In a devotional reading from Oswald Chambers today he writes about sanctification. There are two primary meanings of sanctification from the Bible. 1.) You are forever changed. 2.) You are forever changing.
Initially and primarily, the Bible uses sanctification as meaning we are ‘set apart’ or separated (think salvation). You are redeemed and set apart as a child of God when, by faith, you come to Jesus through His death, burial, and resurrection. You are forever changed. (Some people would call this justification). This is the “In the world, not OF the world”. A lot of people believe in this step and believe they are His.
Second, you are forever changing. As you continually change, you continue to grow closer to and more like Jesus. Growing and changing is not what saves you. You are saved by grace through faith as mentioned in the preceding paragraph. This second part is evidence that the first part was real.
Becoming more like Jesus doesn’t mean accepting sin. It means giving up sin. Becoming more like Jesus doesn’t mean becoming a pushover. It often means, because we care, calling people to repent of their sin. And to repent means to give up sin and to change – forever changed and forever changing.
Rascal Flatts sings about change: