Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sanctification: Studying the Seeds to Appreciate the Blossom

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Today, I want to check in with the Diggers.  You may find this helpful in some way , if you are not Digging (or if you have your shovel in some other part of scripture), but if you’re working through the sanctification passages in Genesis, I’m especially hoping you can take time for the read. (I must say here that I am thrilled that so many ladies are getting into the Word. This is powerful for the body of Christ in the U.S. today. If we can go back to being a people that studies His word diligently, we just may not only save ourselves and rescue our own families; we may have a strong impact on our communities once again. We could even live to see an impact on our nation. We are handling a very powerful thing when we handle the Word of God!)

First of all, I do recommend the article about sanctification written by Wayne Jackson. You can find it at I think it is important to notice, though, that the article deals primarily with sanctification under the new covenant. We will find that sanctification of Christians in the New Testament is a bit different from the examples of sanctification we are finding in Genesis. Like so many other concepts we see introduced (hinted at) in the Pentateuch, we find this one fully and beautifully developed in the new covenant.

Sometimes we are finding it difficult to pin down which items or characters are sanctified in the book of Genesis. A few examples are very obvious, though. One example is the sanctification by God of the sabbath day in Genesis 2:3:

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Below you will find the meaning from Strong’s of that word “sanctify” in Genesis 2:3:

qadash kaw-dash’ a primitive root; to be (causatively, make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally):–appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy(-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify(-ied one, self), X wholly.

Here it is obvious that God pronounced the sabbath day to be a holy day. He proclaimed it to be hallowed or consecrated for observation. It isn’t even until later that he tells his people how to observe the sabbath. This first mention of sanctification is quite different from the fully developed kind of sanctification of God’s people that we find in I Thessalonians 4:3-4, for example:

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

The Greek word here means more than just being noted as different from the rest. Here it means a state of purification, having been consecrated, purified and made holy. Unlike the sabbath day, which needed no cleansing (the day was not dirty), the sanctification of people in the New Testament involves cleansing and purifying. That’s why the New Testament speaks of our sanctification through his offering and His  blood (Heb. 10:29; Heb. 10:10). We simply cannot be called out of the world to be used for His holy purposes without being cleansed by the blood. Contact with the blood is the initial point of sanctification, of purification, of washing. Baptism is the point of contact with the blood (Romans 6:3,4) and is the place where we are washed and sanctified (I Corinthians 6:9-11.) Then, as we will see when we begin to study sanctification in the New Testament, the purity–the sanctification– must be maintained throughout our lives in this world. That’s a tough order,  but one that we can achieve when we maintain contact with the blood (I John 1:7).

So what is the point of the above contrast between the word “sanctification” in Genesis and “sanctification” in several New Testament passages?

Without being overly simplistic, and recognizing that we are all (most of all, Cindy Colley) learning as we progress through this study, one of the first things we are learning seems to be that, like so many Old Testament concepts, sanctification began by being primarily something that God did to things and people. He picked them out and He set them apart. He chose them and then He used them. The Hebrew nation was chosen and everyone who was a Hebrew was a  part of the nation God had set apart for the ultimate purpose of bringing the Savior into the world, whether or not  he/she was sincerely devoted to Jehovah. Moses, following God’s command, purified the people, on occasion (Exodus 19:14). God sanctified the Tabernacle (Exodus 29:43). Samuel sanctified the house of Jesse (I Samuel 16:5) when it was time to anoint David to be king. It just seems that, most of the time, God chose whom and what to sanctify and then we see those people and things being used for the accomplishment of His purposes.

But, in the New Testament, when redemption and sanctification through Christ has finally been offered, we see ALL people being called to sanctification and the choice of sanctification rests upon us. No longer does God have a specific nation that is sanctified by a calling. All nations are rather called to sanctification and those who respond in the washing of baptism (contact with the blood), are the ones who are purified or sanctified (Hebrews 2:9-11). No longer does God set apart Levites for his holy purpose of the priesthood, but instead he calls us all to be priests and those of us who wash, get to be the priests (I Peter 2:9). No longer does God sanctify a certain tent in Palestine to be the holy place of sacrifice, but he tells us our bodies are the temple and that our lives are the sacrifice (I Cor. 3: 16,17).  We are starting to see that our sanctification study will get very exciting when we come to the new law.

But it’s still really important to study what God sanctified in the Pentateuch. Why? Well, first of all, we can more fully be amazed by and be thankful for our modern sanctification, when we understand the shadows of it in the ancient Book. Secondly, we can just  be so very thankful that we, as Gentiles, can have access to the holy things that once belonged only to the Hebrews. Thirdly, we comprehend the amazing way that God transferred a religion based on being in the right place (the tabernacle) at the right time, having the right animals and the right basins, etc, and keeping the right feast days, to one in which we have the freedom to worship him in any city or village of the world because the offering for our sanctification has been made once and for all (Heb. 7:26,27; Heb. 10:10) The High priest has entered into the veil and made the sacrifice and has even taken away the veil that separated us from God (Heb. 10:19-22). Now, as purified priests, we can all approach God. The choice of priestly sanctification is no longer a selective one. We can elect to be sanctified! God has taken away the religion based on so many ordinances and written the law on our hearts (Hebrews 9)! Sanctification occurs with washing still, but not our physical bodies in basins and lavers. It occurs in the washing of the heart. It occurs in anointing still, but not in anointing of oil on our heads. It occurs in our hearts (I John 2:27)! I love that third reason for studying sanctification on the Old Testament.

So hang in there. A concept we are learning about in it’s infancy is developing. It is growing into something really wonderful. Just do your best to see how God is choosing people and things to be used for his purposes. Let’s especially look for the sanctification of people. I know you must have already written down Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–all key people in procuring redemption for us. You will be so glad you studied this when we get over to the new covenant. You will be so thankful for what we have in Christ–the complete purity, the accessibility to the blood, the freedom of living in his temple all of the time instead of making the pilgrimage. The concept with which we struggle in Genesis will, after about 4000 years, blossom into something too wonderful for words. And we not only get to learn about it; we get to live it! We live in the best era of God’s world thus far and if we live sanctified lives, we get to go live in the total, unblemished purity of heaven one day. That will be the ultimate fulfillment of sanctification!

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