Sanctification
by
Rev. Aurelio M. Belardo, Ph.D.

Sanctification means to consecrate, to separate from the world, to be set apart from sin, to live in the truth, living in the word living by faith.

As Jesus prayed for his disciples he set himself apart from the world so that his disciples could also be sanctified. Jn 17:19
For them I sanctify myself that they too be sanctified.

Only through sanctification can we achieve an intimate fellowship with God. We must set ourselves apart form sin, for we can not have God's blessings, presence and inheritance at the same time participate in the sinful ways of the world.

Acts 20:32
Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance. Among all those who are sanctified.

The author Luke writes of Jesus' divine commission to Paul in the book of Acts. Paul was to begin his ministry to form and solidify the church. He was sent by Christ Jesus to rescue the people and lead them from darkness.

Acts 26:18
I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.

In the book of Romans Paul writes of sanctification by the Holy Spirit.

Ro 15:16
To be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the Gospel of God so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Paul was asked to provide instructions to the church at Corinth on various issues. The church was undergoing a shifting in following of Christ Jesus. Some declared to follow Paul, some to follow Appolos others Cephas

Paul needed to encourage the followers of Christ Jesus, so in his salutation he identifies and encourages the faithful following of Jesus.

1Cor 1:2
To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of Jesus Christ-Their Lord and ours.

One of the issues Paul addresses in this first letter is the issue of the inheritance of the Kingdom of God. Paul reminds the people of Corinth of where they were and that they were separated from wickedness and worldly sin.

1 Cor 9:11
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.

God uses a myriad of means to sanctify us. All we have to do is knock, seek, and ask.

In the seventh chapter of his first letter to the church at Corinth Paul describes how God uses man's belief to sanctify each other in marriage

1Cor 7:14
For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband . Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is , they are holy.

Because the husband or wife is a believer, he/she may have a special influence so that the spouse is led to accept Christ.

1Pe 3:1-2
Wives in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that if any of them do not believe the word , they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverance of your lives.

Paul was forced by persecution to leave Thessalonica. His young converts received only minimal instruction about the Christian life due to his abrupt departure. When Paul learned about their present circumstances from Timothy, he wrote this letter to express his joy in their steadfast faith and perseverance in the midst of persecution. To provide them further instruction in holiness and godly living, and to clarify certain beliefs, especially concerning the status of believers who die before Christ's return.

In chapter four of this letter Paul describes how the followers of Jesus should live to please God.

Sexual immorality was common place and acceptable behavior in Thessalonian society. Paul wrote of God's will and avoidance of sexual immorality in the third verse.

1Th 4:3
It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.

It is unclear who the author of the book of Hebrews was. His purpose in writing it, however is clear.

Hebrews was written primarily to Jewish Christians who were undergoing persecution and discouragement. The writer strives to strengthen their faith in Christ by carefully explaining the superiority and finality of God's revelation and redemption in Jesus Christ.

In Chapter ten the writer calls for unity and describes the punishment that they have endured.

Heb 10:29
How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him.

By now it should be clear that it is God's will that we be sanctified (consecrated, seperated from worldly sin), that this can be accomplished through our faith in the truth of Christ Jesus, that the Holy Spirit will sanctify us, as it is our inheritance given to us by God through the blood of the covenant.

HEAVENLY FATHER I PRAY THAT YOU SEND THE HOLY SPIRIT TO ME, THAT HE ARM ME WITH FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS AND THAT I MAY CLAIM MY INHERITANCE FROM THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT, AND BE SANCTIFIED IN THE TRUTH. THIS I ASK IN JESUS' PRECIOUS NAME

AMEN



copyright 2002 Rev. Aurelio M. Belardo, Ph.D.
Used by permission.