Progressive Sanctification

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Puritan Board Freshman
Why is progressive sanctification the prominent use of sanctification in theology, when the word "sanctify/sanctified/sanctification" in the New Testament primarily refers to definitive sanctification?

To explain my thought process behind this:

The primary definition of sanctification is: "set apart for holiness".
Secondary dynamics to the definition of sanctification can be added; namely the process of becoming holy or like Christ.

We can see these longer definitions being added to sanctification in various theological materials, i.e. the longer Westminster Catechism.
However, when one sees the word "sanctify" in the New Testament, it is being used with the meaning of being set apart to be holy. This is why I am attributing "set apart" as the primary definition for "sanctify".

Now this is where the Greek experts can come in. It is my understanding that the form of "sanctify" in the New Testament predominantly is perfect, or having already been accomplished, it is not something still being done. (Please correct me if I am incorrect here)

Therefore New Testament usage of sanctify, is when a completed action of setting apart has taken place. ie definitive sanctification.

The theological association that springs to mind for sanctification is not a Christian having already been set apart, but rather the on-going process of us working with the assistance of the Spirit towards holiness. ie progressive sanctification.
Now I am not saying that this concept is unbiblical, 2 Corinthians 3:18 describes "being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another". But it doesnt define the process with the term sanctification, rather using the word "transformed".

Therefore when and why did this concept of "being transformed' become associated with "sanctification"?

Why isn't sanctification just used for definitive sanctification? And a different term used for what we know as progressive sanctification; if progressive sanctification isn't refered to in the Bible when "sanctify" is used?
By having two forms of sanctification, it might lead to people misunderstanding what sanctify means when it is used in the New Testament.

Perhaps the history behind this would illuminate things or maybe there is a fatal flaw in what I have written above.
I have seen 'sanctify' being used in two different tenses, those who have been and those who are being sanctified.
I think it's usage also relates to the previous usage of the term of 'regeneration.' Regeneration now refers to the moment after effectual calling that enables faith when it used to refer to what we now call 'sanctification.'
Perhaps we could assess the actual number of times sanctification is used in each context to determine the force behind your argument. Maybe you could do a word study on each use of "sanctify", sanctified", etc.

The typical term I have heard used to describe "definitive" sanctification (as you say) is "positional" sanctification, as in say 1 Corinthians 6:11, contrasted to progressive sanctification as used in 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

As long as we define our terms we should be fine.
I will ask where Romans 6 with its dynamic references to state / activity figures in your question.
That isn't quite what I am getting at. My issue isn't whether there is a striving against our sin or working towards being transformed from holiness to holiness (which I comply agree is necessary). My query is why this process is captured under sanctify, when NT biblical usage seems to predominantly use sanctify for "set apart".
Digging quickly into Romans 6, if you use the KJV, "sanctify" is not used once. "Holiness" is what can be found in verses 19 and 22. Looking at Greek, aJgiasmovß and dikaiosuvnh are used. Which to my completely untrained eye isn't defining an ongoing working out process of sanctification. But I could be wrong here.
Nevertheless, my post isn't trying to argue whether the process of progressive sanctification is biblical. Rather it is to find out why that process has that name or the history behind it.

(I appreciate the other responses, which I will attempt to reply to later today - I have other pressing matters to attend to at present.)
Perhaps we could assess the actual number of times sanctification is used in each context to determine the force behind your argument. Maybe you could do a word study on each use of "sanctify", sanctified", etc.

The typical term I have heard used to describe "definitive" sanctification (as you say) is "positional" sanctification, as in say 1 Corinthians 6:11, contrasted to progressive sanctification as used in 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

As long as we define our terms we should be fine.
Again, this is getting into a separate discussion. The "progressive sanctification as used in 1 Thessalonians 4:3", makes use of the Greek word "Hagiasmos" for "sanctification". "Hagiasmos" to my knowledge is a noun, something that has happened or already taken place, not a verb or something being worked out.
Again, this is getting into a separate discussion. The "progressive sanctification as used in 1 Thessalonians 4:3", makes use of the Greek word "Hagiasmos" for "sanctification". "Hagiasmos" to my knowledge is a noun, something that has happened or already taken place, not a verb or something being worked out.

