CONTEXT: Overall as Paul’s letter go this one is pretty upbeat. Paul in the beginning chapters (1-3) makes a case for why he has desired but been unable to visit them. He commends them for their faithfulness. The remainder of the book is about encouragement, faith, and hope in anticipation of the Lord’s return. Matthew Henry comments specifically about Chapter Two as follows: In this chapter the apostle puts the Thessalonians in mind of the manner of his preaching among them (v. 1-6). Then of the manner of his conversation among them (v. 7-12). Afterwards of the success of his ministry, with the effects both on himself and on them (v. 13-16), and then apologizes for his absence (v. 17-20).
13For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
This verse, especially the final phrase sums up the theological doctrine of Sanctification of the Spirit. In its simplest terms sanctification means to be “set apart” so biblically we are being sanctified or set apart for God’s use.
Sanctification is a process, in fact it comes near the end of the Order of Salvation (see God Ordained Below). We come into this world as sinners and although we are forgiven our sin by the Blood of Christ, our sin nature does not disappear, it must be sanctified. reading J.C. Ryle’s quote above makes it apparent that we must be on constant guard against sin.
It is the Holy Spirit’s “work” is to sanctify us, that is to set us apart and make Holy, believers. There is no magic formula, no “special” prayer it is all in the Book. While some try and twist scripture to make it say that only a few folks are baptized by the Holy Spirit, truth is all TRUE BELIEVERS have the Holy Spirit indwelling them.
Instead of me babbling further, I offer the following: THE HOLY SPIRIT, An Experimental and Practical View by Octavius Winslow, known as The Pilgrims Companion, in written and oral form.
Sanctification FSM post
GOD ORDAINED FSM Post
Free Grace Broadcaster 215 – Sanctification – 10 Article on Sanctification