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In a wide sense, sanctification includes all effects of God's Word in man (cf., e.g., Acts 26:18; Eph 5:26; 2 Th 2:13; Heb 10:14; 1 Ptr 1:2). See also Conversion, III; Good Works.

In a narrow sense, sanctification is the spiritual growth (1 Co 3:9; 9:24; Eph 4:15; Ph 3:12) that follows justification (Mt 7:16–18; Jn 3:6; Eph 2:10). By God's grace (Gl 5:22–23; Ph 2:13) a Christian cooperates in this work (2 Co 6:1; 7:1; Ph 2:12; 1 Ti 4:14; FC SD II 65–66); through the Holy Spirit's work faith is increased daily, love strengthened, and the image of God renewed (cf., e.g., Jn 14:26; 16:13–14; Ro 6:15–23; 8:15–16, 26; 14:17; 15:13; 1 Co 12:7–11; Gl 5:16–18; 2 Ptr 3:18). A believer's good works are not perfect; but sins of weakness are forgiven (Jn 15:3). Sanctification differs in the same Christian at different times (Ro 7:14–19; Gl 2:11; 5:17; 1 Jn 1:8).

God works sanctification only through the means of grace.*

The most comforting part of the doctrine of sanctification is that which speaks of the completion of sanctification in heaven (Ps 17:15; I Co 13:12; 15:20–57; Rv 7:9–17; 21:4–7). RLS

R. L. Sommer, “Sanctification,” The Abiding Word, II, ed. T. Laetsch (St. Louis, 1947), 275–298; A. Köberle, The Quest for Holiness, tr. J. C. Mattes (Minneapolis, 1936); C. G. Carlfelt, “The Work of the Holy Spirit,” What Lutherans Are Thinking, ed. E. C. Fendt (Columbus, Ohio, 1947); C. J. I. Bergendoff, The Secular Idea of Progress and the Christian Doctrine of Sanctification (Rock Island, 1933); R. Hermann, Luthers These “Gerecht und Sünder zugleich” (Gütersloh, 1960); K. Barth, The Christian Life, tr. J. S. McNab (London, 1930); W. E. Hulme, The Dynamics of Sanctification (Minneapolis, 1966).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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