‘May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Thessalonians 5.23
Sanctification sounds like hard work! It suggests a process of great sacrifice that is probably not very enjoyable! However, this verse puts it very differently. It speaks about sanctification as something flowing from the God of peace.
It makes sense that the God of peace would naturally want us to share in his peace, and perhaps that is ultimately what sanctification is about - bringing us all to a place of inner peace, where we are no longer struggling with things that draw us away from God.
Sanctification is certainly not about being miserable. Just look at Jesus: he provided wine for a wedding and told many parables containing great touches of humour; he was also deeply at peace and not thrown at all by external circumstances. He was gloriously holy, perhaps perfectly encapsulating the phrase in Psalm 96.9 – ‘worship the Lord in the splendour of his holiness’.
Sanctification is something to be welcomed; it is about us becoming more and more like Jesus.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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