The English Oxford Dictionary defines the word Sanctification in English as a noun which means "the action or process of being freed from sin or purified."
But doesn't Hagiasmos mean the resultant state of being seperated for Holiness. It is not the process of being purified?
Which is sort of what my initial post comes down to. If the primary use (if not only use) of "Sanctify" in the New Testament is for the completed action of being seperated for holiness, why is Sanctify in theological terms associated with the ongoing process of being made holy. The Bible has Sanctify as having been done. Theology and the Oxford dictionary has it as being done or an ongoing process. Why is the theological definition different from the Bible's usage of this word?
Again, this is getting into a separate discussion. The "progressive sanctification as used in 1 Thessalonians 4:3", makes use of the Greek word "Hagiasmos" for "sanctification". "Hagiasmos" to my knowledge is a noun, something that has happened or already taken place, not a verb or something being worked out.
Surely the context of 1 Thessalonians 4:3 is clear that the apostle is speaking of a sanctification that is to be strived for by the believer, no? I have always taken this to be about progressive sanctification that we are urged towards - God calls us to holiness, once we have been made holy in Christ. Simply because this is a noun does not mean there cannot be an element that is ongoing. For example, faith and repentance are nouns but can be referred to as being ongoing, as can salvation (1 Corinthians 15:2).
But the Sanctification, the Hagiasmos, has been achieved or accomplished. It is not something that is ongoing, according to the definition of the word used in the Bible.

We are giving sanctification a definition different to its actual Greek definition.

And that is my question. Why? Why have we given a different definition to Sanctification? Why is this principle called progressive Sanctification (which is not found in the Bible under that name), when it could have been called transformative holiness (and then consistent with 2 Corinthians 3)?
But the Sanctification, the Hagiasmos, has been achieved or accomplished. It is not something that is ongoing, according to the definition of the word used in the Bible.

Hebrews 10:14 He has perfected for all time those being sanctified.

μιᾷ γὰρ προσφορᾷ τετελείωκεν εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς τοὺς ἁγιαζομένους (hagiazomenous - Verb, Present Participle Middle or Passive).

What am I missing?
Perhaps we could assess the actual number of times sanctification is used in each context to determine the force behind your argument. Maybe you could do a word study on each use of "sanctify", sanctified", etc.

The typical term I have heard used to describe "definitive" sanctification (as you say) is "positional" sanctification, as in say 1 Corinthians 6:11, contrasted to progressive sanctification as used in 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

As long as we define our terms we should be fine.

This thread is pretty interesting to me, but I'm no language expert, so I'm trying to contribute the best way I know how.

In case it is helpful, here are the instances where the word 'hagiazo' is used. 'Eimi hagiazo' also gets used once in John 17:19 as shown here. The Hebrew tells a similar story where the word translated the same way is used 5x compared to the Greek, as shown here. All three of these images I've linked to are from Logos.

I've included all of the scripture references for both the Hebrew and Greek throughout the Scriptures below:

Gen 2:3
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Exod 13:2
Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.

Exod 19:10
And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,

Exod 19:14
And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.

Exod 19:22
And let the priests also, which come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them.

Exod 19:23
And Moses said unto the Lord, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.

Exod 28:41
And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.

Exod 29:27
And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons:

Exod 29:33
And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy.

Exod 29:36
And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.

Exod 29:37
Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.

Exod 29:43
And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.

Exod 29:44
And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest’s office.

Exod 30:29
And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.

Exod 31:13
Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.

Exod 40:10
And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy.

Exod 40:11
And thou shalt anoint the laver and his foot, and sanctify it.

Exod 40:13
And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.

Lev 8:10
And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them.

Lev 8:11
And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them.

Lev 8:12
And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.

Lev 8:15
And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it.

Lev 8:30
And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons’ garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.

Lev 10:3
Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.

Lev 11:44
For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Lev 20:7
Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.

Lev 20:8
And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you.

Lev 21:8
Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the Lord, which sanctify you, am holy.

Lev 21:15
Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the Lord do sanctify him.

Lev 21:23
Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the Lord do sanctify them.

Lev 22:9
They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the Lord do sanctify them.

Lev 22:16
Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, when they eat their holy things: for I the Lord do sanctify them.

Lev 27:14
And when a man shall sanctify his house to be holy unto the Lord, then the priest shall estimate it, whether it be good or bad: as the priest shall estimate it, so shall it stand.

Lev 27:15
And if he that sanctified it will redeem his house, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be his.

