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Written by David Montgomery   

Of Sanctification


I call sanctification the “Cecile B. De Mill” doctrine. You know the guy who did “The Ten Commandments” and other large-scale epic type movies. Well, sanctification is a doctrine of epic proportions. It is huge, long and expansive. It's a collage of all the doctrines we've discussed so far and takes a piece out of a few others to boot. And to complicate things even more, sanctification is one of the few doctrines that has both an eternal and a timely application. Confused? Of course you are! So am I and I'm the guy trying to explain the thing.

To sanctify means dedicate something to a holy use. Now, if something is to be used for a holy purpose then it needs to be very, very, very clean. For instance, if the President of the United States is coming over to your house for supper and he requested that you cook your famous beef stroganoff...are you going to serve that food to him in a dirty pan? Uh…no; you are going to get out your best serving dish and ensure that it is clean and shined to the max.

The above scenario is a good picture of sanctification. We are the serving dish that was totally cleaned and shined to the max. And why were we cleaned up you wonder? Because we’re going to live in heaven someday and God doesn’t want dirty, filthy, stinking, low-down, bush-whacking bodies and souls getting His Paradise all messed up. Oh no, He’s gonna clean us up by giving us the King of All Baths and making it so that we stay clean. This is the eternal phase of sanctification: it is where God cleanses us from our sins and makes us fit subjects for heaven.

Now, as we live in this world, we should want to avoid the places where there’s a lot sinning going on. We should want to cut out bad influences so we can live a godlier life. We don’t wanna watch that YouTube crud, nor listen to that music glorifying sex and violence, and we don’t want to hang around folks that cuss all the time. We want to separate ourselves from all that, right? Well, we should, shouldn’t we? Especially when we consider what God through Jesus has done for us. And when that realization hits, we should want to dedicate our lives to a noble and holy purpose. This is the timely phase of sanctification: it is where we set ourselves apart from immorality and seek to serve the Lord as best we can.

So you see, the doctrine of Sanctification can be tricky. There are Scriptures that says that God sanctifies us and there are others that tell us that we do the sanctifying. What up with this? I shall try to show you the “what up” in breaking it down into nice, simple and easy to understand categories with supporting scriptures. You can thank me later or you can thank me now. My favorite meal is beef stroganoff, by the way.

Sanctification occurs(ed):

#1. Before the world began: also known as Election

Jude 1:1, “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:”


#2. On the Cross: also known as Redemption and Atonement

1Corinthians 1:2, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:”

Hebrews 13:12, “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”

Hebrews 2:11, “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,”

Hebrews 10:10,14 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”


#3. When we are born again: also known as Regeneration or “The Big Bath”

1Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Ephesians 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”]

1Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”


#4. In our lives: also known as Personal Sanctification (lots and lots of these with various applications)

Honoring the Lord: 1Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”

Eating animals is ok: 1Timothy 5:4-5, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

Living a moral life: 2Timothy 2:21, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”


#5. On the Last Day: also known as Resurrection

1Corinthians 13:51-52, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”


I could supply several dozen more scriptures and could break the categories down into sub categories, but this should suffice. Basically, Sanctification is the process where we have been cleansed from sin and set apart for a really good use, and we should strive to live worthy of that noble calling. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail; but one thing should keep us going: our eternal sanctification is not hinged (or dependent) upon our personal sanctification. IOW, Eternal Paradise is not given because we lived such a godly life. The simple fact is: we can never live godly until we have been made godly, and when we are made godly then we should act godly. Like my mother used to say, “You gotta brain son, use it!” or she would say this, “You say you’re a man, well act like it!” Oh, she was tough y’all and still is. She gives it to her grandkids now.

Thank you,
David Montgomery
Kiddush (Hebrew: קידוש, literally, "sanctification") is a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat or a Jewish holiday. This is a "Kiddush Cup" which has been set apart for a special and holy use. Isn't this a lovely cup? See what sanctification does? Nice.
Last Updated ( Friday, 03 April 2009 )
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