Grace + Forgiveness

What is sanctification?

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. Romans 6:19

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Sanctification is the lifelong process where God works with us to make us more like Jesus in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions.

Sanctification is an unfamiliar word, but it’s been an important one to Christians for a long time. The word sanctification comes from the Latin root sanctus, which means holy. Simply put, it means: the process of becoming holy.

Christians have always referred to salvation as the great act of God where he rescues us from our sin and brokenness. But within salvation, which is the all-encompassing work of God, the Bible also speaks of justification, sanctification, and glorification.

Today, we’re focusing on sanctification. But let’s take a minute to look at the bigger picture. Justification is about the initial moment of salvation when we confess Jesus as Lord. In this moment, God justifies us—that is, he declares that we are right with God. 

Glorification is about the ultimate state of Christians when Jesus returns.

But in-between our initial justification and final glorification is God’s work of sanctification in our lives. In between being made right with God and ultimately being made perfect in the future, the Spirit is at work in our everyday lives to make us more like Jesus. As we commit ourselves to prayer, to worship, to scripture reading, to church, and to service, we are being sanctified by God. Through these actions prompted by our relationship with God, we are becoming holy.

While it may seem arrogant to say that you are becoming holy,  God says that it is a reality. Sanctification is not about what we do by or for ourselves. It’s about God sending his Spirit to live inside of us and to make us more like Jesus. To make us holy.

Spend some time today praying and asking God through his Spirit to make you more like Jesus.

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