WHAT SANCTIFICATION IS

The apostle Paul uses the concept of ‘sanctification’ in two ways. it’s used initially of our relationship to Christ upon trusting Him and on His finished work on the cross. It is a ‘position’ (righteousness) imputed upon us solely by the grace of God through faith. Secondly, believers need to ‘possess’ that “position” through an intimate, daily, and developing personal relationship with Him, where a lost world sees the family characteristic of God, i.e. holiness, or Christlikeness if you will. The missing element in modern-day Christianity is that, we are so committed to an initial salvation that we tend to forget we are called to Christlikeness. Salvation is not a ticket to heaven, or a hell-fire insurance policy we think we can purchase by our 2 to 3 hour Sunday church attendance, then come home for the rest of the week with a “what’s in it for me?”, “more and more for me” lifestyle – and we call that Christianity? So, the question is like this – “Are we secure in Jesus?” or “Must we persevere?” Yes, both are true! All theological truths come not in western propositional syllogisms, but in eastern tension-filled pairs of truths. “Is God sovereign?”, or “is man free?” Absolutely, both are true! What denominations do is pick one half of the biblical truth, and deny or depreciate other biblical truths. No one has any right to pick one inspired text over another inspired text. We are forced to live within the tension of all scriptures (no matter how seemingly paradoxical they are), and not your favorite denomination’s proof text. Interestingly, the word ‘saints’ is always used in the plural form everywhere in the Bible. It is used as singular only once in Phil. 4:21, and yet it’s still plural in context. Yes it is true, salvation comes to us individually and personally – one person, one encounter; one reception at a time. But the moment we become a child of God by personally receiving Christ, we become part of the family of God; the body of Christ; the building of living stones. What modern-day individual-focused Christianity missed is the corporate nature and the corporate responsibility of individual Christians. You were saved to serve, not saved to get the goal of your life. After you meet Jesus Christ, it’s not health, wealth, and happiness for you. The goal of the saved person is the health and growth of the body of Christ at any cost (cf. Eph. 4:16; 1 Cor. 15:58; Eph. 2:10).