The Manifold Wisdom Of God

Kingdom Holiness & Sanctification




"Be holy, for I am holy"

"in the world" - "not of the world"


To generalise, holiness and sanctification are about "knowing what God says about you" and "living out the things He says to you".

The basic words of "holy" and "sanctified" are from the Greek words hagios, translated holy, and hagiazo, translated sanctified (Strong's Concordance).

"Hagios" means holy, a characteristic of God and separated (to God).

"Hagiazo" means to make holy, consecrate, sanctify, separate, set apart for God.

The characteristics of holiness and sanctification have their beginnings in godliness. Godliness begins when a person hears the Good News of Jesus Christ, believes it and receives Him.

The new-born Believer has become godly, that is, alive to God and aware of Him. (For more see Kingdom Godliness on the Menu).


God calls these new Believers to "Be holy, for I am holy". However, being holy in every day life requires a sorting out their way of thinking.

Nevertheless, there is something about holiness and sanctification that must be understood first. It is that in Christ :

1. Believers are counted as holy and are called holy: "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved ..." Colossians 3'12.

2. Believers are counted as sanctified and are called sanctified: "... to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus," 1 Corinthians 1'2. 

That is why Believers are called saints (sanctified ones). The word "saints" appears 61 times in the New Testament 

Holiness and sanctification, that is, being holy and being sanctified, are characteristics of the Lord Himself which is now shown through the lives of His People.

God is saying, "You are holy, now be holy". So the apostle Peter says:

"... gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;

but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

because it is written, "'Be holy, for I am holy'," 1 Peter 1'13-16.

There's a fairly common saying, "In the world but not of the world" and it summarises the every day reality involved in being holy and being sanctified.

The basis for the saying stems from the Lord's words:

“Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world," John 17'11.

“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world," John 17'16.

Assistance is promised to Believers who want to follow the Lord's words:

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever -
the Spirit of truth," John 15'15-17.

The Holy Spirit is very much involved with Believers' every day living. He gives them the understandings and the power.

So be confident, because "... you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things," 1 John 2'20.


Being holy, then, is about being alive to God and, as a result, being different. It's a life of being distinctly spiritual and at the same time being human.

Of course, men and women without Christ people are ungodly and unholy. Nevertheless, they are made in the image of God.

Believers live among them as "sojourners and pilgrims" (1 Peter 2'11) and have much the same basic needs as them.

However, being holy and sanctified raises challenges for them. But Jesus encouraged His People:

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world," John 16'33.

Paul could say of himself and Timothy:

"... we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God," 2 Corinthians 1'12.


But beware. The enemy lays traps to lure Believers into becoming comfortable among unbelievers and compromising. To all intents and purposes being no different.

This is why 1 Corinthians 11'28 says at the Lord's Supper:

"... let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup".

Take stock. Look around. Pray. Seek God's Kingdom first. Hear the word of Christ and receive His blessings of holiness:

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?

And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'

Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.

I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty'.

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God," 2 Corinthians 6'14-7'1.


The God of Jesus Christ is holy and different. Jesus is the Holy One and He is different.

The enemy soon recognised that. Mark reported about "a man ... with an unclean spirit ... cried out ... I know who You are - the Holy One of God!” (1'23-25).

Jesus is the great "I Am", God's representative. He reveals the holiness and sanctification of God.

His holiness is absolutely unique, far above any other "gods" and unlike humans. He is love and He is gracious and merciful. We are to love as He loves. He is unique.

Another aspect is that only He redeems. Every person who has been redeemed is so because of God and is called to be like Him and be redemptive.

He is holy inasmuch as only He has all spiritual authority and power. He delegates these to His People in Christ.

The Lord's life of godliness, holiness and sanctification revealed the Father and the enemy knew it. So in Christ, we are called to do the same and the enemy will know it.


"Love has been perfected among us in this:

that we may have boldness in the day of judgment;


as He is, so are we in this world,"

1 John 4'17.


God makes calls for Believers to "be not" and "be". Responding to these involves having a willingness to make changes of mind, of ways of thinking.

This is a disposition that keeps a Believer open to the Word of Christ and, therefore, open to growing spiritually.

It is basically ongoing repentance, and it allows the Holy Spirit to minister His power and bring success.

As examples, these scriptures are good to know and grow by:

Romans 12'1-2: "... do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" .

2 Corinthians 2'17-18: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ".

Romans 5'1-2: "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand".

Romans 6'14: "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace".


"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin,

but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord," Romans 6'11.


"That you may proclaim the praises of Him

who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light,"

1 Peter 2'9.


Prayer. Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to pay the ransom for every Believer's redemption.

And thank you, too, for the abundant supply of the Holy Spirit's grace and power.

In Jesus' name. Amen.