What is sanctification?
Sanctified = set apart (hagiazo)
New Testament Greek Lexicon
Transliterated Word Hagiazo
to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow
to separate from profane things and dedicate to God
consecrate things to God
dedicate people to God
to cleanse externally
to purify by expiation: free from the guilt of sin
to purify internally by renewing of the soul
NAS Usage - Total: 28 times
hallowed 2, keep (himself) holy 1, sanctified 16, sanctifies 2, sanctify 7
We are set apart for God's holy use & purposes
2 Timothy 2:21
Saint & sanctified are derivatives of the same word
1 Corinthians 2:1-2
In Christ, we are sanctified & set apart for God's purpose & usefulness in His kingdom
What are we sanctified from?
Sin, guilt, sin's consequences, eternity in hell, the power of sin's
slavery on earth, freedom from the entrapments of temptation,
freedom from the ways of the world, deliverance from satan's bondage, a
cure for separation from God (reconciliation)
God cures these problems for us: Solutions
||forgiveness (the Blood of Christ)
|Sin's bondage, slavery & entrapments
||freedom in Christ, satan's bondage is broken through grace, the power of the cross & the Holy Spirit
|Separation from God
||reconciliation & acceptance
||replaced by the kingdom of God & heaven
Two meanings (or kinds) of sanctification
1. Completed judicially in the finished work of Christ &
2. An ongoing process - through grace, the Holy Spirit & God's Word working in us
These are two different things.
We are both sanctified (as a completed act done by God) & being
sanctified (a process of growing & changing to become like Christ)
1 Corinthians 6:11
1st: I am sanctified (the completed work of Christ, done for us)
The finished act of God in our lives (this is what God did in us,
completed by Christ on the cross, not what we do by our efforts)
By bringing us into Christ through salvation we are already sanctified
(set apart) by God, cleansed, forgiven, made holy & set apart to
live for the Lord. This was done through Christ's finished work on
Overcoming satan's lies: You're not sanctified. (You're not saved.
You're not good
enough. You committed a sin. You're rejected. God doesn't
love you. You have failed. You should walk around ashamed,
afraid, paralyzed, unable to be happy or believe that God loves you.)
Justified through Jesus
1 Corinthians 1:30
I AM a child of God
1 John 3:1
We are accepted, loved & joined to be part of the body of Christ: 1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 5:30
How are we sanctified?
By the righteous Judge, declared forgiven (and walk free) by a judicial act of God
Through Christ's Blood
By the cross
We are sanctified in Christ (He did this for us)
I am sanctified through the grace of God
Sanctification (in the sense of forgiven, unmerited justification)
is a status the Lord places upon us. This is who we already
are. Because of what Jesus did for us. Christ is our
Parable: It is like placing a stamp on an envelope. The
postage stamp enables the envelope to go where it could never go on its
own. And the postman (Christ) carries the letter all the way to
its destination (heaven).
Those who believe already ARE sanctified in Christ (forgiven & destined for heaven)
This is not
who we may attain someday to be by our own effort, after 50 years of a lot of struggle, trying to do enough good things
& hyperventilating to attain salvation, or status with God, by works.
Rather than struggling to gain acceptance & grow through lots of sweat &
legalism (works, sweating to make self-improvements, never escaping guilt,
desperately trying to rise above this world's struggle with sin, trying to impress God through religious
2nd: I am being sanctified (a process through grace & the Holy Spirit)
Sanctification is a lifelong process of growing & cooperating with
the Holy Spirit. Being transformed into Christ's image
Growing in our salvation & seeking to live a happy, holy, honorable, fruitful, worshipful, Christ-honoring life
1 Peter 2:2
2 Peter 3:18
This begins through being born of the Spirit (born again)
Continues & grows through encountering God's Presence in prayer,
worship & everyday situations. We are empowered & changed
to be Christlike through the work & in-FILLING of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18, Acts 2:4, Galatians 5:22-23
The gifts of the Spirit also assist us in becoming more Christlike (especially in ministering to others as Jesus did)
1 Corinthians 12
Chosen by God
We are sanctified (set apart for sacred use) because God has called, chosen & saved us to live for His eternal purpose
I am set apart for GOD's purpose
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Examples of holy places, things or people which God sets apart for His sacred use:
Exodus 28:41 Priests
2 Timothy 2:21 God's people
Exodus 29:21 Garments
Exodus 30:10 Altar
Leviticus 27:21 The holy land
Wrong approaches to life which miss sanctification
Two opposite errors which short-circuit salvation and miss understanding (growing in) a sanctified life
A. Error: legalism
A religious distortion of Christianity:
Missing the grace of God for salvation, the legalist departs from understanding the free gift of divine pardon (salvation & sanctification by grace).