Lev 27:16
And if a man shall sanctify unto the Lord some part of a field of his possession, then thy estimation shall be according to the seed thereof: an homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver.

Lev 27:17
If he sanctify his field from the year of jubile, according to thy estimation it shall stand.

Lev 27:18
But if he sanctify his field after the jubile, then the priest shall reckon unto him the money according to the years that remain, even unto the year of the jubile, and it shall be abated from thy estimation.

Lev 27:19
And if he that sanctified the field will in any wise redeem it, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be assured to him.

Lev 27:22
And if a man sanctify unto the Lord a field which he hath bought, which is not of the fields of his possession;

Lev 27:26
Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the Lord’s firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep: it is the Lord’s.

Num 7:1
And it came to pass on the day that Moses had fully set up the tabernacle, and had anointed it, and sanctified it, and all the instruments thereof, both the altar and all the vessels thereof, and had anointed them, and sanctified them;

Num 8:17
For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine, both man and beast: on the day that I smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself.

Num 11:18
And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.

Num 20:12
And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

Num 20:13
This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.

Num 27:14
For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.

Deut 5:12
Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.

Deut 15:19
All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep.

Deut 32:51
Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.

Josh 3:5
And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you.

Josh 7:13
Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.

1 Sam 7:1
And the men of Kirjath-jearim came, and fetched up the ark of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord.

1 Sam 16:5
And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.

1 Sam 21:5
And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

1 Chron 15:12
And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.

1 Chron 15:14
So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel.

1 Chron 23:13
The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever.

2 Chron 5:11
And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:

2 Chron 7:16
For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

2 Chron 7:20
Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.

2 Chron 29:5
And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.

2 Chron 29:15
And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came, according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord.

2 Chron 29:17
Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the Lord: so they sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end.

2 Chron 29:19
Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and, behold, they are before the altar of the Lord.

2 Chron 29:34
But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them, till the work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves: for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests.

2 Chron 30:3
For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.

2 Chron 30:8
Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.

2 Chron 30:15
Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the Lord.

2 Chron 30:17
For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the Lord.

2 Chron 30:24
For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.

2 Chron 31:18
And to the genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness:

2 Chron 35:6
So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

Neh 3:1
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.

Neh 12:47
And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion: and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites; and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.

Neh 13:22
And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.

Job 1:5
And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

Isa 5:16
But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, And God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.

Isa 8:13
Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; And let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

Isa 13:3
I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, Even them that rejoice in my highness.

Isa 29:23
But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, They shall sanctify my name, And sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, And shall fear the God of Israel.

Isa 66:17
They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens Behind one tree in the midst, Eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, Shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.

Jer 1:5
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Ezek 20:12
Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.

Ezek 20:41
I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.

Ezek 28:22
And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.

Ezek 28:25
Thus saith the Lord God; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.

Ezek 36:23
And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

Ezek 37:28
And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

Ezek 38:16
And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

Ezek 38:23
Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezek 39:27
When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;

Ezek 44:19
And when they go forth into the utter court, even into the utter court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them in the holy chambers, and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their garments.

Ezek 46:20
Then said he unto me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, where they shall bake the meat offering; that they bear them not out into the utter court, to sanctify the people.

Ezek 48:11
It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray.

Joel 1:14
Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the Lord your God, And cry unto the Lord,

Joel 2:15
Blow the trumpet in Zion, Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:

Joel 2:16
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, Gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: Let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

John 10:36
Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

John 17:17
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

John 17:19
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Acts 20:32
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Acts 26:18
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Rom 15:16
That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

1 Cor 1:2
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

1 Cor 6:11
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Cor 7:14
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

Eph 5:26
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

1 Thess 5:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Tim 4:5
For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

2 Tim 2:21
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

Heb 2:11
For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Heb 10:10
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Heb 10:14
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Heb 10:29
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Heb 13:12
Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

1 Pet 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Jude 1
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

The Bible Sense Lexicon tool as shown here in Logos may also be helpful as it does seem to recognize the distinction being aimed at in this thread. Overall, in the KJV, there's 132 instances of this word in 117 verses. Of these, there are 11 instances in the KJV where the sense 'to sanctify' is being employed, as shown below:

Matt 23:17
Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

Matt 23:19
Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

John 10:36
Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

John 17:17
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

John 17:19
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Eph 5:26
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

1 Thess 5:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Heb 2:11
For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Heb 9:13
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

