Posted in theology, word of the week

Word of the week: Sanctification

The thread of Christianity depends on a unity from one generation to the next of mutual understanding of our important words. Hence the Word of the Week.


Justification is the moment that God declares us not guilty and imputes His righteousness to our account. It takes but a moment. It only takes as long as it takes the Judge to bang his gavel.

Sanctification takes the rest of our life on earth. Justification is a declaration, sanctification is a process.

Short version:

Literally refers to the process of setting something apart for a sacred purpose. In Christian theology, it denotes a doctrine concerned with the gradual purification from sin in the life of the believer and a progressive spiritual growth toward Christlikeness. ~The Lexham Glossary of Theology.

Longer version:

SANCTIFICATION Refers broadly to the concept of being set apart as sacred. In Gen 2:3, God “sanctified” the seventh day, meaning He set it apart as sacred. In Leviticus, Yahweh tells the entire people of Israel to maintain being sanctified (Lev 11:44–45). This aspect of the concept of sanctification is closely related to holiness and biblical regulations for maintaining purity.

The New Testament similarly reflects the idea that followers of Christ have been sanctified or set apart as a result of Christ’s holiness (Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Thess 2:13). This idea that Christians have been made holy before God through their faith in Christ is related to justification. In Christian theology, a distinction is sometimes made between justification and sanctification where justification refers to having saving faith and 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 (1 Thess 4:3–8; Rom 6:19–22).  ~The Lexham Bible Dictionary.

Bullet version, with verses:

1.      Is separation to the service of God. Ps 4:3; 2 Co 6:17.
2.      Effected by
a.      God. Eze 37:28; 1 Th 5:23; Jude 1:1.
b.      Christ. Heb 2:11; 13:12.
c.      The Holy Spirit. Ro 15:16; 1 Co 6:11.
3.      In Christ. 1 Co 1:2.
4.      Through the atonement of Christ. Heb 10:10; 13:12.
5.      Through the word of God. Joh 17:17, 19; Eph 5:26.
6.      Christ made, of God, to us. 1 Co 1:30.
7.      Saints elected to salvation through. 2 Th 2:13; 1 Pe 1:2.
8.      All saints are in a state of. Ac 20:32; 26:18; 1 Co 6:11.
9.      The Church made glorious by. Eph 5:26, 27.
10.      Should lead to
a.      Mortification of sin. 1 Th 4:3, 4.
b.      Holiness. Ro 6:22; Eph 5:7–9.
11.      Offering up of saints acceptable through. Ro 15:16.
12.      Saints fitted for the service of God by. 2 Ti 2:21.
13.      God wills all saints to have. 1 Th 4:3.
14.      Ministers
a.      Set apart to God’s service by. Jer 1:5.
b.      Should pray that their people may enjoy complete. 1 Th 5:23.
c.      Should exhort their people to walk in. 1 Th 4:1, 3.
15.      None can inherit the kingdom of God without. 1 Co 6:9–11.
16.      Typified. Ge 2:3; Ex 13:2; 19:14; 40:9–15; Le 27:14–16.

~Torrey, R. A. (2001). The new topical text book: A scriptural text book for the use of ministers, teachers, and all Christian workers.

4. Propitiation
3. Immanence
2. Transcendence
1. Justification


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.