In Christianity, sanctification is the process of becoming holy, or set apart for a sacred purpose. It is often described as the process of being made righteous, or conforming to the image of Christ.
The Bible teaches that all people are sinful by nature, and in need of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. However, it also teaches that those who have been saved are called to a life of holiness, or sanctification.
The concept of sanctification is mentioned in several books of the Bible, including the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word “qadash” is often used to describe the idea of being set apart or made holy. For example, in Leviticus 20:7-8, the Lord commands the Israelites to be holy, because he is holy: “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you.”
In the New Testament, the Greek word “hagiazo” is often used to describe the idea of being sanctified. For example, in 1 Corinthians 1:2, Paul writes, “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.”
One of the key passages on sanctification in the New Testament is found in 2 Corinthians 3:18, where Paul writes, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” This passage teaches that through beholding the glory of the Lord, believers are being transformed into His image. This process is often referred to as progressive sanctification.
Another key passage on sanctification is found in Romans 6:19-22. where Paul writes, “For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”
Here, Paul teaches that those who have been set free from sin through faith in Jesus Christ are now called to present themselves as slaves to righteousness, and the result of this is sanctification.
In summary, the Bible teaches that sanctification is the process of becoming holy or set apart for a sacred purpose. It is a process that happens through faith in Jesus Christ, and it involves being transformed into the image of Christ through beholding his glory. The concept of sanctification is taught throughout the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, and it is an ongoing process that leads to eternal life.