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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Sanctification: Obtained through identification with Christ's death or simply asking in faith?

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Joined: 2008/9/2
Posts: 60

 Sanctification: Obtained through identification with Christ's death or simply asking in faith?

Sanctification: Obtained through identification with Christ's death or simply asking in faith?

Jerry Austin

 2008/9/5 16:27Profile

Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: Sanctification: Obtained through identification with Christ's death or simpl

Biblical sanctification is by the Word of truth,
by the blood of Christ, and is the work of the
indwelling Holy Spirit. It is the ministry of
grace; grace enables and empowers us to live
a godly, holy life as we abide in HIM {Christ}.

Martin G. Smith

 2008/9/5 16:53Profile

Joined: 2008/9/2
Posts: 60

 Re: Sanctification: How is it Obtained

Thank you very much for your post, but how do you believe it is obtained?

Jerry Austin

 2008/9/5 17:02Profile

Joined: 2006/3/5
Posts: 29
"No Certain dwellingplace"



When one perfectly consecrates himself to Christ, seeks the Lord for sanctification in faith, and waits upon the Lord he is sure to be sanctified. This sanctification is when the perfect love of God is shed abroad in the heart and life.

- Evan

Evan Schaible

 2008/9/5 18:12Profile

Joined: 2007/8/15
Posts: 190
Cache Valley, Utah


by EvanSchaible on 2008/9/5 16:12:04


When one perfectly consecrates himself to Christ, seeks the Lord for sanctification in faith, and waits upon the Lord he is sure to be sanctified. This sanctification is when the perfect love of God is shed abroad in the heart and life.

- Evan

Sounds like works based to me.... when one perfectly..... sounds like after all I can do.


Alan Taylor

 2008/9/5 18:45Profile

Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


Please do yourself a mighty service and begin reading J. C. Ryle's "Holiness". It is available online, google it, or you may purchase a copy on Amazon. Thirty minutes of that book may clear away ten years of misconceptions.

Webster defined it this way, in 1828:

SANCTIFICA'TION, n. [See Sanctify.]
1. The act of making holy. In an evangelical sense, the act of God's grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God.

"God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." 2Thess. 2. , 1Peter 1.


John Owen, the most esteemed Puritan, wrote,

"Let our hearts admit, "I am poor and weak. Satan is too subtle, too cunning, too powerful; he watches constantly for advantages over my soul. The world presses in upon me with all sorts of pressures, pleas, and pretences. My own corruption is violent, tumultuous, enticing, and entangling. As it conceives sin, it wars within me and against me. Occasions and opportunities for temptation are innumerable. No wonder I do not know how deeply involved I have been with sin. Therefore, on God alone will I rely for my keeping. I will continually look to Him."

"If we do not abide in prayer, we will abide in temptation. Let this be one aspect of our daily intercession: "God, preserve my soul, and keep my heart and all its ways so that I will not be entangled." When this is true in our lives, a passing temptation will not overcome us. We will remain free while others lie in bondage."


Now Thomas Watson, another Puritan, in his book, "The Lord's Prayer"...

"You were sanctified, you were justified."
1 Corinthians 6:11

Justification and sanctification are not the same.

Justification is without us -- sanctification is within us. The one is by righteousness imputed -- the other is by righteousness imparted. Justification is once and for all -- sanctification is gradual. One person is sanctified more than another -- but one cannot be more justified than another. One has more grace than another -- but he is not more justified than another.

The matter of our justification is perfect, namely, Christ's righteousness; but our sanctification is
imperfect, there are the spots of God's children. Our graces are mixed with sin, our duties are defiled.

Thus justification and sanctification are not the same. Yet, for all that, they are never separated. God never pardons and justifies a sinner -- except He also sanctifies him. "This is He who came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ." 1 John 5:6. Christ comes to the soul by blood, which denotes remission of sin; and by water, which denotes sanctification. Let no man say he is pardoned, who is not made holy! This I urge against those who talk of their sin being forgiven, and having a part in Christ -- and yet remain unconverted, and live in the grossest sins!

Where God pardons, He purifies. Whoever God forgives, He transforms. Let no man say his sins are forgiven -- who does not find an inherent work of holiness in his heart.

"I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances." [Ezekiel 36:27]


Paul Washer's statement of faith says,

SANCTIFICATION. Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified by God's Word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial [i.e., willing] obedience to all Christ's commands.