Judicial sanctification means we have been declared forgiven &
innocent by God through the cross & Blood of Christ.
Legalists depart away from Christ's offered grace into a system of
attempting self-merited salvation through works.
Try to be good enough to be accepted through our own effort
Religious deeds, ceremonies, tokens, offerings & sacraments
We are sanctified through Christ, not through religious works
Humanly righteous acts are filthy rags, unacceptable to God
B. Error: license (licentiousness)
Living in self-centered, heathenistic, pagan sinful hypocrisy, a fleshly distortion of Christianity:
Missing the process of Christlike sanctification through not
taking obedience to God's Word, repentance & character seriously.
Taking our forgiven status for granted & abusing God's kindness by
deliberately, repeatedly continuing in sinful practices without interest
in repentance or obeying God, without feeling a sense of responsibility
to live true to God's ways.
Not being mindful of God's beautiful grace & love which have been
lavished upon us, then living our lives, out of gratitude, set apart for
God's holy purpose
What is the result of sanctification (the work of God's Spirit & grace in our lives)?
Freedom from the old nature, to live according to a new nature (being Christlike)
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but
Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by
faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Old sin nature: 1 Corinthians 15:22, John 8:44
New nature: John 3:6, Ephesians 1:3-4, Romans 6:18
Those with a new nature are in Christ
To best transition from the old sin nature to the new Christian nature...
Dead to sin
See ourselves as "dead to sin" (bored with & no longer interested in the sinful opportunities of this planet)
What does "dead" mean?
Dead bodies no longer make a move or respond to impulses
A dead cat or animal (or person):
• no longer walks - we no longer want to walk in sin (if we do, we crucify it & walk away or draw near to the Lord)
• no longer moves or responds - we are no longer moved by
alluring attractions. We may feel something or notice, but we
don't let it move us anymore (may see it, but no longer want it
• no longer eats - a dead creature no longer partakes.
Christians, dead to sin, no longer feel hungry to partake of the world's
sin (we no longer hunger to go partake of unhealthy, sin-meals &
snacks multiple times a day). Instead, a born again Christian is
alive to God & longs to partake of His Presence, drink of His Spirit
& eat the Lord's supper, to partake of the food of His Word.
"In Him we live & move & have our being." (A whole new way of living)
The world & satan no longer have the power to force us to sin.
We are free from slavery to lower impulses. We may feel an
impulse at times, but are free to choose what honors God, we walk free
from the addictive pull of sin, free to say No.
If we are dead to sin, this likely means we no longer respond to walk
in the direction of sin. We no longer want to partake of (listen
to, see, touch, experience, hear about, practice) sin. Psalm
1:1-3 We don't sit with, stand in or walk in the way of sinners,
the counsel of the ungodly or the pathway of scornful mockers of God,
His Word, purity or holiness. Sin is no longer cool in our
lives. We want nothing to do with it.
Important avenues which help us cooperate with the Holy Spirit
& grow in a life that's free & chooses a pathway dead to sin:
Draw near to God
Abide in Christ, the Vine
Our goal is Christlikeness
John 17:19 Jesus is our example. Christ is the One Who carries out the work of sanctification in us. We simply follow Jesus & cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Jude 20-21, 24-25
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before
his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – 25 to
the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore!
Abide in the Holy Spirit
Learn to trust & abide in the Holy Spirit. Pray in the Spirit,
cooperate, respond, listen, open to, follow, walk in the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is God's means to grow & be
sanctified. It is God's fruit, manifesting Jesus in us, not our
self-efforts & struggles to do right. We can become more like Christ
through God's power & process. A sanctified person displays growing in the likeness of Christ & the fruit of the Spirit.
Meditate on God's Word day & night
A renewed mind looks at people & the world the way God does. Learn to look at others through God's eyes.
