Sanctification is, in short, the work of God within us to purify us (Titus 2:14), transform us (Romans 12:2), and mold us into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29). This is God’s very will for us (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
And while it is a work of His free grace, it also requires from us. The theologian J.I. Packer put it this way in his book Concise Theology: “Sanctification…is in one sense synergistic–it is an ongoing cooperative process in which regenerate persons, alive to God and freed from sin’s dominion (Romans 6:11, 14-18), are required to exert themselves in sustained obedience.” Sanctification is neither “self-reliant activity,” nor “God-reliant passivity,” but “God-dependent effort.” We abide in Him, asking for His help constantly–and receiving it.
This is the heart of our message at pureHOPE–the PURE life is one defined by prayer (2 Chronicles 7:14, John 15:5, Philippians 4:6), understanding (Proverbs 19:8, Luke 24:45, Ephesians 5:17), resolve (Isaiah 30:15, John 14:21, Romans 15:4), and engagement (Deuteronomy 6:5, John 15:12, 1 John 3:18), but totally dependent on Jesus’ finished work on the cross. And it is one we are called to initiate, or re-initiate, every day of our lives.