And here are my impressions... I wrote this in response to a fellow under the impression that one cannot be admitted to heaven unless he has both trusted in Christ and demonstrated actual perfection of character in this life.

* * *

Hi, [Name omitted]. I appreciate your zeal for having holiness of character. Without a doubt, Christ has called us to pattern ourselves after His image.

I do sincerely hope that you will read over the passages I have collected here for your edification and improvement. I was blessed greatly in arranging this for you.

Concerning Hebrews 10:14, which says, "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified", you wrote, "Sanctified is the key here."

I agree, the meaning of that word "sanctified" is of great importance. The original term is the Greek hagiazo, which appears 29 times in the New Testament. Interestingly, as I looked at every one of its occurrences, I found more than 21 of them are used in a particular way, with the other instances not so directly pertaining to the discussion.

Come with me, and let's see how the term is used...

John 10:36, "Do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?"

The sanctification which Christ here refers to is not moral sanctification, but is the choosing of the Father, who chose Him to be Christ. The next verse also describes this "sanctification" of Christ.

John 17:19, "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth."

Again, Christ could not be improved morally, thus this "sanctification" refers not to any cleansing from past moral failures, but to his consecration unto a specific purpose, namely, the cross. Somehow, our Lord expected that His work on the cross, and more specifically the truth related to it, would "sanctify" a specific group of people referred to here as "they."

Compare this to verse 24 of the same chapter, "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me." Because this is a prayer of Christ, bear in mind the His earlier words, "All that I ask for, the Father gives to me." Whatever Christ prays, He receives, because He prays with perfect faith according to the will of God. Let's look at the next instance.

Acts 20:32, "So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified."

Whether or not "sanctified" here refers to their being "chosen" or being "morally improved", we see very clearly that it is God and the word of His grace which is able to build up and prepare a greater inheritance. Inheritance is reserved for the children, and not for the strangers. How does one become a child of God?
Ephesians 1:3-6, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him, in love 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved."

It is here very apparent that this son-ship was ordained by the Father, and made a reality in Jesus Christ, and that it was ordained with certainty from before the foundation of the earth for all to whom it would come. Grace!

In Acts 26:17-18, Christ says to Paul, "I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me."

Here our Lord says exactly how believers receive forgiveness of sins and separation from the kingdom of darkness and Satan, namely by faith in Christ. He does not tell them to separate and then receive forgiveness, but rather explains that the word itself will open the eyes of God's elect, who are then fully forgiven according to their faith in the sacrifice and imputed righteousness of Christ.

Paul describes his fulfilling of this ministry in Romans 15:15-16.

"I have written more boldly... that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."

We are relieved to discover that this sanctification comes by the Holy Spirit. Compare Peter's words in the opening to his first epistle, "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ."

Because God had fore-loved them in grace, above their inevitable sinfulness which would come through Adam (Romans 5) God elected these people to salvation. In order to be saved, one must obey the command to repent from dead works and believe on Christ's mercy. Therefore, by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, God brings them to obey the gospel call, whereby they instantly receive the sprinkling of Christ's atoning blood. This is why Peter says in the next sentence, "According to his great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

Hallelujahs, anyone?

The term appears again in 1 Cor 1:2, where Paul writes, "To those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours."

Remember now that Christ sanctified Himself unto the cross so that His people, given to Him by the Father, could be sanctified by the truth of the gospel. This truth, in a word, is that all who sincerely call upon Christ to be saved shall be saved, and were elect from before the foundation of the world. Recall Romans 10:9, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." And verse 13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. "

Paul continues to remind the Corinthians of this "sanctifying" work in chapter 6, verse 11. Note the tense of the terms:

"But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."

This washing, sanctifying, and justifying has already been accomplished in these people to whom Paul writes. And yet what is Paul writing them about? Sin! Paul is writing to Christians and assuring them that, so many as have truly believed on Christ, have been sanctified unto salvation by the merit of Christ's blood, and that they must continue on in loving and reverent obedience. Their obedience is not improve the death of Christ, but to acknowledge it and to comfort their own consciences, while demonstrating godliness to others.

And now we come to Hebrews 2:10-11.

"For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren."

