Sanctified? What on earth does that mean? 1

1 Corinthians 1 v 2 says

to those sanctified in Christ Jesus


Yesterday my wife asked me what does sanctification mean. So I thought if she is asking, there are probably many others out there who may not really understand what the Bible means when it says that we are sanctified in Jesus.

In simple terms, if you are sanctified, it means you have been separated from the world to be holy like Jesus.

Firstly, the word sanctification is the same Greek word as holiness, “hagios,” meaning a separation.  Jesus said John chapter 17 v 16

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth: Thy word is truth.

Sanctification is a state of separation unto God; all believers enter into this state when they are born of God. The moment you are born again, it means that you are set apart from everyone else. The Bible teaches us clearly that by the sin of one man Adam, we are all sinners. We are all corrupted by sin, no matter how holy we try to live. But the Bible also teaches us that by the sacrifice of one man (Jesus), we have been reconciled (brought back) to God. God does that for us. Sin creates a valley / chasm between us and God that cannot be crossed by human effort. No amount of doing good, or living holy or giving to the poor can ever get us across the gap to God. But when Jesus died on the cross, His death spanned the gap, and anyone who believes Jesus and accepts Him as saviour and Lord is saved. They are brought across the gap to God’s side.

The in that moment there is a divine exchange that happens:

Jesus takes your sin and unworthiness, and your punishment upon Himself. In exchange He gives you His holiness and His right standing before God the Father. God now sees you as holy and set apart for Him – in other words, you are sanctified.

The result of knowing this sanctification is obedience. Sanctification also refers to the practical experience of this separation unto God, being the effect of obedience to the Word of God in one’s life, and is to be pursued by the believer earnestly. Your job once you understand you have been sanctified is to be obedient to God’s word.

Praise His wonderful name.


One comment on “Sanctified? What on earth does that mean?

  1. Reply Brian Jan 8,2014 8:34 pm

    Good explanation, thank you for this!

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