In the circle that I was mentored in, when I was a young Christian, I used to hear the old timers say, “I’m saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Spirit!” They could tell you the exact date they were saved, the exact date they were sanctified, and the exact date they were filled with the Holy Spirit. I knew the exact date I was saved. But what was this sanctification? I found out through their testimony that it was the day they were so convicted that they flushed all their alcohol & drugs, crushed all their cigarettes, trashed all their pornography, destroyed all their ungodly records & books, gave up gambling, and got rid of any other sinful habits that stood in the way between them and their Lord. Their explanation was very simple. After their salvation experience, it was the experience of the Holy Spirit cleaning up their lives.
Sanctify means to make holy. It is the work of God making us holy. Holiness is the state, while sanctification is the process. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
You don’t hear that much spoken about sanctification anymore. Many Christian circles label it legalism. But I still remember those old timers singing ‘Victory is Mine!’ and you could tell that it was with an inner joy that could not be taken away. They did not need to read books like ‘Becoming a Better You’ by Joel Osteen or ‘Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren. They read their Bibles diligently and realized that the Holy Spirit offered ‘a better you’ and had ‘a purpose for their life’. They did not waste their money on books like that. The Bible was all sufficient and they put their extra money into the collection plate for Missionaries to spread the good news of the Gospel throughout the world.
I see a lack of contentment in many of today’s Christians. The proof of this is in their searching for their fulfillment outside the Bible. They read books and follow teachings of many of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. I think maybe if our Christian Churches got back to teaching Sanctification, we would not see such a rapid rise of the false teachers and teachings we see.
I have included a brief PDF that explains Sanctification a little more with Scripture references to read. May you find this document a blessing to your life. If Sanctification is what you need in your life, I pray that you will experience it.