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"Insights" from the New Testament Greek
By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida
"ARE YOU SANCTIFIED? PART 1, Our "Position", "in Christ"
The Greek word "hagiadzo", is translated in the King James Version as "sanctified", "holy", and "hallowed", and is used in two ways concerning God's people:
1. To declare that we are "permanently sanctified", in our "position", "in Christ", as in 1 Corinthians 1:2.
2. And to declare that we are presently in the process of "being sanctified", in our "experience", as in Hebrews 2:11, 10:10, and 10:14.
In this PART 1, we will examine our "permanent sanctification" "in Christ".
"Hagiadzo" in the New Testament has three basic meanings:
1. To "set apart", for a special purpose.
2. To purify by expiation, meaning for God to "declare" that someone is sanctified, or holy.
3. To "cleanse internally", or spiritually, by a reformation of the soul.
The first and second meanings above speak of born again children of God and our "position" in heaven, permanently sealed into union, "in Christ", and permanently and perfectly "sanctified". The third meaning will be discussed in PART 2.
We find this "positional" meaning in 1 Corinthians 1:2, where Paul addresses the Church at Corinth, and uses the Greek "perfect" tense of "hagiadzo", to declare that they were "once for all and forever sanctified, in Christ Jesus".
- 1 Cor. 1:2 "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified (Greek perfect tense of hagiadzo = permanently 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:"
Now this is amazing, as we read on in Paul's First Letter to the Church at Corinth and find that the recipients of Paul's letter were:
Arguing and divided in Chapter 1:10-14.
Carnal and immature in Chapter 3:1-3.
Condoning immorality in Chapter 5.
Suing each other in civilian court in Chapter 6:1-11.
Getting drunk and not sharing food at the Lord's Supper in Chapter 11:18-22.
Tending to not believe in the resurrection of the dead in Chapter 15:12-18.
How could it be, that this group of people at Corinth were permanently "sanctified"? Because of the work of Jesus on the Cross and God placing them "in Christ" and "declaring" them permanently "sanctified" in their "position", "in Christ". The same is true of every born again child of God, we are all permanently "in Christ" and permanently "sanctified". That is our heavenly "position", no matter what our present "experience" is down here on this earth!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! If you are a born again child of God, you are permanently sanctified, declared holy and righteous, and set apart for special purpose, "in Christ". That is the only way God can have a relationship with us - our "relationship" is not earned or deserved, but based on our "position", "in Christ", and based on His righteousness, and not on our own.
I count the phrase "In Christ" 45 times from Romans to First Peter, and we need to remember what it means for us to be "in Christ" every time we see this phrase!
In PART 2, we will find that in our "experience", down here on this earth, we are also in the "present process" of "being sanctified".