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“Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin and live unto righteousness.” (WSC Q/A 35). This definition of sanctification is a good summary of Scripture’s teaching (Ezek. 36:37, Phil. 2:13, 2 Thes. 2:13, Eph 4>23-24, Rom 6:4-14, etc.). Thomas Watson does a nice job giving some more detail:
- Sanctification is a supernatural thing. It is divinely infused. We are naturally polluted, and to cleanse, God takes it to be his gracious prerogative. “I am the Lord which sanctify you” (Lev. 21:8). Sanctification is a flower of the Spirit’s planting, therefore it is called, ‘The sanctification of the Spirit’ (1 Pet. 1:2).
- Sanctification is an intrinsic thing. It lies chiefly in the heart. It is called “the adorning the hidden man of the heart” (1 Pet. 3:4). The dew wets the leaf, the sap is hid in the root… sanctification is deeply rooted in the soul (Ps. 51:6).