Sanctification (Greek hagiasmos, Latin sanctificatio) is, according to Christian belief, the process by which the Christian is transformed into ever greater holiness and likeness of Christ.
The Lutheran theology describes sanctification as the realization of God’s holy will on the people. Within the Catholic Church, sanctification is perceived as a work of God in and with man, not something that the person is aware of, and it does not differ sanctification from salvation or repentance. After the Reformation, different moments of salvation were distinguished in psychological and educational interest. Sanctification was then denoted as man’s moral transformation.
Sanctification is emphasized particularly in Methodism (including the Salvation Army) and charismatic Christianity, primarily holiness movement, but also in the Pentecostal movement and the faith movement. In these contexts, sanctification is described sometimes as deliverance from the power of sin, that is, the restoration of man’s original goodness as nature. Sanctification Doctrine has also affected the Baptists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterianists.
According to Sanctification doctrine, sanctification is done by grace. Some preachers describes sanctification as a process that leads to humble and open mind.
The New Testament describes sanctification sometimes as something that God does and sometimes as something you do for yourself (The apostles urged Paul to let sanctify themselves in Acts 21:24-26). A related concept is the transfer. It denotes a Christian who decides to give his unqualified assent to what God wants to do. The believer puts his life in God’s hands and prays that his will completely receive advice.
Father of Methodism John Wesley spoke of a Christian as a person seeking the state of Christian perfection (English Christian perfection), which can be reached during this mortal life. This term is rarely used outside of Methodism. Within Methodism also occurs concept evangelical sinlessness, as opposed to sinlessness and perfection in the Old Testament sense, which demanded own performance and was not done by grace. Wesley, however, took away from the concept of sinlessness. In sanctification movement this is equivalent to the concept of entire sanctification. Today many preachers nuanced this proclamation, and usually refers to the concept of holiness as a process or path, and perfection as a goal to strive for but never achieved in this life.
Some preachers say that although all Christians are tempted and make mistakes sometimes, so does sanctification that it is not normal for a born-again Christian to daily commit willful sin. God has already forgiven sin once and for all. Hence, these preachers strongly emphasize on regular confession of one’s sins and asking for the forgiveness of sins.
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