Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Word Study: Sanctification

Leviticus 20: 7 -8: "Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. 8 Keep my statutes and do them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you."

Romans 6:22: "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." (ESV)

Sanctification, according to the Holman Bible Dictionary, means "the process of being made holy resulting in a changed lifestyle for the believer." Sanctification is a process where the end result is a holy, eternal life spent with the Lord.

How do we live a sanctified life? We must dedicate ourselves to being holy, to carry out the Lord's will, to follow Christ. We need to turn away from our sinful lifestyles and live a life consecrated to God.

Romans 6:22 speaks of fruit leading to sanctification. If we become slaves of God and imitate Christ, then, I believe, the fruit leading to sanctification is the fruit of the Spirit. "Love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Galatians 5:22) are all of Christ's traits. As I write this, I am becoming more aware of the work of the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit - in the process of sanctification.

Sanctification is one of those words I have heard over and over in church rhetoric, but really never gave any thought to - until recently. I was speaking with a friend who is truly dedicating herself to sanctification. Listening to her talk about everything she's going through - sacrifice, self-control, dedication, and more importantly a closer walk with the Lord - made me think about my life. Am I truly a slave to God or am I serving my own purpose? Last week, I spoke about my season of pruning, and I feel this is one of those areas God is working on to bring me to a closer relationship with Him.

What are your thoughts about sanctification? Are you living a life consecrated to God or serving your own purpose? Please feel free to comment.


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the beautiful mystery that is sanctification by the Holy Spirit apart from, yet in relationship with us. It is a collaborative restoration between us and the One who shed His blood for us, isn't it? To be completely forgiven at the moment of salvation and yet in a continual state of purification through His gentle work in our souls...that is truly the miracle. We are walking miracles crafted by His grace. Thanks, Jo.


Denise Miller Holmes said...

I became more connected to the sanctification process through becoming more in tune with God's voice. When I get strong impressions on what God wants me to do, then I obey, it takes me to a whole new level of relationship. Obeying is hard, especially when God tell me to do something that seems risky (perhaps embarrassing?). But, I have found myself becoming more and more like Christ as I hear and obey. An interesting process, this sanctification.