Heb 13:12
Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

1 Pet 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Lastly, we have Lexham's Analytical Lexicon. This will mean far more to the scholars lurking on PB than it will to me at this point in my studies:

ἁγιάζω (hagiazō), sanctify; make holy. Cognate words: ἁγιασμός, ἅγιος, ἁγιότης, ἁγιωσύνη, ἁγνεία, ἁγνίζω, ἁγνισμός, ἁγνός, ἁγνότης, ἁγνῶς. Heb. equiv. fr. LXX: קדשׁ (81×); + 7 more

53.44 (4) to sanctify Jn 10:36; to make holy Jn 17:19; 1 Co 1:2; 2 Ti 2:21

88.26 (34) to make holy Mt 23:17, 19; Jn 17:17, 19; Ro 15:16; 1 Co 6:11; 7:14 (2); 1 Th 5:23; 1 Ti 4:5; Heb 10:10, 14, 29; 13:12; 1Cl, Salutation; 46:2; 59:3; IEph 2.2; 12:2; Did 10.5; Barn 15.1, 3, 6 (3), 7; to sanctify Ac 20:32; 26:18; Heb 2:11 (2); Herm, V III, ix, 1; to consecrate Eph 5:26; Heb 9:13; to be holy Re 22:11

88.27 (6) to treat as holy Matt 6:9; Lk 11:2; Barn 15.7 (2); to make holy 1 Pe 3:15; to be holy Did 8.2

Forms of ἁγιάζω

Ἁγιασθήτω (WH)

ἁγιασμός (hagiasmos), sanctification; holiness. Cognate words: ἁγιάζω, ἅγιος, ἁγιότης, ἁγιωσύνη, ἁγνεία, ἁγνίζω, ἁγνισμός, ἁγνός, ἁγνότης, ἁγνῶς. Heb. equiv. fr. LXX: מִקְדָּשׁ (1×), נָזִיר (1×), קדשׁ (1×)

53.44 (12) sanctification Rom 6:19, 22; 1 Co 1:30; 1 Th 4:3, 4; 2 Th 2:13; 1 Pe 1:2; holiness 1 Th 4:7; 1 Ti 2:15; Heb 12:14; 1Cl 30.1; 35:2

Forms of ἁγιασμός


(2011). In The Lexham Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament. Logos Bible Software.

Hopefully if this information does not help settle the matter it may at least help keep it moving along. I'm keen to learn what Knight might be missing also, as that quotation from Hebrews seems very straightforward. I'll be checking in on this thread with interest.
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Since Hebrews 10:14 seems to be of interest to Knight and CHSalzgeber, I'll respond to that.

Now this isn't my personal contribution, but rather something from someone more knowledgeable than myself:
"Hebrews 10:14 is in the present tense and is plural. It is speaking of people who are in the process of being set apart as they are being saved."

Hagiazo used in the present tense to speak of the individual's progress towards the mortification of sin, is not what Hebrews 10:14 is referring to, but is what most people associate with Sanctification.

And this is the thing: why is an individual's progress towards the mortification of sin, defined as Sanctification, when this isn't how the Bible uses Sanctification?

Even if we do find it used once or twice; surely the difficulty in finding this should merit some question as to why it has been defined under Sanctification, when this word in Greek and Hebrew has been meant relationally when used in a biblical context.
The fundamental problem here is that "Sanctification" is an English word, not Greek or Hebrew. It is used to translate Greek and Hebrew words, but its meaning is not derived directly from those words. Especially when we are using technical theological terms, there may not be a perfect match. The semantic range of Greek and Hebrew words does not necessarily match the English word. That's why theologians use sentences and paragraphs to explain doctrines, not single words, and may appeal to passages that do not contain the relevant Greek or Hebrew word but still address the concept. See any standard hermeneutics book on "The word-concept fallacy"
There are many nouns and verb forms (that can be used as participles) that refer to persons or things that are holy, things or persons that God declares or sets aside as holy, and the actions of God making holy or persons being made holy. Sanctification could be said to be "Holy"-fication.

The issue that the Scriptures are replete with is that man, in Adam, is not pure/holy. He is defiled and unrighteous. It is simply not true that either the noun or verb forms refer solely to definitive acts where God "sets apart" persons or things but it also speaks to the way in which persons are called to be holy as God transforms them.

