Bible Sanctification Defined

How important is Bible sanctification? And how are we sanctified? So many professed Christians in this world today focus on justification only (professed faith in Jesus Christ), and miss the important process of sanctification. They profess to be justified and saved just because they 'believe' in Jesus, and yet continue to live worldly, sinful lives. So this short article explains what being sanctified means and how important it is for any professed Christian.

John 17:17 ...'Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.'

So how are we sanctified? We are sanctified through the truth - the truth of God's Word in our lives, and those who are sanctified through the truth are living recommendations of its power, and representatives of their risen Lord, Jesus Christ. The religion of Christ will refine the taste, sanctify the judgment, elevate, purify, and ennoble the soul, making the Christian more and more fit for the society of the heavenly angels.

'And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.' (John 17:19).

'Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.' (1 Peter 1:22).

'Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.' (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Here is Bible sanctification. It is not merely a profession of faith, or external work. It is sanctification received through the channel of truth. It is truth received in the heart, and practically carried out in the life.

There is no Bible sanctification for those who cast truth aside. We must embrace ALL Bible truth. There is enough light given in the word of God, so that none need err. Jesus, considered as a man, was perfect, yet He grew in grace. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. (Luke 2:52). Even the most perfect Christian may increase continually in the knowledge and love of God.

Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, or a day. It is a continual growth in grace, and a work that will continue our whole lives.

But our enemy Satan lives, and is active, and every day we need to cry earnestly to God for help and strength to resist him. As long as Satan reigns we shall have self to subdue, besetments to overcome, and there is no stopping place, there is no point to which we can come and say we have fully attained (Philippians 3:12).

The Christian life is constantly an onward march. Jesus sits as a refiner and purifier of His people; and when His image is perfectly reflected in them, they are perfect and holy, and prepared for translation.

He who is to overcome must watch; because Satan, with worldly excitement, entanglements, error, and superstition, strives to win Christ's followers from Him. It is not enough that we avoid glaring dangers and perilous, inconsistent moves. We are to keep close to the side of Christ, walking in the path of self-denial and sacrifice. We are in an enemy's country. He who was cast out of heaven has come down with great power and wrath. With every conceivable trickery and device he is seeking to take souls captive. And unless we are constantly on guard, we shall fall an easy prey to his unnumbered deceptions.

If your whole interest is in the truth and the preparatory work for this time, you will be sanctified through the truth and receive a fitness for immortality. The thorough work of preparation must go on with all who profess the truth, until we stand before the throne of God without fault, without a spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.

God will cleanse you IF you will submit to the purifying process.

Why is Sanctification Important?

Being sanctified is an important step in the Christian life because there is a judgment taking place in heaven right now to see if you and I are actually living the faith that we proclaim. You see, when we first believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son, we are 'justified' through our faith in Jesus and our names get written in the 'book of life'. But a mere profession of faith does not win us a place in heaven. All who have their names written in God's book are being judged right now to see if their profession is actually being lived out in their lives. And if their faith is found wanting, then they are removed from God's book of life and will have their portion in the lake of fire with the wicked.

Revelation 3:5 ...'He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will NOT blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.'

Revelation 22:19 ...'And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.'

So you see, there is no such thing as 'once saved always saved', because as God's Word confirms above, a believer who has his name IN the book of life, ie, in a SAVED position, can have his name BLOTTED OUT of God's book and end up losing his salvation. Which is why sanctification is an important part of our faith. We cannot just merely 'believe' in Jesus, go to church once a week, but then live worldly lives the rest of the time. We must submit to the Lord and His ways each and every day, and let Him sanctify us.

Remember what the apostle James said? ... 'Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.' (James 2:17) ... which means 'professed justification' without sanctification is vain and dead. You cannot be truly justified without being sanctified.

So how important is it to study God's Word in the Bible and find out the truth for ourselves? Very important, because it is by living out the Bible truth in our lives that we become sanctified. So don't rely on someone else for truth - study God's Word for yourself. Put it into practice in your life and you will experience a personal, sanctifying relationship with Jesus Christ.

This message was adapted from 'Bible Sanctification Defined' (Maranatha, p.89) by E.White.