Understanding Sanctification


Dr. Frank W.R. Benoit

Understanding Sanctification –    Mar. 13, 2016      Frank W.R. Benoit

Introduction – Confusion exists about sanctification, especially when it is mixed with salvation even more confusion arises. But they aren’t the same. Sanctification is just one part of salvation.  “Sanctification refers to the process of gradual purification from sin and progressive spiritual growth that should mark the life of the believer. This doctrine of sanctification draws on New Testament passages that emphasize a move toward holy and righteous living that characterizes following Christ in faith…” (Lexham Bible Dictionary)

  1. The definition of sanctification.
    A. To be “set apart” or consecrated for a particular purpose – Gen. 2:3 and Ex. 30:29-30
    B. To be holy and pure and uncontaminated or undefiled – Lev. 11:44-45
  2. The types and times of sanctification in the believer.
    A. The 1st type is positional sanctification and is in the past, having been done once and for all – 1 Cor. 1:2, 6:11 and Heb. 10:10, 14
    B. The 2nd type is progressive sanctification and is in the present, going on daily as one walks in obedience to Christ – Phil. 2:12-13 and Col. 3:10
    C. The 3rd type is perfect sanctification and is in the future, being realized once the believer has received the resurrected/glorified body – Rom. 8:23, 30 and Phil. 3:20-21
  3. The practice of sanctification in the believer.
    A. Consider self dead to sin/present oneself to God – Rom. 6:12-14, 12:1-2 and Col. 3:5
    B. Put off the old self and put on the new – Eph. 4:17-24 and Col. 3:9-10
    C. Walk in/yield to the Holy Spirit – Gal. 5:16 and 26, and Eph. 5:18
  4. The results of sanctification in the believer.
    A. Have the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my life – Gal. 5:22-23
    B. Glorify God and be pleasing to Him – John 15:8 and 2 Cor. 5:9
    C. Be a good testimony to the unsaved world – 1 Pet. 2:11-12
    D. Avoid the consequences of sin – shame, enslavement, broken relationships, sickness or death – Rom. 6:6, 16-17, 21; 1 Cor. 11:20-22, 30; 1 Pet. 4:3-5;

Conclusion – Salvation is never a license to sin (Rom. 6:1-2, 15). When a person truly believes in Christ, is genuinely born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that person will evidence a change of life that includes progressive sanctification and spiritual growth, evidenced by a holiness of character and obedience to God.

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