is covered by the believer, so the marriage is acceptable to God. Children of this sort of marriage are also acceptable to God.
To be holy requires US to be holy. It is an action that we MUST take to be holy. God says that we are to come out from among them, and be holy. That requires my personal choice to come out from among them. When God called Abraham, a call to be holy, he was to come out from his father's house and be separate. That still required Abram to "come out" or PHYSICALLY leave Ur. Jesus commands us to guard our hearts, to guard our eyes, to guard our thoughts, to watch what we DO. He also says that only those that obey him will be saved. He says this many times and many ways. Without PHYSICAL obedience, which is FAITH, we cannot be saved. So to be holy we must make the steps to be holy. That is our job. God does not make us holy. HE gives us his Holy Spirit, which then enables this human flesh and will to start to conform to his image. How does one conform? By DOING something! Conform is an action word. Faith is an action!! Faith without works is dead. I will show you my faith BY my works. Abram's faith was made perfect by his works. The cop out in most so called Christiandom is "Well that's being saved by works" This cop out then takes all thought for moral actions OUT of the Bible. That is a lie from the devil. Saved by works is referring to the work of salvation that Christ did on the cross, that WE cannot do. That is the work that is done. The lie then of the devil is that we shouldn't do any works. This is a lie. Eph: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Grace is the act that Christ did, he gave himself for us. Faith is our PHYSICAL obedience to the gospel, the DOING!! Jesus continually said, he SAW their faith. The ACTIONS that people did, he would say, your FAITH has made you whole, or he SAW their faith! Faith is the evidence of things unseen (heb 11), the EVIDENCE! The PHYSICAL evidence of the unseen belief. And in Ephesians above that I just quoted, look at vs 10. We are created in Christ UNTO GOOD WORKS. He created us to do good works. When we are in Christ, we are commanded to DO things. Without which, we will die lost. Holiness is OUR JOB to obtain. If I watch wicked movies, it's my lack of holiness. If I look at porn, it's MY lack of actions, if I drink alcohol, it's MY lack of faith, or actions, that are killing me and leading me away from Christ. Holiness is MY responsibility! Come out from among them, and be ye seperate.... Before the words "come out" there is a word unspoken there that worldly Christians never understand. That word is YOU. YOU come out from among them.... It is OUR JOB to strive for holiness. Christ did the work. We cannot do the cross' work. He's done that. It's not our works of righteousness that saved us. He did. BUT. If we then, cop out, and say that no moral work is required, we've missed the entire point of the entire new testament. In the judgement, the dead will be judged how? By their works. By WHAT THEY DID. Period. We will be judged by what we did. Christ DID the redemptive work. Done. But if WE don't then do our part, he will not accept us. The other lie is that we need to accept Christ as our personal savior. That is not in the Bible. HE needs to accept us. It's the other way around. I don't go to him and say "okay Jesus, you can be my savior now, I accept you..." Sorry, that's a lie perpetrated by the false church. We need to go to him in repentance, and ask to be forgiven. Ask him to accept US! That is completely the opposite of the false teaching of most "Christianity". Our actions, or "faith" is what saves us, by grace. We are saved by grace through faith. Faith is the action that we do, in response to the grace of God. That is what the Bible teaches. If you love me, do what I say, says Jesus. IF, THEN. The Bible is an IF THEN book. If you want eternal life, repent! If you want to live, die! If you want to be saved, abstain. If you want to make it, turn from! Do not touch, do not look, do not lust, flee from, turn from, avoid, keep clean, etc etc etc. The whole new testament is full of these phrases that WE are required to DO! Faith is DOING. Read James 2. Faith is the working of actions required by belief. IF you believe, then do what I say. That is the clear teaching of Jesus. Holiness, is our job. HE is already holy. We are not. Come out from among them and touch not the unclean thing. YOU come out. I need to come out. WE need to come out. Period. That is holiness. Amen. firstname.lastname@example.org
I think we have to stay within the context of the chapter to understand what Paul is meaning. I think it is clear that there is something unique and different about a marriage between two Christians. At most, I believe that Paul is saying that the marriage between the unequally yoked couple is honored by God as just as "valid" a marriage as if it were between two Christians. Based upon Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9, we know that the only thing capable of severing the one flesh covenant is physical adultery. Any Christian spouse that divorces for any reason other than adultery is not permitted to remarry. This is because only adultery can sever the one flesh covenant, and therefore a divorce for any other reason is not seen by God as actually dissolving the marriage. Yet in I Corinthians 7:12-15 we see that in the case of an unequally yoked marriage that Paul allows the believing spouse to not only get a divorce, but be free to remarry IF the unbelieving spouse wants a divorce! This leads us to the assumption that there is a difference between marriage between Christians and non-Christians in the eyes of the Lord. So what I believe Paul means by the one spouse being sanctified is only to mean that in the case of an unequally yoked marriage, that the believing spouse need not worry that God does not honor the marriage, because He does - through the believing spouse. If the unbelieving spouse consents to remain married to the believing spouse, then the believing spouse may have peace that their marriage is valid in the eyes of the Lord.
I look at the sanctification of my husband as if he is living under the same umbrella of protection provided to me by my faith in Christ Jesus. He gets the benefits of the blessings that God bestows on me. In no way do I think my husband is going to heaven because of it or is saved by it. He is simply protected when I am walking in faith with Jesus.
Jesus disciples were sanctified by the word of God and The Holy Spirit through Jesus. The same way it works in the church and the family through a man or a woman of God. We receive holiness through the New Covenant of the Lord Jesus Christ - it's a wonderful gift of God.
The apostle Paul tells the married Christian: “The unbelieving husband is sanctified in relation to his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in relation to the brother; otherwise, your children would really be unclean, but now they are holy.” Through Jehovah’s regard for the Christian, his (or her) marriage relationship with his unbelieving mate is not considered to be defiling. The cleanness of the sanctified one does not sanctify the mate as one of God’s holy ones, but the relationship is clean, honorable. The unbelieving mate has a fine opportunity to receive benefits from observing the Christian course of the believer and may himself be saved. (1Co 7:14-17) Because of the ‘merit’ of the believer, the young children of the union are considered holy, under divine care and protection—not unclean as are children who do not have even one believing parent.
Being 'holy' or 'sanctified' is being set apart in the eyes of God and is a continuing process. In the constant presence of a believing wife, an unbelieving husband can experience the process of being 'made holy' and by the wife's good examples of being a godly woman and (praying always for the unbelieving husband), God would work in the heart of this husband and he would personally accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.. then he has salvation. 'Being made holy' doesn't readily translate to 'salvation' for the Bible is clear that to be 'saved' is an individual choice or action, a turning away from sin and turning to and following Jesus Christ. You may want to check out a link for further readings: www.gotquestions.org/household-salvation.html
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