God sends each believer through a process the Bible calls sanctification. Though that’s a large, confusing word, the meaning is simple. Sanctify means “to make holy” or “to set apart.” So when something is sanctified, it’s separated from a common use and designated for a sacred one.
In the Old Testament, God sanctified a number of things: He made the seventh day holy, set aside the Levite tribe as priests, and consecrated places like the tabernacle (Gen. 2:3; Num. 3:1-51).
The Lord still sanctifies today. Before salvation, we are spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 5:10). But the moment we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior, our sins are wiped away, and we are adopted into God’s family forever.
We are set apart as a child of God for a sacred purpose. We aren’t to chase after personal gain; we should serve God and bring Him honor and glory with our life. Sanctification is the believer’s cleansing or purging from the nature of sin.
This experience is not for sinners, but for people who, through grace, are saved and reconciled to God. This second work of grace makes the believer to be holy, have the nature of God and reflect the life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Members of God’s family—also known as saints—are called to reflect His glory. The word saint shares its root with sanctification. We are given this moniker, not because we live sinless lives but because the One we belong to is perfectly holy.