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When we say the unbelieving wife/husband is sanctified by the believers salvation and faith,what exactly does that mean?

Most of you know by know by now my situation with my wife. If you don't read my latest discussion on "should a nonbelievers wife.keep a believers husband from doing the lords will". Ok So anyway you read the title , what exactly does this mean. If your spouse never becomes saved and shes sanctified by the believer what happens. Does God judge her/his heart? Does God's grace set her/his free from sin. Does he/she go to Hell for never accepting the truth and with that not doing anything on this earth for His purpose. I hear this question/answer alot. But it really never surfices my Spirit to where I'm content with that answer. Or do you think it's one of those questions were not yet suppose to know, because we must pray/fast/and fight for his/her soul?

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Hi Joe Gil,
To understand this passage we must first look at what it is not saying. It is not saying that the unbelieving partner will automatically become a Christian by remaining together.

The unbelieving husband or wife is not personally made holy, nor do the children of a believer, have personal holiness transmitted to them by virtue of their being born into this family.

Sanctification, as spoken of here, means something else besides personal holiness being given to the Unbeliever. It is actually referring to the marriage that is sanctified by God.

The food we eat is sanctified when we offer thanks to God for it and pray his blessing upon it. 1Ti 4:4-5 That food does not undergo any change except it has been sanctified by a Believers prayer.

One Believing member of a household brings a sanctifying influence to the household and it is the marriage itself that has been sanctified by the ordinance of God

The marriage, a procedure that has been ordained by God, remains sanctified because of the Believing partner. Therefore the entire family live under this sanctified blessing, that is influenced by the Believer. Should the Believer depart, then the sanctification of the household will no longer exist. Should the Unbeliever depart the Unbeliever will no longer be sanctified under the sanctifying influence of the Believer

The unbelieving partner may continue living with the believing partner providing he or she is pleased to live together. The hope is, the possibility, or the probability, that the unbelieving party might be converted by the example and entreaties of the other.

I Trust this helps…… Your Friend in Christ - Ron
I believe that this is an imperative question that we need to seek the answer for here and now. It deals with the salvation of our loved one and how we deal with them regarding their future. If we get it wrong we will deal with them incorrectly.

Your question from the text found in 1 Corinthians 7:14-15 brings up three other questions that I will seek to address and in doing so hope to answer your base question. The three questions are “What type of sanctification is Paul referring to? What is its purpose? Do we have biblical examples to draw from?”

What type of sanctification is this? Is Paul referring to a holy eternal sanctification that brings the filling of the Holy Spirit and His empowerment to us that we may live for Christ or is it a type of sanctification that was a part of O.T. preparation for worship and temporal cleansing? Hebrews 9:22 gives us an important clue. Without the shedding of the blood there is no cleansing, or forgiveness. We know that the O.T. operation required the act be repeated again and again. Jesus, on the other hand, after His blood was shed on the cross sat down at the right hand of the Father and no further sacrifice is required. The effect of Jesus’ sacrifice is eternal, but do not affect an individual, unless they accept Him. This rule is non-negotiable. There are no other alternative applications, except personal application of the blood (Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:9). Therefore Paul cannot be teaching that through the belief of one’s spouse the unbelieving spouse is saved. In fact he says just the opposite in the next two verses following our text (1 Cor. 7:15-16). Let me give a further example. The O.T. priest was able to enter the sanctuary after they went through a ceremonial cleansing that cleansed the outer person, but that did not change the inner person (Heb 9:11-14). Their action did not bring salvation, only belief in Christ can do that, and only once a person is saved can they experience the sanctification that brings the filling and power of the Hoy Spirit.

What is the purpose? This type of sanctification that does not require salvation is for the benefit of the marriage and the children. Paul clearly states the fact regarding the children in verse 15. This too, does not mean that the children are eternally saved, but are set apart for God as little ones and acceptable to Him through the marriage of their parents. Therefore, the sanctification of the unbelieving spouse is for the benefit of the marriage. A ceremonial cleansing that allows God’s presence and power to operate in the marriage and in the lives of the children in a manner that recognizes them all as cleansed, yet not eternally cleansed or saved. Understanding this difference helps us to realize the urgency regarding our spouse and children if they have not accepted Jesus. We love them and care for them, but our hearts desire is that they come under the blood of Christ and are saved eternally, not just cleansed ceremonially.

Do we have any biblical examples? There are two that I will point out. The first is found in John 17:17-19. Jesus sanctified Himself in order that we, believers in Christ, may truly be sanctified. The offer is eternal and irrevocable. The condition of the offer is that one becomes a believer in Christ first. He prepared everything we need, makes the offer and loves everyone, saved or unsaved, waiting for those who will accept the offer. The offer does not automatically cover everyone. Jesus is willing to wait patiently while encouraging people to receive the free gift of salvation. The decision is theirs; the offer is there for the receiving. The second example is found in Ephesians 5:25-32. The principle here is the same. The offer is there and Jesus lovingly continues to extend the offer to everyone. In verse 28 we are admonished to love are spouse as oneself. The love we extend, the hope we share and the prayers we offer are to be without end. Our desire is their salvation. At the same time, like Christ, we must realize it is their right to accept or refuse. Their refusal does not mean we are to stop loving them anymore than Jesus stops loving anyone.

Recap: This type of sanctification is ceremonial and for the benefit of the marriage and the children. It is not the same as the sanctification one experiences after salvation. God has put into place a way for the believer to live and love the unbeliever in the confines of marriage. There are warnings against a believer marrying an unbeliever, but often one comes to Christ during the marriage. God is showing His grace and mercy once again as He leaves no issue without an answer when we seek His wisdom and guidance.

Hope this is of help.
Bless you brother Joe:

Your last question begs to be answered.

...Yes, yes and yes, pray, fast and fight for her soul. There is a way that you must go because of faithfulness to the Lord. All you do, let it be as unto the Lord. Never do anything as pleasing men, but do all for the Lord, and for HIS glory. Only in this way, can your heart be kept at peace, and only in this way can you honor HIM and bring forth fruit.

The integrity of your own heart is your most sacred charge. Guard this with utmost care.

(1 Cor. 10:31b, whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.)
That is exactly what I thought but was not sure, now I know that i'm not to carry the burden of anothers salvation. It is hard though alot of times, knowing that she is my wife, and may not come to Christ in my lifetime. If you sense resentment it's most likely from the persecution I recieve from her, and thats the hard part to bear. Loving someone so much yet being persecuted for loving and putting God first in my life.. I will say your post is what I needed to hear to understand my part in this marriage...Thank you
Brother UnnamedForNow,

You have a kind heart! I honour you for your faithfulness and wisdom here in these discussions! Thank you!

You have been a true blessing to many! May the Lord continue to bless you in your ministry!

Your sister in Christ!
Right on BehindBlueEyes. Amen to putting God first. I believe that Joe's heart is definitely in agreement with that, yet it is not easy to walk it out.

Joe, Lasting joy is only in communion with your Heavenly Father. Fear every voice that calls you to partake of the world. You are IN the world, but not OF it. May the Lord give you clarity and discernment to keep this distinction clear. As you love the Lord, HIS love will shine through you.

I was just wondering...How old is your son? Could he come with you to Church?

In HIS Service
Hello MaryAnn,

Elijah is 4.5 i bring him to church all the time, I will raise him with a stern rod of God. God knows elijah will not bring this generational curse of non believeing to pass. Blessings
Awesome! Bless you Brother.


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