Sanctification is a central concept in Christian theology that refers to the process of becoming holy or set apart for God’s purposes. While there is a general understanding of what sanctification means, there are different ways in which it is understood and practiced within different Christian traditions. In this article, we will explore three types of sanctification that are commonly recognized within the Charismatic Christian tradition.
The first type of sanctification we will examine is positional sanctification, which refers to the believer’s status as holy and blameless in God’s sight. This type of sanctification is based on the belief that when a person places their faith in Jesus Christ, they are forgiven of their sins and declared righteous before God.
This is not based on any merit or good works of the individual, but solely on the finished work of Christ on the cross. This understanding of sanctification is based on several passages in the New Testament, including 1 Corinthians 6:11 where Paul writes, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
The second type of sanctification is progressive sanctification, which refers to the ongoing process of becoming more like Christ in one’s thoughts, attitudes, and actions. This type of sanctification is based on the belief that while a person is positionally sanctified at the moment of salvation, they still struggle with sin and need to continually grow in their relationship with God.
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This process involves the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life, as well as their own efforts to live according to God’s will. This understanding of sanctification is based on several passages in the New Testament, including 2 Corinthians 3:18 where Paul writes, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
The Three Types of Sanctification
Sanctification is the process of being set apart for God’s purposes and becoming more like Him. There are three types of sanctification that are important for Christians to understand: positional sanctification, experiential sanctification, and ultimate sanctification.
Positional sanctification is the act of being declared righteous by God through faith in Jesus Christ. This happens at the moment of conversion, when a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Through the cross, Jesus paid the penalty of sin and gave believers His perfect standing before God. As Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Experiential sanctification is the ongoing process of becoming more like Christ in our daily lives. This involves the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to overcome the presence of sin and to grow in spiritual maturity. As we surrender to God and His Word, we are transformed and renewed in our minds. Colossians 3:10 says, “And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.”
Ultimate sanctification is the future glorification of believers when they are resurrected and transformed into perfect, sinless beings. This is when believers will be fully delivered from the presence of sin and will be set apart for God’s purposes forever. As Hebrews 10:10 says, “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
In summary, sanctification is a lifetime process that involves both our standing before God and our daily walk with Him. By understanding these three categories of sanctification, believers can have a clearer understanding of God’s purpose for their lives and can strive to live in obedience to Him.
Positional sanctification is the act of being set apart by God at the moment of salvation. This type of sanctification is also known as “positional holiness.” The believer is made holy by the imputed righteousness of Christ, and is therefore set apart from sin and the world.
In 1 Corinthians 1:2, Paul addresses the church at Corinth as those who “have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints.” This verse highlights the fact that positional sanctification is a result of being in Christ. Through His sacrifice on the cross, Christ has made believers holy and set them apart for His purposes.
It is important to note that positional sanctification does not mean that the believer is perfect or sinless. Rather, it means that the believer has been declared holy by God and is being transformed into the image of Christ through progressive sanctification.
As believers, we are called to live a holy life (1 Peter 1:15-16), but this is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is through the Spirit that we are enabled to live a life that is pleasing to God and to resist the temptations of sin.
In summary, positional sanctification is the act of being set apart by God at the moment of salvation. It is a result of being in Christ and is the foundation for progressive sanctification. As believers, we are called to live a holy life, but this is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Experiential sanctification is the process of becoming more like Christ through personal experience and growth in the Christian life. This type of sanctification is also known as progressive sanctification, as it is a gradual process that occurs throughout a believer’s life.
The Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in experiential sanctification, as He empowers believers to live holy lives and grow in their faith. As believers follow Christ and obey His commands, they become more like Him and experience the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
Scripture teaches that experiential sanctification is a process that requires active participation on the part of the believer. In 2 Peter 1:5-8, believers are exhorted to add to their faith virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. This process of growth and transformation requires intentional effort and a willingness to follow Christ.
The book of Hebrews also teaches that experiential sanctification is a process of discipline and training. Hebrews 12:11 states that “no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Experiential sanctification is not a one-time event, but rather a lifelong process of growth and transformation. As believers follow Christ, they will experience the power of the cross and the grace of God, which enables them to become more like Him and live holy lives in a fallen world.
Ultimate sanctification is the final and complete sanctification that believers will experience in the future. It is also known as glorification, which is the ultimate goal of our salvation. This type of sanctification is mentioned in Romans 8:1, which states that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Positional sanctification is the foundation for ultimate sanctification, as it is through our position in Christ that we are able to be made holy and blameless before God. The Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in this process, as He is the one who empowers us to live a holy life and conform to the image of Christ.
Theologians have debated the timing of ultimate sanctification, with some believing that it occurs at the moment of death and others believing that it occurs at the second coming of Christ. Regardless of the timing, all believers will experience ultimate sanctification and be made perfect in Christ.
It is important to note that ultimate sanctification does not mean that we will be without sin in this world, as we are still living in a fallen world and are subject to temptation. However, we are called to obey God and strive for holiness, knowing that ultimate sanctification is our future hope.
In conclusion, ultimate sanctification is the final and complete sanctification that believers will experience in the future. It is through our position in Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit that we are able to be made holy and blameless before God. While we may still struggle with sin in this world, we can have hope in the promise of ultimate sanctification and strive for holiness in our daily lives.
When it comes to our spiritual well-being, many people look to the process of sanctification to improve it. Sanctification can be defined as a process of spiritual purification, or becoming more and more in line with the will of a higher being. It is an important concept in many religions, and comes in different forms. This article examines three different types of sanctification – positional sanctification, progressive sanctification, and eventual sanctification.
Positional sanctification refers to the state of being cleansed and made holy through faith. It is the initial step in becoming sanctified, and it occurs when a person first believes in the higher power or set of beliefs. This is a one-time event that happens once when a person creates an agreement with the higher power.
Progressive sanctification is the next step in the process of sanctification, and it is the ongoing journey towards becoming more holy or more in line with the will of the higher power. It is a continual process, and can include activities like prayer, meditation, and fasting. Progressive sanctification is a type of spiritual growth that leads to becoming more saint-like or closer to the higher power.
The final form of sanctification is eventual sanctification. This is the ultimate goal of sanctification, and it is when a person’s soul is completely purified and they reach a state of perfection. It is a goal that is usually only achieved after death, and it is an ideal that many strive for.
In conclusion, sanctification is a process of spiritual purification that comes in three different forms. Positional sanctification is when a person first believes in the higher power, progressive sanctification is the ongoing journey of becoming more holy, and eventual sanctification is the ultimate goal of becoming perfect and in full communion with the higher power. Understanding these different types of sanctification can help people on their journey to spiritual enlightenment.