“[Put] off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22–24).
“Sanctification” is a churchy word, but it is first a biblical word. It includes both an objective and a subjective reality. Objectively, God purifies (or sanctifies) sinners through the gracious work of His Holy Spirit. Subjectively, sinners cooperate with God’s Spirit who empowers and creates new desires within them to actually live progressively purer lives.
Is the Christian sanctified?
Well, the answer to this question is both “Yes” and “Not yet.” “Yes,” every person who loves and trusts in Jesus Christ is immediately and miraculously sanctified. Christians are perfectly holy and pure in God’s sight because they wear the righteousness of Christ.
“Yes,” every person who loves and trusts in Jesus Christ is immediately and miraculously sanctified. Christians are perfectly holy and pure in God’s sight because they wear the righteousness of Christ. Jesus was perfectly right as a human, and He gives that perfect rightness to those who trust Him for it.
“Not yet,” those who love and trust Christ are not yet fully sanctified. They are not made personally pure until that moment when they pass from mortality to immortality. In this life, Christians will evidence their love for Christ in their obedience to Him, but the completion of God’s sanctifying work is yet-to-come from this side of eternity.
So, Is the Christian sanctified?
Yes… Jesus makes us pure… and Not yet… God is still working in us to be more like Christ each day.
May those who trust in Christ find great rest in the sanctifying gift of His righteousness, and may they also find great hope in the fact that God is not done ridding them of their remaining sin.