Consider the verb form:

ἁγιάζω 1 aor. ἡγίασα, impv. ἁγίασον; pf. ἡγίακα 2 Ch 7:16; Jer 1:5. Pass.: 1 fut. ἁγιασθήσομαι; 1 aor. ἡγιάσθην, impv. ἁγιασθήτω; pf. ἡγίασμαι, ptc. ἡγιασμένος 1 Cl 46:2 (LXX; Philo, Leg. All. 1, 18, Spec. Leg. 1, 67. Quite rare in extra-Bibl. usage, where ἁγίζω is the usual form; but s. PGM 4, 522 ἁγιασθείς; Cat. Cod. Astr. VII 178, 1; 27; Anecd. Gr. p. 328, 1ff and Herm. Wr. 1, 32 συναγιάζειν. Cp. also καθαγιάζειν under 3 below).
① set aside someth. or make it suitable for ritual purposes, consecrate, dedicate of things: (Ex 29:27, 37, 44 al.) ἁ. τὸ δῶρον the sacrifice Mt 23:19; 1 Ti 4:5 (AcThom 79 [Aa II/2, 194, 11] τὴν προσφορὰν ἁ.); of profane things make holy by contact w. someth. holy ἁ. τὸν χρυσόν the gold in the temple Mt 23:17.
② include a pers. in the inner circle of what is holy, in both cultic and moral associations of the word, consecrate, dedicate, sanctify (cp. Ex 28:41; Sir 33:12; 45:4; Zeph 1:7). So of Christians, who are consecrated by baptism (cp. Orig., C. Cels. 8, 33, 26 on the Eucharist ἄρτους ἐσθίομεν, σῶμα γενομένους … ἁγιάζον τοὺς μετὰ ὑγιοῦς προθέσεως αὐτῷ χρωμένους); w. ἀπολούσασθαι 1 Cor 6:11. Of the Christian community or church ἵνα αὐτὴν ἁγιάσῃ καθαρίσας τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδατος Eph 5:26; sanctify by the blood of a sacrifice, i.e. atone for sins Hb 9:13. Of Christ ἵνα ἁγιάσῃ διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος τὸν λαόν 13:12 (ἁ. τὸν λαόν Josh 7:13; Ezk 46:20; λαὸς ἡγιασμένος PsSol 17:26. ἁ. by blood Ex 29:21); cp. 2:11; 10:10, 29; consecrate, sanctify by contact w. what is holy: unbelievers by a Christian marriage 1 Cor 7:14. Hence Christians are ἡγιασμένοι (cp. Dt 33:3; 4 Macc 17:19) Hb 10:14; Ac 20:32; 26:18; IEph 2:2; ἡ. ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ 1 Cor 1:2; ἡ. ἐν ἀληθείᾳ J 17:19b (cp. Sir 45:4 ἐν πίστει); of Gentile Christians ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ Ro 15:16; the church ἁγιασθεῖσα = ἁγία D 10:5; κλητοὶ ἡ. 1 Cl ins; of an individual σκεῦος ἡγιασμένον 2 Ti 2:21; Paul ἡγιασμένος IEph 12:2. God consecrates his own, incl. Christ J 10:36 (s. Hdb.3 ad loc.), and Christians (cp. schol. on Apollon. Rhod. 3, 62 ἐλεήσας αὐτὸν ὁ Ζεὺς ἁγνίζει=Zeus absolves him, takes away his guilt) 17:17; 1 Th 5:23; the latter through Christ 1 Cl 59:3. Of Jesus ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν (ἐγὼ) ἁγιάζω ἑμαυτόν I dedicate myself for them (the disciples) as an offering J 17:19a (ἁ. of an offering Ex 13:2; Dt 15:19).
③ to treat as holy, reverence of pers. κύριον δὲ τὸν Χριστὸν ἁγιάσατε 1 Pt 3:15 (Is 8:13); of things: ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου may thy name be held in reverence (cp. Is 29:23; Ezk 36:23; Ps.-Clem., Hom. 13, 4; also gnostic ἁγιασθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου PPrinc 107, 14; PGM 4, 1191f τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ἅγιον τὸ καθηγιασμένον ὑπὸ τ. ἀγγέλων πάντων; 1, 206) Mt 6:9; Lk 11:2; D 8:2 (AFridrichsen, Geheiligt werde dein Name: TT 8, 1917, 1–16; LBrun, Harnack Festschr. 1921, 22–31; RAsting, D. Heiligkeit im Urchristentum 1930, 75–85 w. lit.). τὸ σάββατον B 15:1, 3, 6f (Ex 20:8–11). ἁγιασθῆναι keep oneself holy Rv 22:11.
④ to eliminate that which is incompatible with holiness, purify (Num 6:11 al.) ἁ. ἀπὸ πάσης πονηρίας καὶ ἀπὸ πάσης σκολιότητος Hv 3, 9, 1. This mng. is also prob. in such pass. as Ro 15:16; 1 Cor 1:2; 1 Th 5:23.—V.l. for ἠγαπημένη IRo ins—DELG s.v. ἅζομαι. M-M. TW.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). In A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., pp. 9–10). University of Chicago Press.

