16 November 2003
2 Thessalonians 2:13, Ephesians 4:23 & Romans 6:4
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 35. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.35. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace by which our whole person is made new in the image of God, and we are made more and more able to become dead to sin and alive to righteousness.
1. How does sanctification differ from justification?
Justification is complete at once; sanctification is a process carried on by degrees to perfection in glory. Justification alters a man’s position or standing before God; sanctification is a real change as it changes a man’s heart and life. Justification is an act of God without us; sanctification is the work of God, renewing us within as we use the means of grace.
2. What does the word “sanctify” mean in Scripture?
The word is used in two ways in Scripture. (1) To set apart from a common to a sacred use (John 10:36). (2) To render morally pure or holy (1 Corinthians 6:11).
3. Where does sanctification do its work in the believer?
Sanctification does its work in the heart of the believer, in the new man. God does a work of renovation in us after his image in knowledge, righteousness and holiness.
4. When we speak of the “new man” what do we mean?
We mean the new nature personified as the believer’s regenerate self, a nature “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24).
5. What are the two parts to sanctification?
The two parts are: (1) Mortification - in which we are enabled to die more and more unto sin (Romans 6:11). (2) Vivification - in which our natures are quickened by the power of grace so that we live unto righteousness (Romans 6:13).
6. Of what use is sanctification in the believer?
Sanctification is the evidence of our justification and faith and it is necessary if we are to live to the glory of God. It is a necessary aspect of our preparation to meet God, for without holiness no man shall see God.