I Thessalonians 4:4

            Sanctification, like all other aspects of salvation, is entirely a work of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. It is not to any degree dependent upon or performed by us. The Holy Spirit tells us plainly that all true believers “are sanctified” (I Cor. 6:11). Never once in the New Testament is sanctification spoken of as being in the present tense, or as a progressive work. Sanctification is the setting apart of God’s elect and making them holy. It is a threefold work of the triune God. We were sanctified by God the Father in election, set apart for him and to be made holy by him before the world began (Jude 1). We were sanctified by the blood of Christ in redemption, justified, and declared to be holy before God (Heb. 10:10, 14). We were sanctified by God the Holy Spirit in regeneration, having a holy nature imparted to us in the new birth (II Pet. 1:4; I John 3:9). And the God of peace shall sanctify us wholly, spirit, soul, and body in resurrection glory at Christ’s second coming! Notice: In all aspects, sanctification is something God does for us and in us, never something we do for ourselves, or even something we do for ourselves by the gracious assistance of God the Holy Spirit.


Don Fortner