“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 Christ, and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).
Sanctification. To be separated to God. The course of life befitting those so separated.
Sanctification is used in the New Testament of the separation of the believer from evil things and
ways. These are all definitions and explanations of the word “sanctification”, found in Vine’s
Complete Expository Dictionary. But, if like me, it leaves us questioning what we just read. We
may understand it better when we say that sanctification is being “set apart”. Abraham was “set
apart” from others when God selected to make a covenant with him and commanded that
Abraham “walk before Me, and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1). The Israelites were “set apart”
when God called them to be “holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2).
We, too, are called to be a holy people to God, “set apart” [sanctified] from the world and
its way of living. “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts,
which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in
the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as
they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:11-12). Sanctified! “...prove
yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a
crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,…(Phil. 2:15).
Sanctified! Jesus challenges, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless,
how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing any more, except to be thrown out and
trampled under foot by me. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives
light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see
your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).
When we commit our lives to God in baptism, we become sanctified for His work. “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 Christ, and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11). (to be cont...)