Sanctification is a term that frequently appears in the Bible, but what does it mean? In simple terms, sanctification-ko523/” title=”What is Sanctification? Understanding the Biblical Concept”>sanctification refers to the process of becoming holy. It is a process that begins at the moment of salvation and continues throughout a believer’s life. The Bible teaches that sanctification is a necessary part of the Christian life, and it is something that every believer should strive for.
The concept of sanctification is rooted in the Old Testament, where it was associated with the temple and the priests who served there. In the New Testament, sanctification is closely tied to salvation and is seen as a work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The Apostle Paul often wrote about sanctification in his letters to the early Christian churches, emphasizing the importance of living a holy life and putting away sinful behaviors.
The biblical meaning of sanctification is a crucial topic for Christians to understand. It is a process that requires effort and discipline, but it is also a work of God’s grace in the life of the believer. By studying what the Bible teaches about sanctification, we can gain a better understanding of what it means to live a holy life and grow closer to God.
What is Sanctification?
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Sanctification is a biblical term that refers to the process of being made holy or set apart for a holy purpose. It is a work of God that begins at the moment of salvation and continues throughout the Christian life. There are two aspects of sanctification: positional sanctification and progressive sanctification.
Positional sanctification refers to the believer’s standing before God as a result of being justified by faith in Jesus Christ. When a person places their faith in Christ, they are declared righteous by God and are positionally sanctified. This means that they are set apart as holy and are seen as blameless in God’s sight. This is not based on their own merit or good works, but on the finished work of Christ on the cross.
Progressive sanctification refers to the ongoing process of being made holy in the Christian life. This is a work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer as they strive to live a life that is pleasing to God. It involves the believer’s cooperation with the Holy Spirit as they seek to put to death the power of sin in their lives and grow in Christlikeness.
The process of progressive sanctification involves reading and obeying the Word of God, giving ourselves to prayer, suffering, and being transformed by the renewing of our minds. It is a lifelong pursuit that requires the believer to be consecrated for God’s special use and to live a life of obedience and faith.
In summary, sanctification is a vital part of the Christian life that involves both positional and progressive aspects. It is a work of God in the life of the believer that requires their cooperation and pursuit of holiness. As we strive to be sanctified, we can experience the joy, peace, and love that comes from being in union with Christ and living a life that is pleasing to Him.
Positional sanctification refers to the believer’s status as holy and set apart for God through faith in Jesus Christ. This is a one-time event that occurs at the moment of salvation and is not dependent on the believer’s actions or behavior.
The concept of positional sanctification is rooted in the idea of being “in Christ.” When a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ, they are united with Him and become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). This new position in Christ includes being set apart and holy, as Christ is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).
The apostle Paul frequently emphasizes the believer’s position in Christ and their status as holy and set apart. In 1 Corinthians 1:2, he addresses the church in Corinth as “those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints.” In Ephesians 1:4, he writes that God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
Positional sanctification is not based on the believer’s own efforts or merit, but rather on the finished work of Christ on the cross. Through faith in Christ, believers are forgiven of their sins and made righteous in God’s sight (Romans 3:22-24). This righteousness is imputed to them, meaning it is credited to their account as a gift from God (Romans 4:5).
While positional sanctification is a one-time event, it has ongoing implications for the believer’s life. As they grow in their understanding of their position in Christ, they are better able to resist sin and live a life that is pleasing to God. They are also empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a life of holiness and obedience (Galatians 5:16).
In summary, positional sanctification is the believer’s status as holy and set apart in Christ, based on the finished work of Christ on the cross. It is not dependent on the believer’s own efforts or merit, but rather on faith in Christ. While it is a one-time event, it has ongoing implications for the believer’s life as they grow in their understanding of their position in Christ and are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The Process of Sanctification
Sanctification is a process that begins at the moment of salvation and continues throughout the believer’s life. It is the work of God in the life of the believer to make them more like Christ. The process of sanctification involves the believer cooperating with God in the transformation of their character and behavior.
According to 1 Thessalonians 4:3, sanctification involves abstaining from sexual immorality and living a holy life. In Romans 6:6-7, it is described as the believer being crucified with Christ and no longer being a slave to sin. In Romans 12:2, it is described as the renewing of the mind.
The Role of the Believer
The believer has a responsibility to cooperate with God in the process of sanctification. This involves putting off the old self and putting on the new self, as described in Ephesians 4:22-24. The believer must also make a conscious effort to live in obedience to God’s commands, as described in John 14:15.
The believer must also be willing to submit to the discipline of God, as described in Hebrews 12:5-11. This may involve correction, chastisement, or trials, which are designed to refine and purify the believer’s faith.
The Role of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit plays a vital role in the process of sanctification. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers the believer to live a holy life and to resist temptation. In Galatians 5:16-17, it is described as the Spirit opposing the desires of the flesh.
The Holy Spirit also guides the believer into all truth, as described in John 16:13. This includes guiding the believer in the process of sanctification, revealing areas of sin that need to be addressed, and empowering the believer to overcome those areas of sin.
In summary, progressive sanctification is the ongoing process of the believer being transformed into the image of Christ. It involves the believer cooperating with God, submitting to His discipline, and being empowered by the Holy Spirit.
“Sanctification” is a term used throughout the Bible to describe the divine process by which God sets apart or sanctifies a person or object. The Bible teaches that when a believer is sanctified, his or her life and behavior become pleasing to God.
The Bible first uses the term sanctification when it mentions God setting apart the nation of Israel as his “chosen people” (Deut. 7:6). Throughout the Old Testament, God speaks of His covenant relationship with His people, pointing out His obligation to cleanse them from their sins and purify them for His service (Lev. 20:7-8). The Bible also teaches that physical objects such as the tabernacle and temple were to be set apart as holy to the Lord (Ex. 29:36-37).
In the New Testament, the concept of sanctification is a key element of the believer’s relationship with God. The Bible teaches that believers have been set apart for a new life in Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:11). This involves being freed from the power of sin and living a life dedicated to serving God (Gal. 5:16-26). Furthermore, believers are declared “holy” in the sight of God (Heb. 10:10).
In addition to the individual believer being sanctified, the Bible also mentions a corporate sanctification of the Church (1 Cor. 1:2). Through faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, believers are identified as members of one body and bound together in unity (Eph. 4:3-6).
The goal of sanctification is to make the follower of Christ resemble the one they are learning to follow. As believers grow in their faith and understanding of God’s Word, they can increasingly reflect His image in the way they live and act. Ultimately, the aim is to make one more like Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18).
In summary, the biblical meaning of sanctification is that God sets apart or sanctifies a person or object for His service. This can involve an individual believer being sanctified or a corporate sanctification of the Church. In either situation, the goal is to make the believer more like Jesus and to live in a manner that pleases God.