Summary: God is the Lord who makes us holy. Sanctification is a process - a journey all of us as Christians are on. Recognize the journey, remember the destination, request help with roadblocks, refuel often and rejoice in your progress.
What’s in a name? The things we call people changes with our relationship with them. If you were to ask me in the summer of 1989 who Naomi Humphrys was I would have said "never met her". In the fall of 1989 I would say "she’s that girl I met in the cafeteria – very cute!". In the spring of 1990 I would say "she’s my girlfriend". In the fall of 1990 I would say "she’s me fiancée". In the fall of 1991 I would say "I don’t know a Naomi Humphrys but I do know Naomi Sheane and she’s my wife". Over time even more names have been added – help mate, mother of my children, encourager, boss … just kidding about that last one.
A little boy had difficulty pronouncing some words. The word worship was one of them. He said, "We go to church to wash-up." This is quite true. The process of washing up or cleansing is called sanctification and the end result is holiness. God loves us the way that we are but His desire is that we not stay that way. God wants us to be just like Jesus. This is one of the names which God gave us to call Him. The Hebrew word QADASH means to sanctify or to make holy. Jehovah M’Kaddash means God who makes holy.
Ex. 31:12 Then the LORD said to Moses, 13 "Say to the Israelites, `You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.
Lev. 20:7 "`Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God. 8 Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy.
In these chapters God is forming the Israelites into a nation. In the middle of chapters related to building the temple and keeping the Sabbath, God explains that the purpose of the rules are not just to make life difficult for the people but to bless them by helping them the be holy.
In Christ we have been set apart. God did this for us. The word for saint (which is what we are in Christ) means one who has been sanctified or set apart. When we accepted Christ we died to our old life and were set apart for Him. Sanctification is not just a state but a process. We are called to be Holy. We are called to be what we have already become.
Think about a person who is married but later cheats on his wife. Having become married (when he set himself apart to his wife) he later showed he had no intention of being married (staying set apart to his wife only). Likewise as Christians we are declared holy in Christ but called to become holy in our day to day living. We are to live what we are. A set-apart condition must lead to a set apart life.
1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin . But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense -- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.