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Author: Ron Graham

Wonderful Words

Sanctified When Saved, Not Later
—More about “sanctification”

The Bible’s teaching on sanctification goes against the idea of sanctification as a “second blessing” given to us some time —possibly even years— after we are first cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ.

1 The doctrine of the Second Blessing

The doctrine of the second blessing is that sanctification is not fully given to all who receive the blessing of salvation. You can be saved, but not yet be entirely sanctified. Full sanctification is a kind of second conversion that brings a person into a state of sinless perfection also called entire sanctification.

The scriptures however allow no time-lapse between purification and sanctification. Nor are there two states of purification —ordinary forgiveness from sin, followed later by a better purification of "sinless perfection".

Questions Raised by the “Second Blessing” Idea

The doctrine of a second (extra) blessing, given some time after one's conversion, raises very important questions. For example...

2 Paul Doesn't Teach It

In Ephesians, Paul addresses all members of God’s household, and promises them all that they have received "every spiritual blessing" (Ephesians 1:3).

Even in the first two chapters, Paul tells the Ephesians that they were predestined, have redemption, were sealed with the Spirit, were saved by grace, reconciled and brought near to God, are fellow citizens with the saints or sanctified people, and are heirs in God’s household.

Later, in the last chapter, he tells them that "the full armor of God" is for their taking, that they "might stand firm against the schemes of the devil."

3 Christ’s Full Blessing

The letter to the Hebrews also makes clear the blessings of all those who embrace the "new and living way" (Hebrews 10:19-31). Note that this is not addressed to people for whom sin is impossible.

Those who are sanctified are those who are fully forgiven, fully purified from sin, and fully empowered to overcome sin. How more can we be blessed than to know that "the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin" (1John 1:7-9, 2:1-2)?

There is one salient and simple fact you can believe and understand regarding what it means to be sanctified: "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1John 1:9).

That sanctification is an immediate, full, and ever-present blessing.

We who are saved are continually being sanctified and kept "perfect" by Christ’s sacrifice, until he comes again (Hebrews 10:14). He remains faithful in this. We in turn must remain faithful and dedicated to him. We must love, trust, and obey him, for there is no one else who loves us as he does. Only he can sanctify and purify us body and soul.


Webservant Ron Graham

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