It includes not merely the set-aside or inclusion of persons but the removal of that which is incompatible with holiness.

Christ is holy. When we are justified, we are united to Him and, in Him, are holy, but we are united as sinners. The flesh remains, which is unholy. Christ progressively, by His Spirit, kills that which is unholy in us and makes us willing and able to pursue holiness.

If you have BDAG and know how to find the entries, it's not too hard to see all the many syntactical groupings around holiness and see how they relate to not merely being set apart but the removal of that which is unholy.
This does not exhaust the topic, but there is an extract from the TDNT:


The verb ἁγιάζω belongs almost exclusively to biblical Greek or Greek influenced by the Bible (Phil. Leg. All., I, 18; Spec. Leg., I, 167),1 the form -άζειν occurring after ι instead of -ίζειν. We probably have here a denominative of קֹדֶשׁ, קָדוֹשׁ == ἅγιος.2

In the LXX ἁγιάζειν is the usual rendering of the root קדש, so that we are everywhere concerned with a cultic state, not only in the qal (Ex. 29:21; 30:29 etc.), and niph’al (Ex. 29:43; Lv. 10:3 etc.), but also in the causative (Ex. 28:34; Lv. 22:2 f. etc.) and comparative (Gn. 2:3; Ex. 13:2 etc.) of all three classes.3 Yet according to the Hebrew stem forms there is also a shift of meaning, so that in the causative we have mostly to translate “consecrate” and in the comparative “sanctify,” by which the LXX sometimes understands the ritual of expiation (Ex. 29:33, 36). Sanctifying can be achieved by cultic practices (Ex. 19:10, 14; Jos. 7:13 etc.), but also by celebration (Ex. 20:8; Deut. 5:12; cf. Is. 30:29); with a divine subject and object it can also be thought of declaratively (Gn. 2:3; Ex. 19:23; Nu. 20:12 f.), though we are always to think of effective operation.

In the derived stems of the verb the subject is always personal, whether God, judge or people; only in the qal can there also be a material subject of the taboo (Nu. 17:2, 3; Deut. 22:9). As object God is rare (Nu. 20:12; 27:14; Is. 29:23; cf. 8:13), and it can only be a question of acknowledging what God is in Himself. Mostly the objects are priests, people, and holy places and vessels. By sanctification they are separated from what is profane and set in a consecrated state. Sacrilege, or the violation of what is holy, does not come under human jurisdiction but under the judgment of God which normally means death.

In the NT we think supremely of the saying in the Lord’s Prayer (Mt. 6:9; Lk. 11:2): ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου.4 The logical subject of sanctifying is God alone and not man. This may be seen by comparison with the petitions which follow. God’s name is as little hallowed by men as His kingdom comes or His will is done. His name is His person, which is holy in itself and is to be revealed in its holiness (cf. Ez. 20:41; 38:16:וְנִקְדַּשְׁתִּי לְעֵינֵי[הם] etc.). The revelation takes place eschatologically in the last judgment and historically in, though not by, believers. When God’s deity is revealed to man in the mystery of worship (cf. Is. 6:3), then God is sanctified to him. The cultic element is here absorbed in the adoration in which God’s deity is felt in contrast to all creatureliness.5

When Jesus sanctifies Himself (Jn. 17:19: ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἁγιάζω ἐμαυτόν) or sanctifies the Church (Eph. 5:26: ἵνα αὐτὴν ἁγιάσῃ καθαρίσας), this is a proof of His deity, and the same is true of the Holy Spirit (R. 15:16: ἡγιασμένη ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ). The sanctification of Christ by the Father (ὃν ὁ πατὴρ ἡγίασεν καὶ ἀπέστειλεν, Jn. 10:36), as shown by the context, is achieved prior to the incarnation, as Jeremiah is also sanctified prior to his birth (Jer. 1:5). To it there corresponds the self-sanctification (Jn. 17:19) of the Holy God (cf. 6:69) with a view to the sanctification of the disciples (17:19: ἵνα ὦσιν ἡγιασμένοι), which is sanctification in truth (ἐν ἀληθείᾳ), and which is accomplished in the atonement.

