Sanctification, Separation from ordinary use to a sacred purpose. The Hebrew word קָדֵשׁ and the Greek word ἃγιος, rendered "holy," "hallowed," and "sanctified," are applied to certain times which were hallowed — as the Sabbath and the Hebrew festivals (Ge 2; Ge 3; Ex 20:8,11; Le 23:37; 2Ki 10:20); to the things said to be hallowed, as the sacred incense or perfume (Ex 30:36; Mt 7:6), the sacred vestments (Ex 28:2,4), the sacred utensils (Ex 30:29; 1Ch 22:10; 2Ti 2:21), the holy bread (Le 21:22; 1Sa 21:5), the altar (Ex 29:37; Ex 30:1,10; Mt 23:19), and portions of the sacrifices (Le 2:3,10). So, also, of places said to be hallowed (Ex 3:5; Ac 7:33), as the holy city, i.e. Jerusalem (Ne 11:1; Isa 48:2; Mt 4:5; Mt 24:15; Mt 27:53; Ac 6:13; Ac 22:28), the holy mountain, i.e. Zion (Ps 2:6), the Tabernacle (Nu 18:10); the Temple (Ps 138:2), the most holy place, the oracle (Ex 26:33; Ex 28:43; Heb 9:2-3,12; 1Ki 6:16; 1Ki 8:6; Eze 41:23). So, also, men are said to be hallowed, as Aaron and his sons (1Ch 23:13; 1Ch 24:5; Isa 43:28), the firstborn (Ex 13:2), and the Hebrew people (Ex 19:10,14; Da 12), also the pious Hebrews, the "saints" (De 33:3; Ps 16:3; Da 7:18), like the word חָסַיד, rendered "saint" (Ps 30:4; Ps 31:23; Ps 37:28; Ps 1; Ps 5; Ps 52:9; Ps 79:2; Ps 97:10), and "godly" (Ps 4:3).
The terms are also used of those who were ceremonially purified under the Mosaic law (Nu 6:11; Le 22:16,32; Heb 9:13). But, though the external purifications of the Hebrews, when any one had transgressed, had to do with restoration to civil and national privileges, they did not necessarily induce moral and spiritual holiness. They, however, reminded the sincere Hebrew that he was unclean in the sight of God; and that the ceremonial cleansings, by which he had been restored to his civil and political rights, were symbols of those "good things that were to come" — spiritual and eternal salvation — which should accrue through the sprinkling of the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit. He was thus assured that "without holiness no man shall see the Lord" (Heb 9:14; Heb 12:14). Hence, sanctification is used to designate that state of mind induced by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, thus producing internal and external holiness (Joh 3:5; 1Co 6:11; Eph 5:26; 1Th 4:3-4,7). It is true, sanctification is sometimes spoken of as the work of man himself (Ex 19:22; Le 11:44; Le 20:7-8; 1Pe 3:15). When a person solemnly and unreservedly gives himself to God, he then may be said to sanctify himself. He is then enabled to believe in Christ with his heart unto righteousness, and God instantly, by the communication of his Holy Spirit, sanctifies the believer. Thus the believer gives himself to God, and God, in return, gives himself to the believer (Eze 36:25-29; 1Co 3:16-17; 1Co 6:19; 2Co 6:16-18; Eph 2:22). This sanctification, which is received by faith, is the work of God within us.
In a general sense, "sanctification" comprehends the whole Christian life (Ga 5:22-23; 1Pe 1:15-16,22; Heb 12:10;
Jas 4:8). In 1Th 5:23, the apostle prays for the sanctification of the entire Church in all its various departments. In 1Co 7:14, it is said, the unbelieving husband, or wife, is "sanctified" — that is, to be regarded not as unclean, but as specially claiming the attention of the Christian community. The term "sanctified" is also used in the sense of expiation (Heb 10:10,14,29). See Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines, 2, 281, 288, 503; Oosterzee, Christian Dogmatics. SEE HOLINESS.