There’s a word that’s pretty popular in Christian circles. It’s used to describe the new path of the believer. What is that word you ask? “Sanctified”!
You may hear this word used in the context of the Christian being different from others. If not explained correctly, those outside of the church may sometimes take it to mean that you now believe that you are better than them because you claim to know God. What does this word actually mean? Let’s look at it in the Greek Lexicon of the Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words,
Strong’s G37 – hagiazō
“to make holy” (from hagios, “holy”), signifies to be set apart for God, to sanctify, to make a person or thing the opposite of koinos, “common;” it is translated “Hallowed,” with reference to the name of God the Father in the Lord’s Prayer,
This doesn’t carry the idea of a person being better than another at all. It actually means to be no longer living as your former self and that you are set apart to do God’s work among men. What is this work? To turn from a sinful life; understand and share the gospel; love your fellow-man; and walk as a symbol of light in a world of darkness.
We are often guilty of pointing our finger at a world that doesn’t know God. We’ve gotten comfortable in our four-walled social clubs that we call churches, and if those outside don’t somehow come to us, we have no real contact with them who don’t have a relationship with God.
I find it interesting that there are only about two or three accounts in the four gospels of Jesus being at synagogue. Of course He attended regularly, but His work was in the trenches with the hurt. God’s love and rebuke was in His heart and He showed it. He was the epitome of what it means to be sanctified. Christian means to be like Christ they say. Well, let’s get to it then.