It is God’s will that you should be sanctified. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NIV)
You need to understand what it means to be “sanctified,” so that you can understand its central place in the Christian life.
When Jesus Christ lays hold of a person, He brings two primary blessings in this life— justification and sanctification. These are Bible words, and so if we are going to be Bible Christians it is important to know what they mean.
Justification is Christ’s work for us on the cross.
Sanctification is Christ’s work in us by the Spirit.
Justification is Christ’s completed work. Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished.” Sanctification is Christ’s continuing work. Paul speaks about living to please the Lord “more and more,” and about each Christian “learning” to control his or her own body (4:1, 4). Learning is progressive.
In justification, Christ deals with the effects of your sin before God.
In sanctification, Christ deals with the effects of sin in your life.
Justification is about removing the guilt of sin.
Sanctification is about breaking the power of sin.
Justification involves the righteousness Christ gives to us. It is an alien righteousness. Sanctification involves the righteousness Christ works in us.
Consider what you know about sanctification so far, and that it is God’s will for you.