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  • Writer's pictureSteve McAtee


Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Day 9 of the 22 Day Salvation Study

Notes compiled by Steve McAtee and Marty Zide

Questions to be Covered

What does sanctification mean? Do all true believers experience sanctification? How is a person sanctified and what changes occur? What are some of the results of sanctification?


Sanctification is the sovereign act of God whereby He sets apart a person, a place, or an object for Himself in order that He might accomplish His purpose in the world by means of that person, place, or object.

Sanctification may be defined as that gracious and continuous operation of the Holy Spirit by which, He purifies the sinner, renews his whole nature in the image of God, and enables

him to perform good works.

Sanctification means to be set apart and to be holy. The same root word is found in the English words saint, holy, and holiness.

Sanctification is a process by which one’s moral condition is brought into conformity with one’s legal status before God.

Sanctification is the work of God in our life as a believer, whereby we are purified by means of the Word from the pollution of sin while being conformed into the image of Jesus the Messiah.

This process continues throughout our life as we seek to live in accordance with the will of God as found in His Word.

Sanctification matches our lives on earth with what we are in heaven. In heaven, our position is that of complete holiness. As we progress in our life on earth as a believer, we should become holier as the days, months and years go by.

3 Types of Sanctification - What are the different aspects of sanctification?


All three types of sanctification relate to the true believer and different aspects of it will be present from the time of one’s salvation and will last throughout all eternity.

Positional Sanctification

This is the believer’s position or standing before God, based on the work of Jesus the Messiah. In positional sanctification, the believer is accounted holy before God and is declared a saint.

It’s Characteristics:

1. It places us in a state of holiness before the eyes of God.

2. It is an instantaneous work of God and does not increase or decrease.

3. It is true of every believer, no matter where they are in their spiritual life.

4. It makes every true believer a saint.

5. It continues on forever

1 Cor. 1:2 - to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Messiah Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, their Lord and ours:

1 Cor. 6:11 - And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus the Messiah, and in the Spirit of our God.

Heb. 10:10 - By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus the Messiah once for all.

Heb. 13:12 - Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

Acts 26:18 - to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.

Practical Sanctification

This aspect of sanctification (also called progressive) concerns the believer’s daily life. During their lifetime as a believer, it will fluctuate; depending upon one’s obedience or disobedience.

Practical sanctification does not have a bearing on positional sanctification. However, the opposite should be true.

It’s Characteristics:

1. It takes place throughout the entire life of a true believer.

2. It continues in an upward direction. Though there will be times of digression.

3. It involves our separation from sin and our dedication to God.

4. It is a process that varies among believers. Some believers grow at a quicker rate than others.

5. Through this process, we become more holy in conduct. We are actually becoming more and more like Jesus the Messiah.

2 Cor. 3:18 - 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 from the Lord, the Spirit.

Gal. 4:19 - My children, with whom I am again in labor until Messiah is formed in you.

Rom. 6:19 - I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

Rom. 8:29 - For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;

1 Thess. 4:3 - For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 1 Thess. 4:7 - For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

Practical & Positional Sanctification - It’s Comparisons:


1. It relates to our standing in Messiah.

2. It occurs at salvation.

3. It’s God’s instantaneous work

4. It’s complete.

5. It’s the same for every believer

6. It makes the believer a saint


1. It relates to our condition of life.

2. It occurs throughout life.

3. It’s God’s progressive work.

4. It’s incomplete.

5. It varies with every believer each believer.

6. makes the believer saintly.

Ultimate Sanctification

This aspect of sanctification concerns the believer’s life in heaven as a totally glorified saint. At this time we will be brought into complete conformity with the human nature of our Lord

Jesus the Messiah. For all eternity we will remain in this condition.

Phil. 3:20-21 - For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus the Messiah; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

1 Thess. 5:23 - Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus the Messiah.

Jude 1:24 - Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,

1 John 3:2-3 - Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Mechanics of Sanctification - How does the sanctification process work?

(This only refers to practical sanctification.)


The role that man plays is not independent of God. We could not obey Him if it were not for His power. But, we must also realize that the commands in Scripture were not addressed

to God, but to us. When we obey them by His power sanctification takes place.

The role that we play in sanctification is both a passive one in which we depend upon God to sanctify us and an active one in which we strive to obey God and take steps that will increase our sanctification.

Rom. 8:13 - ... if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Rom. 6:13 - and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Phil. 2:12-13 - So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

1 Thess. 4:3 - For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 1 John 3:3 - And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

The Bible does not offer any short cuts by which we can grow in sanctification, it encourages us to repeatedly give ourselves to the proven method of Bible reading, meditation, prayer, witnessing, fellowship and worship.

The process of sanctification is greatly assisted by being around other believers. Believers who avoid or simply neglect to be in the presence of fellow saints will find that their sanctification process will be greatly hindered.

Eph. 4:16 - from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

1 Thess. 5:11 - Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Gal. 6:1-2 - Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Messiah.

The Fruit of Sanctification - What does sanctification look like?


Our Lord Jesus is the ultimate example of what we should look like as sanctification progresses.

We will be conformed more and more into His image.

Sanctification has an effect on every aspect of a human being. It has a positive impact on our mind, emotions, and will. The Word spells out some of the practical ways in which sanctification manifests itself.

Gal. 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

If you claim to be a true believer, but the process of sanctification has not begun, you need to do some spiritual investigation. One cannot be saved and not be in the process of being conformed to our Savior.

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