What is meant by the word “sanctification”?
Suggested Daily Reading: Romans 12:2 and Colossians 3:9-10
The root word in sanctification is sanctify. To sanctify is to make holy, to dedicate to God, to live according to God’s will and Word.
Sanctification flows out from regeneration. When the Holy Spirit plants new spiritual life in a spiritually dead sinner’s heart (regeneration), He also works conversion and sanctification.
Sanctification is produced by conversion. To convert is to change from one thing to another. It refers to changing one’s heart desire to live for self and sin to live for God. The results of conversion are seen a person’s life. Sanctification refers to these changes, the results from, or the fruits of conversion.
Sanctification is produced by a turning away from living for self (placing my will, my demands, my desires, my honor, etc. as first and most important in my life) and a turning toward God (placing God’s will, God’s demands, God’s desires, God’s honor, etc. as first and most important in my life).
Picture holding a basketball in your hand and turning it. When the ball turns, in the same turning it turns away from something on one side and turns toward something else on the opposite side. The results from turning away from selfishness, sin, worldliness and Satan and turning toward God is sanctification. Growing in sanctification is to live more out of love to God and others, and less out of love for self and sin.
As sinful people, we need both justification (to have our debt of sin paid, to be forgiven and pardoned) and sanctification (to be washed and cleansed from the pollution of sin; to live more holy). These truths are pictured for us in the Old Testament tabernacle and temple by the brass altar of burnt offerings and brass laver in the courtyard and in the New Testament by that which flowed from Jesus’ pierced side. How does the blood picture the price being paid for the guilt and pardon of sin, and the water the washing from the pollution and filth of sin?
If a person claims to be saved by Jesus and to love Him, and yet is not interested in resisting sin and following Jesus’ loving commands, why is this a contradiction? What would you think of a guy who claimed he loved a girl but he was clearly and continually not interested in pleasing her, and it did not bother him to do that which displeased her? How do we know what pleases and displeases Jesus? What does Jesus teach about this in John 14:21? Do you love Jesus?