What does it mean to be sanctified, and how does that happen?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: Recently movies and songs titled “Sanctified,” are written and performed by artists who abuse important biblical thoughts. What does it mean to be sanctified, and how does that happen? – S.A.
A: The word sanctified means “set apart.” Scriptures teach that sanctification has three parts to it, and is a lifelong process. The moment a person receives Christ there is an immediate sanctification — set apart for Christ. As we progress in the Christian life, there’s a progressive sanctification — learning to follow the Lord. When we go to Heaven there’ll be total and complete sanctification (called glorification), where believers are made completely whole.
A man purchased a home in the Caribbean islands — the ruins of an old mansion. In his eyes, he saw the ruins as it would someday be, beautiful, restored, and complete. He worked on it with this picture in mind. To the average beholder it may have looked like something out of a horror movie, with its scraps of lumber, patched tin roof, and beat-up tile floor. But to this man it was a special place that was worth transforming.
Perhaps the world sees Christians like this; not quite what we should be, yet identified with Christ. God sees His followers as we’ll be someday — complete in Him. When the Spirit of God comes into Christians’ lives, He begins a work to make us Christlike, and He will finish that which He starts. Jesus prayed for His people and said, “Sanctify them by Your truth” (John 17:17).
Christians are to make it their goal to become more like Christ by refusing to let sin have its way, and pursuing instead that which is pure and good in the sight of God.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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