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
When we worship & behold God and spend time in His Presence, we become like Him
We become like those whom we hang around with
"Do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good character."
Embrace the cross. Draw close to Jesus. Live dead to sin. Live for Jesus instead.
Learn to trust & abide in God's grace (not law efforts or self-effort/human works apart from the Holy Spirit).
Grace is God's means to be accepted, forgiven, grow & be
sanctified. It is God's work, not our self-efforts. God's power,
promise & process working in us. Not our willpower or determined
effort. Sanctification is more about surrender than striving.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He
loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive
together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up
with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of
His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
2 Corinthians 3:10
Friendships with other Christians,
fellowship gatherings, small groups, Bible study, Prayer meetings, large
church assemblies, house to house informal gatherings to encourage one
another & spur one another on toward good deeds
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place... 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Become more Christlike (sanctified, set apart to the Lord) even in the midst of trials, hardships, persecutions & tough challenges
Be done with the old ways, ready & willing to grow & change
2 Corinthians 4:16
1 Timothy 4:7
What does holiness (sanctification) look like?
A. Christlikeness (what our lives reflect to others)
Holiness is happening when our lives reflect the image of Christ, love
& the fruit of the Spirit (kind & loving treatment of others,
peaceful, strong faith, consistent character)
1 John 3:1-2
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
God is committed to the process to justify, sanctify us, to conform us beautifully to the image of His Son.
B. Real relationship with God
Obey, serve God, follow His Word, obey His voice
"If you love Me, you will obey My commands."
C. Ministry (overflow)
Love, pray, share God's Word & minister to others
All three of these show our lives are set apart for God's purpose & usefulness
What else does the new nature & life of a sanctified person look like?
Walking according the new nature in Christ...
1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19
2 Corinthians 5:17
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
2 Corinthians 5:21
1 Thessalonians 5:5
1 Peter 1:23
1 John 5:4
1 John 5:18
Christian believers are growing, maturing saints (set apart to God, growing by grace)
2 Peter 3:18
2 Corinthians 10:15
Exodus 28:41, 29:21, 30:10, Leviticus 27:21
The new nature we have in Christ gives us the power, strength &
motivation to choose: "No" when sin or satan intrude into our lives. We can be free through the power of GRACE...
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12
instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live
sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the
blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior,
Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every
lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession,
zealous for good deeds.
Psalm 1:1-3 describes a person dead to sin
No longer love the world
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the
world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the
world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful
pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The
world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will
of God lives forever.
The old sin-loving nature died with Christ on the cross
We cooperate & seek the Lord (as our part), but
Who does this work of grace to sanctify us?
Who insures the completion of this sanctifying work?
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling (falling), and to make
you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the
only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty,
dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
What does the future of a sanctified person look like?
Future glorification through Jesus
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Sanctification leads to:
• Eternity with God!
• Salvation with Christ forever in heaven!
• A life transformed into Jesus' beautiful image
• Glorifying God forever!
Both with how we lived on earth & as His purchased treasure, the
crown upon Christ, the crowning achievement of His Cross, belonging to
Him forever in heaven!
Both kinds of sanctification are made complete when our lives are saved
& transformed into the Lord's image forever in heaven. Wow!
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know
how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with
groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows
what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the [j]saints
according to the will of God.
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to
those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son,
so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these
whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also
justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
Predestined, called, justified, glorified means:
God planned this process for you before you were born (or born again).
He called you to Himself.
Jesus paid everything on the cross so you could be forgiven & justified, totally through grace & His great love!
He who began this work will carry it on to completion until you are
safely in His arms forever in heaven. Nothing can ever separate
you from His love! Nothing. Ever. Someday, you will be
given a glorified body, brought close to the eternal gates. And enter into eternal glory with Christ forever in heaven.
This glorification is the end result. And, ultimately, God's purpose for sanctification.
Now: God is the God of second chances & new beginnings.
How do we get back up & keep going when we have made a mistake?
Share the verse which means the most to you about how you overcome
battles with temptation? How do you recover from a mistake?
Get back up on your feet. And receive a fresh start from the
Lord? And strengthen your resolve to live for God with
Later: Look back at the website during the week. And
continue to look up verses listed here. Meditate on God's Word (on this & many other subjects), 7
days a week, both day & night. Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:1-3