What does it mean to be sanctified? As children of God, it means that we are 'different'; we are 'set apart' from the rest of the world. Why are we different? Because we have the gift of holy spirit within us. And because of this spirit, we are now 'washed' and 'pure'. We have been made holy, corresponding to the very nature of God.
To see what the Bible says about sanctification, look at the following verses:
I Corinthians 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:
Here we see that the believers are sanctified IN Christ Jesus. Without Christ, we could not be sanctified.
I Corinthians 1: 30 -- But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
As is often the case, sanctification is named in conjunction with other sonship rights in the verse such as ‘righteousness’ and ‘redemption’ mentioned in verse 30.
I Corinthians 6: 9, 10 list some of the attributes of the unrighteous.
I Corinthians 6: 9 – Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
I Corinthians 6: 10 – Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
But after Jesus Christ gave his life on the cross for us, things changed.
I Corinthians 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.
We used to be like the people discussed in verses 9 and 10. BUT, now we are washed, sanctified, and justified (another sonship right), in the name of Jesus our Lord, AND by the spirit given to us by God. Because of the spirit within us, we are now clean and pure.
Hebrews Chapter 10 equates Christ's sacrifice with our sanctification. Although the priests of the Old Testament would offer animal sacrifices on a daily basis, the offerings could not wash away sin once and for all. But the offering of Jesus Christ, in giving up his life for us, did wash away our sin forever. We are sanctified because of it.
Hebrews 10: 8 – Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
Hebrews 10: 9 – Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
What was taken away? The law, and he (Jesus Christ) established grace (divine favor).
Hebrews 10: 10 -- By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
WE ARE SANCTIFIED PERMANENTLY – IT CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY.
Hebrews 10: 11 -- And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
Hebrews 10: 12 -- But this man [Jesus Christ], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
When you see that term "sat down on the right hand of God", it means that the work or goal is finished. It is done and accomplished.
Hebrews 10: 13 -- From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
Hebrews 10: 14 -- For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
The one offering of Christ has made us perfect spiritually FOREVER. We are sanctified now and always will be. Nothing can take that away. One way I’ve heard this said is: We are going to heaven and all hell can't stop us.
Jesus Christ knew that part of his goal here on earth was to sanctify those who believed on him. In the gospel of John, through a prayer to his Father, we learn that he (Jesus Christ) is not a part of this world, and neither are we. This is how sanctification sets us apart, and makes us different from the unbeliever.
John 17: 14 – 19 -- I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify [set apart] them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
We are sanctified through the TRUTH, which is God's Word. Sanctification is one of our five sonship rights. Because of what Christ did for us, we are 'set apart' from the rest of the world. It means that we have eternal life, and nobody can do anything to change that.
In conclusion, here are some other verses to STUDY regarding our Sonship Right of SANCTIFICATION.
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.
II Thessalonians 2: 13 – But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
II Timothy 2: 19 - 21 – Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 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.
Hebrews 13: 11 – For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
Hebrews 13: 12 – Wherefore Jesus also, that he might SANCTIFY THE PEOPLE WITH HIS OWN BLOOD, suffered without the gate. [emphasis added]