“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality…“
The idea “sanctification” means separation to God (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). This is the conduct of separating ourselves from sinful things. This separation befits those separated to God. The Holy Spirit is the agent in sanctification (Romans 15:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). The Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We should separate our bodies to the Holy Spirit. The emphasis here is upon one’s dedication or consecration to serve God.
A sanctified person puts himself or herself at the complete disposal of God.
There are three kinds of sanctification in the Bible: positional, progressive and ultimate. Positional sanctification is our eternal status quo with God as completely set apart as His forever at salvation (Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; Hebrews 2:11; 1 Peter 1:2; Jude 1). Christ provided for salvation from Hell at the cross (Hebrews 10:10,14). God sets us apart in an eternal, infallible, unalterable position in Christ.
The second kind of sanctification is progressive sanctification. This is our relative growth in becoming more and more like the Lord Jesus. There is a progressive dimension to Christianity.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
This is the process whereby the Spirit of God takes the Word of God and makes the child of God like the Son of God. We do this by walking in the Spirit and applying God’s Word to our experience. This continues as long as we live. If we progressively improve, there will be development and growth toward maturity.
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:16-17).
The third phase of spirituality is ultimate sanctification, our final glorification. When we get to Heaven, we will be free from all sin and the capacity to sin.
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
“Sanctification” is God’s will. God wants us for His exclusive use. A sanctified person is a person who is at the complete disposal of God. He can do with us as He pleases. Because we are His, He does not need to check with us first.