Real Talk – What Is Sanctification?

I’ve wanted to write this post for a while now. In the Real Talk post titled The Way, the Truth, and the Life, we learned that God’s Word is sanctifying truth (John 17:17). John 17:19 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13 are other verses that relate sanctification with the truth.

Sanctified, sanctify(ing) is to cleanse or set apart for sacred use; to declare or make holy. Sanctification is becoming more and more like Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. And its meaning is described in Romans 6:1—8:39; submitting our flesh and thoughts to God’s Word and walking out our kingdom purpose through renewal and regeneration. I encourage you to read it!

What I would like to do for this post is make some connections between verses that use a form of the word sanctify:


For example, in Romans 15:16 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, sanctification has to do with the gospel.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 and 1 Peter 1:2 include the word peace; Acts 20:32, Hebrews 10:29, and 1 Peter 1:2 have the word grace.

According to 1 Corinthians 7:14, God regards marriage as sanctified through one believing husband or wife.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 states that it is God’s will, our sanctification: that we should avoid sexual immorality.

1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, and 1 Peter 1:2 refer to being “called” or “chosen”—God’s foreknowledge of one’s salvation and purpose (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:4).

Offerings are a theme of Romans 15:16, Hebrews 9:13, Hebrews 10:29, and 1 Peter 1:2; the blood of Christ as the perfect sacrifice, specifically, in Hebrews 10:29 and 1 Peter 1:2.

Jesus is speaking in Acts 26:18, when He appeared to Paul, telling us that we find sanctification by faith in Him; 1 Corinthians 1:2 and 1 Corinthians 6:11 tell us in Christ Jesus and His name.

Romans 15:16, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Hebrews 10:29, and 1 Peter 1:2 all point to the Holy Spirit as the source of sanctification.

What Is Sanctification?

Acts 20:32 focuses on how the message of God’s grace can build us up; 20:32 and 26:18 speak on the inheritance given us among those who are sanctified. Similarly, discipleship is the tutelage and teaching of biblical doctrine that leads to sanctification.


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Real Talk – Faith and Deeds

James 2:14-18 KJV

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Faith and Deeds

When I first read James, I thought to myself, oh snap, did I give misinformation!? I take that very seriously. I’m not a teacher. Nor am I ordained in any office of the five-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). But I do believe that just by posting this, I will be judged more strictly (James 3:1).

At first, it seems James’s teaching in the verses above and Paul’s in the following verse contradict each other:


Romans 3:28 KJV

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.


But if we look more closely, we see that they complement each other.

Intellectual assent is an agreement with a set of Christian teachings. If we only agree with these truths, our faith is incomplete, and our lives will remain unchanged. Because if we truly believe, it will transform our conduct and our thoughts. That’s major!

It’s one thing to read God’s Word, to understand, and to agree. But it’s something else to believe faithfully and not waver (James 1:6).

Our good deeds will never earn our salvation. Instead, a changed life and good deeds are the results of true faith. Paul teaches to those who try to be saved by deeds instead of true faith. James warns not to confuse intellectual assent with true faith. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19 KJV)

In summary, we cannot earn our salvation through acts of loving service or our obedience. However, these actions do demonstrate our real commitment to God. Good deeds do not replace but rather prove our faith in Christ.


Interesting Fact: Jesus’ brother James, a leader in the Jerusalem church, wrote this letter. Not the apostle James.


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In Pisidian Antioch

Acts 13:13-52 KJV

13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.

16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.

17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.

18 And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.

19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.

20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.

21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.

22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

23 Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:

24 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

25 And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.

26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.

28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.

29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.

30 But God raised him from the dead:

31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.

32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,

33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.

35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:

37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.

38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;

41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.

43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.

50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.

51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.

52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

Praise to God for a Living Hope

1 Peter 1:3-12 KJV

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Real Talk – God’s Got This

John 16:33 KJV

33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

God's Got This

Oh Lord, what we are facing in our nation and all over the world right now! But from the words of Jesus to His disciples, “take heart!” (John 16:33 NIV) We will inevitably face struggles, but we are not alone! Let us remember that Jesus is with us and the ultimate victory is ours to claim (Revelation 1:17-18)! And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 KJV)

There is also this verse: “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3 NIV) So what does it mean to be “hidden with Christ”? The meaning of hidden here is that a believer’s life is covered and safe. We need not hope only for the future; eternal life begins when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior (1 Peter 1:3)! Once again, we can take heart that our salvation is secure, and we can be free to live for Christ each day!


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