Sanctification is the act of setting apart a believer for God. This setting apart is enabled because of Christ’s sacrifice. Romans 3:10 says, ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.’ There is no one who is righteous because we all have sin in our lives. God, being a holy God, cannot be in the presence of sin. To take care of this problem, God sent Jesus to this earth to give His life as a sacrifice. In other words, Jesus paid the penalty for us; for our sin. When we accept Jesus as our ‘Savior,’ Jesus sanctifies us, or sets us apart from our sin. In this sanctification we are able to come to God.
What does this mean? It means that our sin no longer separates us from God. Through confession and forgiveness we can have our sin removed. So, we can always have access to God, because we can be sanctified again and again by the blood of Jesus. This can also help remove our feelings of guilt, because once the sin is removed, it is done away with, and no longer has any power in our lives. It is as if that sin never happened, for God ‘remembers it no more.’
As a pastor I deal with so many people who live their lives feeling guilty for their past sins, even though they say they have asked God to forgive them. They live in guilt because they cannot forgive themselves, or they think that God continues to remember. In essence, by not moving on, they are crucifying Jesus over and over again. They are not believing that Jesus’ death on the cross once and for all paid for their sins!What we need to do is accept and believe that Jesus’ death sanctifies us. What we need to do is live as people who are free, not as people who are trapped by our sin. What we need to do is let God empower us to be a blessed people because we are lifted up above our sin. Our Lord, sanctify me this day. Amen.