Sanctification isn’t becoming like Jesus. He IS our sanctification. There’s a big difference.


But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30).

We tend to think of sanctification as a life-long process through which we draw from Jesus the power to be holy. We think that the more we learn of Jesus, the more of Him will spiritually rub off on us and we become more like Him. While this sounds biblical and noble, it’s not even close to the truth. In fact, I’m convinced that the reason we stay stuck in our spiritual ruts for so long is because we have bought into a lie. We have failed to understand the true nature of sanctification.

Sanctification is nothing less than Christ in us. He’s either in us or He’s not. We don’t receive part of Him now with the rest coming later. When we are born again, He, in all His fullness, completeness, and holiness, becomes our life. Biblical sanctification is the holiness of Christ in us being manifested to the world. Our role isn’t to imitate Jesus. It isn’t asking, “What would Jesus do”? It’s allowing Him to do the same things through me today that He did while He physically walked the earth.


It’s true that a process is involved, but it’s not a process of “becoming,” but a process of removing, ignoring, and crucifying all the bad habits that still linger and fight against Christ’s life within us.

Crucified with Christ

As far as holiness goes, we’re already there because the Holy One has now become our life. Read today’s verse again. Christ has become our sanctification. It’s a done deal. It happened in an instant, not gradually. What is gradual is our understanding of what has already happened and our response as we learn to live under a new set of rules—rules requiring our complete abandonment to the Holy One within us—rules that requires us to take up our cross and allow Jesus to live out His life through us.

Walking in the Spirit is simply the process of letting Christ live out His life through us. The battle between the Spirit and the flesh is one for supremacy, and until we determine which one we will allow to win, we will remain stuck in our spiritual rut. The truth is that followers of Christ already have His mind, His heart, His compassion, His holiness, and His faith. We have the choice to allow them all to be manifested through us or to act as though we didn’t really die when Christ died (Gal. 2:20). We can continue running our lives our way, claiming that we are following Christ or we can really do it. Our choice will be evident to those around us.


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