From other scriptures we have already visited, and many others, we know that in a certain sure sense Christ has already succeeded at the cross in saving all of His people for whose sins His blood made propitiation. Therefore, referring to the sacrifice of Christ, the author affirms that the Captain of our salvation has "brought many sons to glory."

Yet, in another sense, every individual saint must at some point in life come to personal faith in Christ in order to receive the application of Christ's atonement. Some translations render the latter instance of hagiazo as "being sanctified"; I respond that insomuch as not all of the saints placed their faith in Christ at once, let alone those not yet born, such as ourselves, I believe the author describes the whole church, present and future, as "those who are being sanctified". Paul was sanctified to salvation in the first century. Others were sanctified to salvation throughout the years up to now. We, as a church body not yet fully gathered, are "being sanctified".

Another case is Hebrews 9:13-15, which also uses the term hagiazo.

"For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh , 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance."

If there is one thing certain about the sanctifying which came by the blood of bulls and goats, it is that the offering itself did not guarantee an immediate perfection of actual character in the life of the one for whom it was made. What it did perform was a transfer of imputed ceremonial righteousness, based on the covenant God made with Moses and Israel. Now the author tells us that under the new and better covenant, made by the offering of Christ Himself, we are perfectly sanctified from all sins and our flesh is purified in the sight of God. This ought to - and does, with time - cleanse our consciences from dead works, to serve the living God with grace and gratitude.

At last, the verse which we first discussed, Hebrews 10:14. Perhaps we should take it with some context, going from verse 10 to 14.

"By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified."

Again it is apparent that this sanctification refers to something accomplished by Christ. It is a change of legal standing which has already taken place for every believer, hence the passage says, "we have been", and not, "we shall be sanctified." How was it that these saints were "perfected forever"? The writer tells us "through one sacrifice."

There are several more instances, such as Hebrews 13:12, and Jude 1:1, and Ephesians 5:26, but I see no need to say again what is written above.

As for the conclusion, I recommend looking at the events in Acts 10, 11, and 13.

God bless you!

Acts 10:43-45
43"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Acts 11:14-18

14[Peter] shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
15And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
16Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
17Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
18When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Acts 13:38-39
38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

 2008/9/5 23:50Profile

Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2749
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: Sanctification: Obtained through identification with Christ's death or simpl

I agree with Evan, it is both. And I disagree with the one who said that he is promoting works. What you call works others would call right response to revelation.

Also, here's something from Oswald Chambers on sanctification...

[b]Sanctification [/b]
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us . . . sanctification . . . —1 Corinthians 1:30

The Life Side. The mystery of sanctification is that the perfect qualities of Jesus Christ are imparted as a gift to me, not gradually, but instantly once I enter by faith into the realization that He "became for [me] . . . sanctification . . . ." Sanctification means nothing less than the holiness of Jesus becoming mine and being exhibited in my life.

The most wonderful secret of living a holy life does not lie in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfect qualities of Jesus exhibit themselves in my human flesh. Sanctification is "Christ in you . . ." ( Colossians 1:27 ). It is His wonderful life that is imparted to me in sanctification— imparted by faith as a sovereign gift of God’s grace. Am I willing for God to make sanctification as real in me as it is in His Word?

Sanctification means the impartation of the holy qualities of Jesus Christ to me. It is the gift of His patience, love, holiness, faith, purity, and godliness that is exhibited in and through every sanctified soul. Sanctification is not drawing from Jesus the power to be holy— it is drawing from Jesus the very holiness that was exhibited in Him, and that He now exhibits in me. Sanctification is an impartation, not an imitation. Imitation is something altogether different. The perfection of everything is in Jesus Christ, and the mystery of sanctification is that all the perfect qualities of Jesus are at my disposal. Consequently, I slowly but surely begin to live a life of inexpressible order, soundness, and holiness— ". . . kept by the power of God . . ." ( 1 Peter 1:5 ).

-from July 23rd entry of My Utmost for His Highest

Ron Halverson

 2008/9/6 0:51Profile

Joined: 2008/5/21
Posts: 349
Las Vegas, NV

 Re: sanctification

The following verses should thoroughly answer your question.

[b]Romans 14[/b]
23. [b]for whatsoever is not of faith is sin[/b].

