Do you ever set aside something for a specific purpose? If you are a parent, you might tell your kids, “When Mom gets home from work, she needs thirty minutes by herself!” Maybe you have a specific time set aside for something special (vacation, personal time, a sitcom you enjoy). Or maybe you set aside Grandma’s special china just for Christmas. When we hear words like holiness or sanctification, we might think of saintly people who never fail or do anything wrong. But “to sanctify means to make holy or be made holy. … Holiness refers to separation or apartness. In the Old Testament, Israel was called a holy people because of their separation to God from all other nations” (J. Rodman Williams, Renewal Theology: Systematic Theology from a Charismatic Perspective, vol. 1, God, the World, and Redemption [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996], 83). The concept of holiness continues to describe God’s people in the New Testament—Christians. The Christian life is a life set aside for God’s purpose. He wants to change our life and the very core of who we are to reflect Jesus and use for his purpose. This is the sanctification of the Christian life. “God is concerned not only with the believer’s status but also with his state, his actual condition” (Everett F. Harrison, “Romans,” in Romans through Galatians, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary 10 [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976], 67).
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