Question: Where does the Bible talk about sanctification?
So what is “sanctification”? Here’s a simple biblical definition:
“That life-long work of the indwelling Holy Spirit that progressively molds and shapes the believer into the image of Christ ” (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18).
At salvation, the Bible states that we begin a life-long, Spirit -driven process of becoming more and more like Christ in our attitudes and actions. While saved from the penalty and power of sin, we are still confronted, both internally and externally, with the presence of sin. So, during our earthly life, we constantly battle with our fallen humanness, the world’s temptations and the evil one’s schemes. Progressive sanctification is the life-long journey whereby, through that battle, our character is conformed more and more to the image of Christ. This “conformity” is a cooperative process by and between God’s Spirit working in us and our obedience to God’s Word (Phil 2:12-13).
The Bible teaches “sanctification” includes three (3) key components:
- Positional Sanctification: That component of God ‘s “gift of salvation” where He makes, declares and sees the believer as “positionally” holy and perfect through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor. 1:2, 1:30, 6:11; Heb 2:11)
- Progressive Sanctification: The Holy Spirit’s ministry to every believer where He progressively brings us into conformity to the likeness and character of Christ through obedience to the Word of God (John 17:17, 19; 2 Cor 3:18; Eph 5:26; Rom 8:29)
- Perfect Sanctification: The final act in our sanctification by God wherein He makes our “positional sanctification” and “progressive sanctification” one and the same as we arrive in heaven! Our practice is forever conformed to our position in Christ — perfect, holy and blameless (Rom 8:23; 1 Cor 15:42-44, 51-53; Phil 3:21; 1 John 3:2)
Here’s some other verses that speak to the process of ” progressive” sanctification:
Rom 6:19, 8:13; Heb 12:1, 14:1 ; 1 Thess 4:3; 1 Tim 4:8; Phil 3:13-14
Hope this helps!