This week in the Book of Mormon we’ll expand our review of chapter 4 of Ether and unpack the doctrine of sanctification. In the Bible, sanctification is used as a verb, a noun and as an adjective. Each of these uses can mean something different. Moreover, sanctification has a progressive aspect that we will also consider.
Sanctification as a Verb
The scriptures define sanctification as the action to set-apart, consecrate or dedicate for God’s holy use and purpose. The Hebrew verb for sanctify is kadash, which means to set apart or consecrate and appears in the Tanach/Old Testament more than any other text including by far the Book of Mormon. See Strong’s Concordance 6942, Young’s Analytical Concordance p.834, and Gary Shapiro’s An Exhaustive Concordance of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price.
sanctification is the action to set-apart, consecrate or dedicate
for God’s holy use and purpose
The scriptures also set out a progression of sanctification or an increase in being consecrated or dedicated for God’s holy use and purpose. Each stage of sanctification builds on the previous one. This concept of progressive sanctification looks like this -
When used as a noun, the Bible has used the word sanctified to mean to be free of sin or to be pure.
Consecrated to be Redeemed
When a person is consecrated to be redeemed, they accepted Yeshua as the Savior of Humanity, take upon them His name and live God’s basic seven laws for all Humanity, which include the laws of honesty and integrity. A person is saved from universal sin and eternal death when they accept Yeshua as the Savior of Humanity.
Consecrated to be Sanctified
When a person is consecrated to be sanctified, we must consider Yehovah’s relationship with ancient Israel – He sought to sanctify ancient Israel as His chosen people/community so that Israel could enter His presence - Zion. Succinctly put, Yehovah expected Israel to have “pure hearts and clean hand” – Psalms 24:4. Indeed, the pure in heart shall see God - the Son – Matt 5:8. Yehovah gave Israel the Law including its fullness to overcome personal sin. When used as a noun, the Apostle Paul used the word sanctification as the state of being free of sin or to be pure and integral for becoming sanctified – 1 Thess 4(4:3) – Strong’s Greek 38, hagiasmos.
Consecrated to be Exalted
When used as an adjective, sanctification is used to describe God as being holy – kadosh – Strong’s 6918. Holiness is a state of exaltation. These have perfected their lives and reach the full stature of the Messiah – they are proxy saviors. These are qualified to enter the presence of the Father.
Sanctification and the Theme of Threes
We can summarize sanctification with our theme of threes –