The word “sanctification” is translated with different shades of meaning, but it carries the principle thought of separation and setting apart for a specific use. Definitions: “to separate from a common condition or use: dedicated; hallowed; pure; righteous; ceremonially or morally; to separate; consecrate; cleanse; purify; sanctify/ to regard or reverence as holy.” From the same word we get the word sanctuary.
I. What Sanctification Is Not.
It is not a second work of grace so as to bring perfection and sinlessness to the body.
“Forgive us our sins” (Luke 11:4). This is a prayer for Christians. The Corinthian church was sanctified, but not perfect (I Corinthians 3:3; 5:1). “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves” (I John 1:8). “I find then a law that when I would do good evil is present” (Romans 7:21).
II. Use Of The Word In The Bible.
1. A day may be sanctified. “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work” (Genesis 2:3).
2. God may be sanctified. “Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread” (Isaiah 8:13).
“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” (Numbers 20:12).
“And for their sakes I sanctify myself” (John 17:19).
3. People may sanctify other people.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes” (Exodus 19:10).
4. People may sanctify themselves (Joshua 3:5).
5. Material things may be sanctified (Leviticus 8:10).
III. What Sanctification Means To Us Today.
1. We are sanctified when we are born again. Jesus’ blood is the foundation of it (Hebrews 9:13,14). We are made fit for service to the living God by this sanctification.
Set apart by God (I John 3:9; Ephesians 1:13).
2. Jesus was made sanctification for us and He IS our sanctification (I Corinthians 1:30).
3. We sanctify our lives, our prayers and our bodies to God (Romans 12:1,2; I Timothy 4:4,5).
4. We sanctify our lives daily (Philippians 2:12).
5. It is God’s will that we sanctify our lives to Him (I Thessalonians 4:3,4). Paul tells how this is done in I Corinthians 9:27. Many lives are fuined because of lack of self-sanctification.
6. The Christian’s sanctification should be progressive. “But the path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2).
IV. How We May Know That We Are Sanctifying Ourselves To God.
By the Word of God. “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The word “sanctification” suggests self-denial, prayer and service.
V. The Unsaved Cannot Sanctify Himself.
Sanctification is a work of God in the heart (II Thessalonians 2:13). The soul is completely sanctified in regeneration (Titus 3:5).