“You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”–Leviticus 20:7-8
These words, spoken to Moses by the LORD, show the redemptive work of our Great God! The phrase “sanctifies you” actually means to set apart for holy use. How gratifying to know that the Lord, who needs nothing and has everything would choose to set us aside for His holy purposes. Talk about the Purpose-Driven Life!! God tells us over 700 times in the Old Testament that He is the Lord who makes us holy. I’m a simple man, but I think God is trying to make a point here! Only He can make us holy. There is no work that we can do, no goal that we can attain to achieve holiness. The Lord tells us numerous times through Scripture to “be holy, for I am holy.” Notice He says to be holy, not to do holy! There’s a huge difference.
So, what about that word “holy?” Holiness refers to sanctify, setting apart, holy, saint. All these words come from the word qudash in the Hebrew.
This perfect redemptive work that God has done in us through Jesus Christ is done to make us righteous, and holy. Again, we cannot achieve that on our own. Man has tried and failed since time began. But God has provided The Way, The Truth, and The Life through Jesus–the ONLY way to holiness and redemption. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 shows the work of redemption. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 is a great prayer that calls for our salvation through sanctification.
Sanctification affects the way we walk, the way we live, and the way we worship. Because we are set apart–by God–for holy purposes, our motives, our thoughts, and our actions are changed by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Redemption is not the end–it is the beginning followed by sanctification–which the Lord continues…”He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” –Phil. 1:6