Bible Facts Little Understood by Christians
[Editor’s note: Sanctification, also known as the soul-salvation, is that process that takes place in a person who has placed faith alone in Christ alone for his/her eternal salvation, also known as spirit-salvation, which is performed by the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the believer’s will. All remarks made within brackets are those of this editor; in addition, this editor has taken the liberty to highlight each scriptural reference and place each quotation of Scripture in italics — www.bibleone.net]
Sanctification (Gk: hagiasmos, Strong’s 338) is “the process by which God conforms us back into His image,” the image that was lost when Adam and Eve sinned (Romans 8:29). It’s the means God uses to set us apart and to make us holy, prepared and “fit” for the coming kingdom (John 17:19). The process of sanctification purifies us, separates us from sin and consecrates us to God (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). This is how our soul is saved. God has chosen us “to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit . . . .”
Sanctification is the lifelong process by which we become those “overcomers” who inherit the Millennial Kingdom.
Sanctification means being cleansed of any sin or self that would contaminate our soul. It’s that time where we are emptied of our “self,” and then filled back up with Christ’s life. It’s the process of learning to exchange lives with Christ. As we give Him ours, He gives us His (1 John 1:5, 6, 9; 2:1, 2). Sanctification refers to an inward change (a metamorphosis) brought about apart from the natural strength of the individual (Romans 12:1, 2). This inward change is brought about by His Spirit. “For this cause I have raised you up to show in three My power” (Exodus 9:16). It’s His power that sanctifies us, that changes us and that makes us new creations, but it’s our choice that allows God to accomplish it. It’s not automatic (1 John 2:14; 1 Peter 1:15, 16).
Sanctification is when God’s Spirit highlights the self-centered things we do and then shows us how to replace them with His [Christ’s] life. Our fulfillment, our meaning and our significance in this life and the next, all rest upon this transformation process. God’s will is that we might show by our actions (our “Spirit-led” works) that we are “new creations” in Him and that He lives in us. This demonstrates that we have not only applied the blood to the doorposts of our house, we have also expelled the leaven.
God’s will is that our new spirit be freed from all soulish influences so that His Spirit can freely direct our lives (James 1:19-22). Second Corinthians 7:1 validates this: “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” (Leviticus 20:7; Romans 12:1). Sanctification is the process that makes this happen (Colossians 1:12).
God’s purpose for sanctification is that we might be “conformed into the image of Christ” [Romans 8:29]. The Greek word for “conformed” is summorphos (Strong’s #4832), which means to be jointly formed or fashioned unto. It’s from the root word sun, which means union, resemblance or completeness, and morphe, which means adjustment or shape. Sanctification is the process by which we are shaped or fashioned into His [Christ’s] resemblance.
God wants us conformed into His image so that we might produce the “fruit” that will make us “prepared” and “fit” not only to attend the wedding festivities in heaven [Matthew 22:1-14; Revelation 19:7-9], but also to rule and reign in the Millennial Kingdom here on earth [Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:6].
The measure of our usefulness to the Lord in the future kingdom will be found in the measure of our sanctification here and now.
Sanctification, therefore, is God’s will for every one of our lives. First Thessalonians 4:3 again validates this: “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.” The teachings surrounding the sanctification of the soul are the central subject of most of the epistles from Romans to Jude. Sanctification is how our souls are transformed and saved: “Lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). [Spiritual growth to spiritual maturity can only come by the believer’s consumption of spiritual food, i.e., the Word] Apart from this sanctification process, it’s very difficult to properly understand the central message of the epistles (Hebrews 2:3; 10:35-39; 1 Peter 1:9). In other words, when God speaks of the “saving of souls,” it’s not necessarily the “new birth” He is referring to. He is speaking about the cleansing, renewing and transforming of those who already believe.
God’s will is that we might make the constant “choice” to let Him sanctify us. If we make this choice, He will give us the power to make it happen in our lives. For this to occur, however, we must make 1 John 1:9 a major part of our lives: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Then God can constantly renew and transform us.
Following our new birth, God deals with us on an entirely different plane — as servants, with a view towards the kingdom. Sanctification is the highway to joint heirship with Christ.
 The Kingdom Power & Glory, The Overcomer’s Handbook, Nancy Missler, The King’s High Way Ministries, Inc., 2008, pages 259-261