Christ’s atoning sacrifice is very clearly depicted as a means of sanctification in Hebrews. Hb. 2:11: ὁ ἁγιάζων … καὶ οἱ ἁγιαζόμενοι ἐξ ἑνὸς πάντες, tells us that Christ and Christians derive from one as children of common flesh and blood (v. 14). As the emphasis on physical relationship shows, this one is not God but Adam. Christ, however, is also ἅγιος, and He is thus ἁγιάζων to the ἁγιαζόμενοι. He achieves sanctification for the sanctified by His offering (10:10, 14). His blood is the means of reconciliation (10:29; 13:12) for them: ἵνα ἁγιάσῃ διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος τὸν λαόν (13:12). There is here a clear connection between the concept of atonement and that of sanctification.6

In Paul the thought of justification overshadows sanctification (ἁγιάζειν) as a function of God. He applies the concept passively rather than actively, speaking of the sanctified. In him, too, the ἡγιασμένοι have their root ἐν Χριστῷ (1 C. 1:2); the Gentile Christians are a προσφορά, ἡγιασμένη ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ (R. 15:16), so that again the concept of sanctification is linked with that of reconciliation. Sanctification is not moral action on the part of man, but a divinely effected state (1 C. 6:11: ἀλλὰ ἀπελούσασθε, ἀλλὰ ἡγιάσθητε, ἀλλὰ ἐδικαιώθητε), the baptismal washing showing that in the baptismal fellowship of Christ (R. 6:4; Col. 2:12) lies the basis of sanctification and justification (cf. 1 Cor. 1:30). That sanctification is a state emerges with particular clarity in the fact that a Christian partner effects a character of holiness in the pagan partner and also the children (1 C. 7:14), who are not themselves Christians. In the later Pauline literature, e.g., Ephesians (5:26: ἁγιάσῃ καθαρίσας) and the Pastorals (1 Tm. 4:5; 2 Tm. 2:21) the concept of holiness approximates to that of purity in wholly Jewish style (cf. Eph. 1:14; Col. 1:22).

In Acts the expression ἡγιασμένοι is twice set on the lips of Paul (Ac. 20:32: κληρονομίαν ἐν τοῖς ἡγιασμένοις πᾶσιν; 26:18: κλῆρον ἐν τοῖς ἡγιασμένοις), and both times in allusion to Deut. 33:3: μάντες οἱ ἡγιασμένοι ὑπὸ τὰς χεῖράς σου. This corresponds to the Pauline thought of the share of the Christian in the κλῆρος τῶν ἁγίων ἐν τῷ φωτί (Col. 1:12; cf. s.v. ἅγιος), except that the passive ἡγιασμένοι causes a heavier stress to fall on the setting up of the state of holiness. Finally, in 1 Pt. 3:15 Christians are summoned to the sanctification of Christ: Χριστὸν ἁγιάσατε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις. The presupposition here is that they are ἅγιοι (1:16), so that Christ dwells in them as His temple, and will not suffer any impurity. Again, therefore, purity of heart is a condition of sanctification.


While ἁγιάζω is developed from the noun ἅγιος, the noun ἁγιασμός derives from the verb ἁγιάζειν as a nomen actionis.1 Hence it signifies “sanctifying” rather than “sanctification,” as we learn from the corresponding constructions βαπτισμός, ἐνταφιασμός, ὀνειδισμός, παροργισμός, etc. It is, of course, conceivable that a nomen actionis like βασανισμός or πλεονασμός might acquire a passive meaning, but philological investigation must begin with the active.

