We have a fancy word, sanctification, for a quick and easy way to say a whole lot. In fact, it will take two sermons and a bunch of these devotions to just scratch the surface of what that one word means. Sanctification in general means to be set apart, made clean, made perfect for the purpose of being used by God. And so the question arises, “Can we really be made clean? Can we really be sanctified? Why would God want to use this?” After all, we are all sinners still, right?
While it is true that until the resurrection comes, we will struggle with sin, there is another fight being wagged that Christ has already won. Because of that victory over sin, we are already rightly called sanctified. Paul says, ‘If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved…. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”’ (Romans 10:9-11) It is God who sanctifies us through the Holy Spirit, He makes us clean, white as snow. It is God, “because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
We can’t make ourselves pure and holy. God does all the heavy lifting. This doesn’t excuse us from living holy lives but it lifts the burden from us. “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit… so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:5) Our hope in eternal life starts with the cleansing we have by the Holy Spirit when we believe. We have been made whiter than snow. We need to walk with our heads held high and not ashamed while the Holy Spirit living in us declares we are redeemed.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39