Summary: Sanctification can be a very intimidating word. But why is that? What does it mean? And how can I be "sanctified?"
Do you remember your days in High School?
Do you remember being asked questions on tests and you didn’t know the answer?
What did you do when that happened?
(Some left the space blank, others made it up)
Well, here are actual answers given by High School students to real test questions.
I want you to notice how creative they got with their answers.
Q: Briefly explain what hard water is.
Q: What ended in 1896?
Q: Name the four seasons.
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.
Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?
A: Keep it in the cow.
Q: What is the fibula?
A: A small lie.
Q: What is a seizure?
A: A Roman emperor.
Q: What does the word "benign" mean?
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.
Q: How are the main parts of the body categorized?
A: The body consists of 3 parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity.
The brainium contains the brain,
The borax contains the heart and lungs
And the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels, A, E, I, O, and U.
Now my point here is that sometimes people don’t know the answers… so they get creative. Some students have even found that the more impressive the answer the more likely others will believe they actually know what they’re talking about.
That is especially true when it comes to theologians and Bible words.
Our word for today is “Sanctification”.
For many people, this is a very intimidating Bible word.
And there are two reasons for that.
1st – Theologians have muddied the water by making word like this complicated, and the more complicated their explanations, the more intimidating it becomes for the rest of us.
One theologian (for example) explained sanctification this way:
“In a doctrinal sense, sanctification is the making truly and perfectly holy what was before defiled and sinful. It is a progressive work of divine grace upon the soul justified by the love of Christ. The believer is gradually cleansed from the corruption of his nature, and is at length presented "unspotted before the throne of God …."
I’ve always hated stuff like that!
I don’t know anyone who TALKS like that
I don’t even know anyone who THINKS like that.
Now, I’m sure this theologian meant well, but his explanation is way too complicated.
As Scott (our associate) said recently:
“They try to give $20 explanations to a 50 cent world.”
Now, let me to let you in on a secret here:
The word Sanctification is NOT that complicated.
Sanctified simply means: “set apart” or “separated”
ILLUS: For example, the people back in the sound booth are sanctified… they are separated from the rest of us in the worship area. When I’m up on stage, I’m sanctified… I’m set apart from the rest of you in the auditorium. And while we are all seated in this building, we are sanctified… we are separated from everyone else in Logansport who aren’t here now.
Separated and set apart – that’s all sanctification means.
It is not that hard a word to understand, but it has become intimidating because theologians have made it that way complicated.
The 2nd reason Sanctification seems intimidating to us is because the original Greek/Hebrew words for sanctify are translated so many different ways in the English Scriptures.
The Hebrew word for sanctified is “qadash” and the Greek is “hagios” (you don’t care and I don’t care, but I put them up on the screen to impress you).
When you find those Hebrew/Greek words translated in our English Bibles you’ll find that they are translated:
No matter how it’s translated though… it’s all the same idea.
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking sanctification, consecration, being holy or becoming a Saint - it’s all about us being SET APART for God.
Now, this sanctification thing is a two-step process
The 1st step of the equation is that God sets us apart.
Back in the OT, God told the Israelites: “Keep my statutes and do them; I am the LORD WHO SANCTIFIES YOU.” Leviticus 20:8 ESV
In the New Testament, Paul tells us about all the people who won’t make it to heaven and then he writes: “… that is what some of you were. But you were washed, YOU WERE SANCTIFIED, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11
God sanctifies His people.
He sets us apart from the rest of the world.
When you and I were baptized into Christ, God picked us up out of the sin of this world and set us down in His Kingdom. (Colossians 1:13)
When we were saved we were sanctified.