Here’s a good one... a fifty-cent word worthy of our exploration and examination.
The English word sanctification comes from the Latin sanctificatio, meaning the act or process of making something or someone holy or consecrated.
The Old Testament priest was sanctified.
Now remember, the priest was a regular guy. He put his britches on one leg at a time, just like us! And just like every other regular guy, he wasn’t holy. But God made a way!
During this prescribed process, the priest was cleansed, clothed, anointed with oil, and made ready to stand and serve in the presence of a Holy God. (Exodus 30:30-32; 40:12-15)
In the New Testament, priests aren’t just those from the tribe of Levi or descendants of Aaron. Every born-again believer is called a priest. (I Peter 2:9) And every born-again believer has been sanctified... cleansed, clothed, anointed and made ready to stand before our Holy God!
Now, in the New Testament, sanctification is seen as a past, present and future reality.
Because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross, “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11, ESV)
“It is finished!” The believer has been sanctified! That’s the past reality.
New Testament sanctification is also seen as a continuing process, a present reality. We continually strive toward holiness and sanctification. (I Thessalonians 4:3-4; Hebrews 12:14) It’s commanded... be holy! Be sanctified! That’s a battle for every day.
Lastly, sanctification is also seen as a future reality. In the sweet-by-and-by, believers will be blameless and holy in God’s presence. (I Thessalonians 3:11-13) We’ll be fully sanctified and prepared to serve our Holy God! ... I’m ready! Let’s go!
I thank the Lord, because I have been...
I seek the Lord, because I am being...
I praise the Lord, because I will be... sanctified!