132. What does being “sanctified” mean?

Being “sanctified” means:

  1. To be separated or set apart to belong to God and to be consecrated for His service.
    • This is true of everyone born again: God separated the believer from sin through the cross of His Son, set the believer apart from the sinful world and declared the believer His eternal property, so that the believer may serve Him in holiness and righteousness, which please Him. Every believer is therefore “sanctified” and thereby “holy” in God’s sight. Paul addresses the readers of his letters as “the saints”. The expression, “Your saints”, is found for the first time in Acts 9:13 when describing the disciples of Jesus; in Antioch the disciples were called “Christians” for the first time (Acts 11:26).
    • We find the models for the New Testament sanctification in the tabernacle with its sacred vessels, in the order of the priests and in Israel’s service to God.
      • For all the firstborn among the children of Israel are Mine, both man and beast; on the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them to Myself. (Numbers 8:17)
      • I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. (2 Chronicles 7:16)
      • Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
  2. “Being made holy”, that is, to be different from what we were in the past, to be new and pure.
    • The person placed in the community of God should now also partake of the holiness of God; he should become holy throughout his whole being and transformation. That is why Paul calls the “sanctified in Christ Jesus” also “the called saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2), whose vocation is to live a holy life as “saints” every day. Holiness excludes sin.
      • Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)
      • Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 20:7)
      • Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
      • For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4:7)