A) Meaning Of Sanctification

The term sanctification in the Christian faith means to be made holy through separation from evil things and separation unto God, and a holy life.

Exodus 30:29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.

Leviticus 11:44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Sanctification means 2 things, specifically:

  1. Separation from evil things

    2 Chronicles 29:5 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.
    2 Chronicles 29:15-18 And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came, according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD. And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took it, to carry it out abroad into the brook Kidron. Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof.

  2. Separation unto God

    Leviticus 27:16 And if a man shall sanctify unto the LORD some part of a field of his possession, then thy estimation shall be according to the seed thereof: an homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver.

When God sanctifies us, God is setting us apart and using us as He desires.

Psalms 4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

It’s not just separation from evil things. When we are separating from wickedness, we are separating to do righteousness.

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Notice that we are replacing the wrong thing with the right thing.
When we are trying to fight against our sins and separate from them, we need to replace them with holy things/works.

Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Ephesians 4:28-29 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Summary of sanctification (4 basic things): (1) to be set apart by God, (2) for God, (3) from sin, (4) unto a holy life.

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

B) Author Of Sanctification

Sanctification is given by God the Father.

Jude 1:1 “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:”

Jesus also sanctifies us.

Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

God the Holy Ghost gives us sanctification.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

Sanctification is given to us after salvation. It is a gift after we are saved. It is not an accomplishment.

When we are doing sanctification/holy things for God, don’t think it’s our own accomplishment. It is a gift given to us by God and we’re just using it for better and good use.

C) Time Of Sanctification

How does sanctification operate throughout time?

  1. Past
  2. Present
  3. Future

We got sanctified in the past when we were saved and inherit eternal life. This is what is also known as justification by faith.

1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

We have to keep our Christian life clean. The past is salvation but we’re supposed to sanctify and keep clean our present Christian living.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Even though our soul is clean but our flesh is wicked. One day when God raptures us, our body will be sanctified. We cannot achieve sinless perfection while we’re here on earth because of our flesh.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

D) Reason For Sanctification

It’s God’s will.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

Jesus was sanctified, so if we want to follow Jesus’s footsteps then we need to be sanctified like Jesus.

John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

How can Jesus Christ be sanctified and made more holy?

It is by pressing for something better, then we become sanctified and more holy. Don’t think that we’re holy enough right now, press for something better and become more holy. Live in the newness of life and have spiritual growth.

Philippians 3:12-14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

How did Jesus sanctify Himself?

God the Father sanctified Jesus Christ.

John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

It is also given by Himself, for He is God after all.

John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Sanctification by His people.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

In our hearts, Jesus Christ lives in us. Do we let sin be the king of our heart and our life? Or do we sanctify ourselves and set Jesus Christ as the king of our heart?

Sanctification is what causes us to be perfect and holy enough to go to heaven. It makes us permanently perfect in Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Sanctification is important because it results in fruits of holiness. We see growth in godliness, growth in grace in the lives of believers.

Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

When we get saved by faith in Jesus Christ, we become sanctified and we are promised heavenly inheritances.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

E) Objects Of Sanctification

Why did God stone men to death for breaking the Sabbath back in Old Testament?


God separated the Sabbath from evil to holiness, that’s the reason why He took the day of the Sabbath seriously in the Old Testament.

Genesis 2:3 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

Because God blessed it and sanctified the Sabbath.

Exodus 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

When God sanctifies something, He takes it very seriously.

What else did God sanctify?

God sanctified the tabernacle and everything in it.

Exodus 29:43-44 And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory. And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest’s office.

Even though Uzzah was not doing anything wicked but God killed him for touching the ark which was sanctified by God.

2 Samuel 6:6 And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.

When we give our money at the temple, God considers our money holy. Why? God sanctified the tabernacle, the temple. That’s why when the money or gold was given in the temple, the temple sanctified the gold.

Matthew 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

The altar was also sanctified by God.

Exodus 29:37 Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.

Taking God’s name in vain is a big deal because He sanctified His name.

Ezekiel 36:23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

God stoned people to death for taking His name in vain.

Leviticus 24:16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.

When we’re fasting and praying, God sanctifies it.

Joel 1:14 Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,

Fasting is a very powerful weapon for God to answer our prayer because God sanctifies it.

Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

When we got saved, our body became the house, the temple of Jesus, He lives inside of us and our body becomes sanctified. God can kill us for corrupting his body.

1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

We think that this body belongs to us, that’s why we skip bible reading, prayer, soul-winning, and other good things for God. That’s why we commit the sin again. We think that this is our body and that we can do what we want to do. No. This body is not ours, it’s God’s. Fight the sinful nature and strive for holiness of life.

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

How did God forgive sins in the Old Testament?

When the animals were sacrificed at the altar. That’s why an animal’s blood can forgive sin because it touched the altar and God sanctified the altar. When people put the gift of an animal or any other gift at the altar, it was considered holy.

Matthew 23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

Why does God consider sex to be clean at marriage but not before marriage?

God considers people holy in marriage when husband and wife are married otherwise when the wife produces children, the children would not be holy in God’s eyes. God sanctifies marriage, not fornication, not pre-marital sex.

1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

Fornication should be avoided because it is not sanctified by God.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

F) Means Of Sanctification

How does one sanctify themselves? What leads to sanctification?

From God.
We need to ask God for sanctification and God gives us sanctification. When we got saved, God gave us sanctification.

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Through the word of God.
If we want to be daily sanctified, we got to read the Bible daily.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.


1 Timothy 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

When God punishes us, we should rejoice because He is sanctifying us.

Hebrews 12:10-11 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Yield to what God or the Holy Ghost wants us to do, not our flesh.

Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

Confession of sins every day.

The blood of Jesus is what sanctifies us. Remember 1 John 1:7, 9, when we confess our sins to God and asks Jesus Christ to wash away our sins with His blood, He does that.

Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.


We are responsible for cleansing ourselves from uncleanliness.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

G) Symbols Of Sanctification

How was the altar sanctified?

By the blood of animals.

Why would God consider the blood of animals to be sanctified? Because it symbolizes the blood of Jesus.

Leviticus 8:15 And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it.

That’s the reason why the blood of animals sanctifies people because it symbolizes the means of sanctification, it symbolizes the blood of Jesus.

Hebrews 9:13-14 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

When the people pour the oil over people/something, God sanctified it. Because the oil symbolizes God the Holy Spirit.

Exodus 30:25-32 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations. Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you.

The oil is the Holy Spirit.

1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

Water. It symbolizes the Bible.

Exodus 30:17-24 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD: So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations. Moreover the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin:
Ephesians 5:26

God sanctified the rock of Meribah. Why? Because it symbolizes God the Son.

Numbers 20:11-13 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.

The rock symbolizes Jesus Christ. That’s the reason why God kicked out Moses from the Promised Land.

1 Corinthians 10:2-4 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;And did all eat the same spiritual meat;And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

You can find the original file of this study here.

Contrary to what some teaching of sanctification is (e.g. by John Macarthur etc), we do not experience a progressive sanctification. When we have been saved, our souls are sanctified, but our fleshly bodies can still continue to sin.

Only in our resurrected glorious bodies, will we experience entire sanctification. A wrong understanding of the “process of sanctification” will give birth to wrong doctrines such as Lordship salvation (that one needs to produce works to accompany salvation).