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Sanctification. In biblical religion, the concept of the holiness of God is of paramount importance.

It signifies his unblemished righteousness as well as his singular and radiant majesty. The Holy One cannot have communion with the unholy. Sinful humans can only approach him if they are sanctified, i.e. made to correspond to his holiness (Lv. 19:2). In the OT, the term sanctification is primarily a technical term of cult ritual. It connotes both cleansing (e.g. the washing of garments to prepare to meet with Gods presence, Ex. 19:10, 14), and consecration, dedication to the service of God (of priests, the vestments, cult implements, Ex. 19:22; warriors in preparation for holy war, Is. 13:3; first-born, Dt. 15:19; and gifts for the temple, 2 Sa. 8:11). However, in the OT the meaning of sanctification and holiness also extends beyond the ritual to the moral sphere. Some describe this as the struggle of prophetic against religion (referring, e.g., to Joel 2:13: Rend your hearts and not your garments), and animal sacrifice being replaced by prayer, thanksgiving and a contrite heart (Ps. 50:13ff.; 51:16ff.). The addition of the figurative (moral) understanding of sanctification can also be observed in the Holiness Code (Lv. 19ff.) where sanctification (making oneself holy) consists of observing Gods laws both ceremonial and moral (cf. Lv. 11:44 11 : 44 with 20:78 20 : 7 20 : 8 ) It is understood (negatively) as not let ourselves be defiled as well as (positively) to follow Gods commandments. Lv. 20:7 moreover shows human self-sanctification and Gods sanctification of man as its cause, side by side, both the imperative and the indicative, in harmony. Humans must not only sanctify themselves, they can also sanctify God (Nu. 20:12; Ezek. 20:41) or those things that he has put in place (e.g. the sabbath, Ex. 20:11) through obedience. Sanctification is the way that people or things are cleansed and dedicated to God to be used for him. The NT concepts of holiness and sanctification emphasize the moral meaning. This is part of the program of Jesus when he confronts the Pharisees and scribes over their rules of purification (Mt. 15:1920 15 : 19 15 : 20 ) Also, the apostles say that people must be sanctified by a cleansing of the heart (Acts 15:9) and conscience (Heb. 9:14 () as well as actively living out sanctification in moral conduct (1 Pet. 1:15, cf. 1 Thes. 4: 1 read through v5. The figurative (moral) understanding applies also to the NT, when it continues the two ideas of sanctification in the OT: cleansing (Eph. 5:26; Heb. 9:1314) and dedication to God (Rom. 6:19). Paul uses the technical language of cult and ritual for the spiritual commitment of man to God and his service (Rom. 15:16; Col. 1:28): to him, sanctification is the moral equivalent to sacrifice Rom. 12: 1 2 Believers have been chosen and called for sanctification. It is Gods will for them (1 Thess. 4:3), for without it, noone will see the Lord Heb. 12 14 Thus, for the rest of their lives, they must no longer live by human passions, but by the will of God (1 Pet. 4:2). Sanctification pertains to soul and body, and it is expressed in doing good (1 Pet. 2:15, 20; 3:6, 17; 3 Jn. 11), and

in good works (2 Tim. 2:21; 1 Pet. 2:12; and see Mt. 25:3146) which, indeed, are the goal of Gods salvation for them (Eph. 2:10; Tit. 2:14; 3:1). Along with the moral understanding of the concept, sanctification of believers in the NT is seen primarily as the work of God (cf. Jn. 10:36), of Christ (Jn. 17:19; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 5:26; Heb. 2:11; 10:10, 14; 13:2) and especially of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:16; 2 Thes. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2 and cf. 1 Cor. 6:11). It is understood first as a saving event in the past in which believers were sanctified once and for all (Heb. 10:29, looking to the cross of Christ; and 1 Cor. 6:11, looking to their baptism). Thus they can now regularly be addressed as hgiasmenoi, the sanctified (1 Cor. 1:2; Acts 20:32; 26:18; Rom. 15:16; referring to an individual in Heb. 10:29 and 2 Tim. 2:21), or as saints (hagioi). Sanctification is, however, also seen as an ongoing and future work of God (1 Thess. 5:23; Rev. 22:11, cf. Jn. 15:2). Beyond that, sanctification is even understood as a realm of human action. Therefore, hagiasmos (the Gk. term meaning holiness just as much as sanctification) can denote a state in which believers find themselves (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 Thes. 4:7, cf. Eph 1:4) and in which they must remain (1 Tim. 2:15; 1 Thess. 4:7) by living in according to the holiness given to them (cf. Eph. 5:3), as well as to a state to which they must try to live, which they must pursue Heb. 12 14 or complete 2 Cor. 7 1 in order to attain it (Heb. 12:10). Believers are thus both passive and active in their sanctification. Whereas the two associated verbs denoting cleansing and dedication are used with man as passive and active (2 Tim. 2:21; cf. 1 Jn. 3:3), the verb hagiazein (to sanctify) may occasionally be used in an active sense with man as subject, in a construction similar to Nu. 20:12, speaking of the sanctification of God, or Christ, in the hearts of the believers (1 Pet. 3:15); but it never seems to refer to people sanctifying themselves (making themselves holy somehow by their own efforts)except in the case of Jesus (Jn. 17:17). In sum, sanctification is seen as a one-time event and as a process, the believers being and becoming holy and acting correspondingly. Theology today should recover and present the whole range of aspects of the biblical teaching: Christians are called to sanctification. It is part of the purpose of their election and remains the indispensable condition of their communion with God. As the complement of justification (forgiveness of sins) it is, in the first place, a work of God, more specifically of the Holy Spirit, both as a onetime act, valid for all time, imputing and imparting holiness, and as an ongoing, progressive work. In the latter sense, it also becomes a human work. It takes place in our earthly lives, as a moral and spiritual cleansing and dedication of soul and body, harnessing and deploying all human faculties in the service of God, for the upbuilding of Christian fellowship and the implementation of Gods will in the world. Holiness means to be at Gods disposal; it is task-orientated. Sanctification will find expression in a life of prayer and spiritual warfare and discipline, i.e. in acts of asceticism, as well as in good works that benefit people for time and eternity. It is the restoration of the image of God in man, the gradual assimilation of the believer to Christ and the mind of Christ, and the demonstration of the Spirit and of power (2 Cor. 2:4).