Sanctification – Sanctify in the New Testament appears 8 times. (Romans 6:19, 6:22; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 4:4, 4:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Heb. 12:14.) In noun form the Greek word is: hagiasmos (hag-ee-as-mos’) NT: 38 (Strong’s number definition), and carries the idea of being in the state of holiness. See Strong’s number definition. Also compare 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 in the NASB, KJV, and NIV for usage of this word.
Sanctification is a doctrine based on the holiness of God, and without sanctification there can be no spiritual connection with God. Hebrews 12:14 states: “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” (NASB) The term sanctification could be substituted with the word holiness.
The Scriptures also demonstrate a relationship between sanctification and righteousness. Romans 6:19: “I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.” (NASB) This connection to righteousness demonstrates that holiness cannot exist apart from righteousness.
What is righteousness? Righteousness means to be in right standing with God’s standards. In order to be in right standing with God, one must be obedient by faith. Romans 9:30-33: “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (NASB)
Where does man’s righteousness and sanctification come from? God! 1 Corinthians 1:30-31. “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, that, just as it is written, Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (NASB)
How is sanctification achieved? Second Thessalonians 2:13-15 states. “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NASB) It is our faith placed in the truth of the gospel, and that gospel is this: that Jesus was virgin born, lived a sinless life, died on the cross of Calvary and was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. First Corinthians 15:1-8 states: “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.” (NASB)