What is Sanctification
Sanctification is defined as the setting apart for special use or purpose. It can also be defined as a state of total separation from all types of ungodliness. It is that on-going and lifelong work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer that forms us more and more into the image of Jesus Christ.
The aim is to grow in righteous attitudes and behaviour resulting in Christ-likeness. For this reason, believers are commanded to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), and to “Walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16).
All believers enter into this state of sanctification when they are born of God: But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30). The sanctification mentioned in this verse is a once-for-ever separation of believers unto God.
Sanctification includes the ideas of:
- Separation from all that defiles or prevents the believer from whole-hearted devotion to the person and purposes of God;
- Dedication to God and to living a life of purity before Him in thought, word, and deed;
- Consecration unto service for the Lord.
- Separation from anything contrary to the Word of God, or anything that can hold us back from Gods purpose for our lives. To put it clearly, separation from anything sinful that we had been indulging in prior to being saved
The Necessity of Sanctification
Both the Old and New Testaments teach God is holy in nature. “For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Lev. 11:44-45);[pullquote]For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy Leviticus 1144-45[/pullquote]
When Christians understand Gods holiness, they will understand His hatred of evil. Jehovah of necessity hates sin with a perfect hatred; His whole being reacts against it. “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on wickedness…” (Hab. 1:13).
2. God’s standards are very high for people that call themselves Christians.
His standards for those entering into His presence are even higher. He cannot tolerate sin in his presence. He requires sanctification.
3. Sanctification Is a commandment
The Bible contains many injunctions that require obedience and holiness in Gods people. God said to Abraham, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless” (Gen. 17:1). The Israelites were repeatedly commanded to “… be holy, for I am holy” (Lev. 11:44). The requirement of holiness and obedience to Gods word is not something only for the nation of Israel or only for a former dispensation. It is also the duty of every new covenant-era believer.
4. The scriptures teach that people who habitually engage in wicked behaviour are not Christians.
1 Cor. 6:9-11 ‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 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. Paul says, and such were [past tense] some of you.
5. Christians have been bought with a price, the precious blood of The Son of God.
Therefore, believers are not their own, but belong to Jesus Christ. Rom. 14:8. “Whether we live or die, we are the Lords”. If a person is a Christian, he belongs to Christ and must serve Him with both body and soul in every area of life. The professing Christian does not have the option of serving sin and self.
Author: Oloruntoyin Bakare
Oloruntoyin Bakare is a beloved mother, mentor, Spirit-led preacher and teacher of God’s word. With a doctorate degree in Church Ministry, a member of Association of Christian Theologians. She has a God-ordained mandate to teach the truth of the gospel to the body of Christ with special emphasis on relationships, building and repairing lives.