In the LXX ἁγιασμός is rare and has no clear-cut Hebrew equivalent (Ju. 17:3: ἁγιασμῷ ἡγίασα: הַקְדֵּשׁ הִקְדַּשְׁתִּי; Am. 2:11: εἰς ἁγιασμόν: לִנְזִרִים: Jer. 6:16; Ez. 22:8; 45:4; Sir. 7:31; 17:10; 2 Macc. 2:17; 14:36; 3 Macc. 2:18). So far as sound comparisons suggest, the LXX knows ἁγιασμός both as “sanctifying” (Ju. 17:3) and also as “sanctification” (Sir. 7:31; 3 Macc. 2:18), and there is a strong connection with the cultus.

In the NT ἁγιασμός occurs only in the Epistles, preponderantly in the field of Gentile Christianity. The term “sanctifying” fits it better than “sanctification,” in accordance with its construction. It must be remembered, however, that the operation of ἁγιασμός can be accomplished only by a holy person (cf. the verb ἁγιάζειν), so that in the case of self-sanctifying it is always assumed that it is accomplished on the basis of the state of sanctification attained in the atonement according to the standard of the statement in Revelation 22:11: ὁ ἅγιος ἁγιασθήτω ἔτι. In ἁγιασμός we thus have a process which has as its presupposition the religious process of atonement. ἁγιασμός is the will of God (1 Th. 4:3), and it consists again in purity of physical life, so that marital fellowship is fulfilled ἐν ἁγιασμῷ καὶ τιμῇ (4:4). The opposite of ἁγιασμός is ἀκαθαρσία (4:7), except that ἀκαθαρσία is a moral state which cannot possibly be linked with calling, (οὐ … ἐπὶ ἀκαθαρσίᾳ), whereas ἁγιασμός is the moral form in which it is worked out. The body is to be serviceable to δικαιοσύνη εἰς ἁγιασμόν (R. 6:19), so that ἁγιασμός is again the moral goal of purity (cf. R. 6:22: ἔχετε τὸν καρπὸν ὑμῶν εἰς ἁγιασμόν). In Christ is made possible δικαιοσύνη τε καὶ ἁγιασμός καὶ ἀπολύτρωσις (1 C. 1:30), and it is by Him or by the Spirit (2 Th. 2:13; 1 Pt. 1:2: ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος) that it comes into effect in Christians, so that the ἁγιασμός or sanctifying effected by the Spirit is the living form of the Christian state. In the phrase ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος the emphasis does not fall on the character of the Spirit described as πνεῦμα ἅγιον, but on His operation, which consists in sanctification. Similarly, in the sequence ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ καὶ ἁγιασμῷ (1 Tm. 2:15) what is expressed is not the state but the conduct of children, and in Hebrews again (12:14: διώκετε … τὸν ἁγιασμόν) ὁ ἁγιασμός is a moral goal. If atonement is the basis of the Christian life, ἁγιασμός is the moral form which develops out of it and without which there can be no vision of Christ. The term ἁγιασμός is always distinguished from ἅγιος and ἁγιάζειν by the emphasis on the moral element.[1]

Phil. Philo, of Alexandria (c. 20 b.c.–50 a.d.), ed. L. Cohn and P. Wendland.
Leg. All. Legum Allegoriae.
Spec. Leg. De Specialibus Legibus.
1 But v. the Mithras liturgy, ἁγίοις ἁγιασθεὶς ἁγιάσμασι ἅγιος (Preis. Zaub., IV, 523).
2 Bl.-Debr. §108.
3 The occasional equivalents ברר (Da. 12:10), כפר (Ex. 29:33, 36), נזר (Lv. 25:11 etc.) do not affect this.
NT New Testament.
4 For Rabbinic usage, → 99.
5 Elsewhere in the NT, too, sanctification is exclusively of God; for even when the temple (Mt. 23:17), the altar (Mt. 23:19), or the sacrifice (Hb. 9:13) ἁγιάζει, the sanctifying power rests exclusively on the holiness of God.
v. verse.
6 Christians as ἅγιοι should continue to let the process of sanctification proceed in them (Rev. 22:11: ὁ ἅγιος ἁγιασθήτω ἔτι) even when they have been set in a state of holiness by Christ.
s.v. sub voce.
1 Bl.-Debr. §109.
NT New Testament.
[1] Procksch, O., & Kuhn, K. G. (1964–). ἅγιος—ἁγιάζω—ἁγιασμός ἁγιότης—ἁγιωσύνη. In G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley, & G. Friedrich (Eds.), Theological dictionary of the New Testament (electronic ed., Vol. 1, pp. 111–113). Eerdmans.
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