[b]1 Thessalonians 4[/b]
1. Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5. Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6. That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

[b]2 Thessalonians 2[/b]
11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14. Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[b]1 Corinthians 1[/b]
29. That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31. That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

[b]John 17[/b]
17. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

(By-the-way, excellent entry from Oswald Chambers', "My Utmost for His Highest.")


 2008/9/6 1:18Profile

Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


First, let it be said there are two forms of sanctification. There is justifying sanctification, which implies that a person who is saved has been "set apart" from the world by the work of Christ applied to him. This sanctification of justification is without any of our works, and has to do with election. It is being sanctified from the guilt of sin that comes from the Law.

The second form of sanctification is the progressive abstinence of Christians from particular sins, and the doing of good works at all times in their place. The whole Law is summed up in love for God and love for our neighbors. Progressive sanctification is the improvement of love for others.

Some people mistake severe self-discipline as true sanctification. A person fasts constantly, prays for hours daily, and gives all of his possessions to feed the needy. Yet he may have little true sanctification. All works, however helpful to others, are only good in God's sight if they flow from divine grace, faith-filled gratitude, and are done for God's glory.

Again, good works are those which are,

1.) done in faith, that is, done in self reliance and without trust in God. If you try to love God or man with the intention of appeasing the Lord's wrath or earning saving merit, your works are not done in faith and are sin. "That which is not of faith is sin." [Romans 14:23]


2.) done according to the Law of God. "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments." [1 John 5:2] "If any man says he loves God and yet hates his brother, he is a liar." [1 John 4:20]


3.) done unto the glory of God and not for the praise of men. "Whatsoever you do.. do all to the glory of God." [1 Corinthians 10:31] " "When you do alms for the needy, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." [Matthew 6:2]

We must remember that true sanctification occurs only as a person rests upon God to graciously provide the faith, understanding, and motives necessary to do good works. Sanctification is not man's work alone, but is all the work of God through all the work of man.

Do all you can, and after you have done what you could, exclaim that it was by the grace of God that you did it. Confess your weaknesses. Believe on His power.

Paul did not say only, "it is I who live," but "Christ who lives in me." And, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Our sanctification is through a person, not a formula, discipline, or sentiment. Seek therefore the Person.

I do not believe that any Christian has ever sustained perfect sinlessness of character for any reasonable amount of time. Even in the best actions are many subtle corruptions, and the scriptures lead me to believe that this will remain until our "bodies of death" are transformed.

For this reason even our best endeavors can only be offered to God on the basis of grace. Our good deeds, which flow from and are soiled by these naturally filthy vessels, are sanctified by faith in the atonement of Christ. It is as Paul wrote, "offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto the Lord"; the living having been made holy and acceptable by that which has died, Jesus Christ, our Lamb.

From this you may gather that I do not believe that perfect character is a necessary attribute of truly saved individuals.

However, I do consent that Christians sometimes experience periods of "no known sin." This seems to be more common amongst new believers who simply regard fewer things as sin. Some sensitive disciples accept Paul's words, "pray without ceasing," as a command and necessary means of fulfilling the law of loving one's neighbor as himself. For this reason they may never experience the feeling of "sinless perfection," while perhaps, in the sight of God, they are regarded as outstanding and upright, as Job was.

After great battles of mortification our enemies sometimes retreat. During these seasons of apparent victory and smooth sailing, we must remember that our sinfulness lies hidden as icebergs beneath an ocean of unforeseen situations. Thinking we have risen above temptation, we may collide with failure. We cannot be certain of our integrity until it has been tried in a thousand furnaces, and even then we must "consider ourselves lest we fall likewise."

 2008/9/6 2:03Profile

Joined: 2007/8/17
Posts: 116
Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada

 Re: Sanctification: Obtained through identification with Christ's death or simpl

I believe the sinful nature was crucified with Christ, 2000 years ago. When we hear the truth
it set us free from the lie, knowing that the whole world is under the power of deception, when the light is shone in the darkness , the darkness has to flee.
That's what true repentance is, turning away from the darkness into the light.
From the power of satan to Christ our Lord.
Acts 26 15-18
Faith is simply believing what God has already done for us through Jesus, not trying to move God, He already move on our behalf in Christ.
Faith is the substance, it is finished accept it, and you will experience the reality of it.

Love in Christ tom

Tom weighill

 2008/9/7 5:39Profile

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