Monday, April 1, 2013


This truth of Scripture must not be confused with justification, though this is often the case. As we learned in an earlier “thought for the day,” justification is totally a work of God by which He declares the believing sinner righteous before Him. It describes the person who trusts Christ alone as the One who died in his place and paid his debt. The believing sinner is justified at the same instant he/she is born again, becomes a child of God and is robed in the righteousness of Christ.

 Sanctification means the child of God is set apart as God’s peculiar possession at the time of salvation. It describes the believer’s position before God (1 Cor. 1:30; 6:11). The term sanctification in Scripture also describes how the child of God lives his/her Christian life, In other words, sanctification is intended by God to be progressive (John 17:16; 2 Cor. 7:1). That is, believers are called upon to continually set themselves apart from sin. God expects this of us as His children, and we are enabled to live a life pleasing to God by the enablement of the Holy Spirit. We will never reach perfection in this life, but we can and should be growing in our faith, setting ourselves apart from sin as God’s children.

There is also a third way in which Scripture uses the word sanctify or sanctification. It has been described as perfect sanctification (1 Thess. 3:12-13). We will never reach this goal until we see the Lord. However, we can and should mature in God’s marvelous grace while we await the day when we will be completely and finally set apart eternally for His glory.