This is the eighth post in the series “Who Is God”.
My proper name is Donald, but I’m also called dad, father, grandpa, son, uncle, brother, nephew, and pastor along with others. Each of these is a name for me which describes certain attributes. God’s proper name is Jehovah, but as with you and me His is known by other names that describe Him.
Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah Meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Mekoddishkem derives from the Hebrew word qâdash meaning "sanctify," "holy," or "dedicate." Sanctification is the separation of an object or person to the dedication of the Holy. When the two words are combined - Jehovah Mekoddishkem - it can be translated as "The Lord who sets you apart." - Blue Letter Bible
Exodus 31:13 (NKJV)13 "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.
Leviticus 20:8 (NKJV)8 'And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the LORD who sanctifies you.
When God announced Himself as Jehovah-M’Kaddesh He said that He is the one that would sanctify. Jehovah is set apart from all things and He will set His people apart from the world, sin and the flesh, for Himself alone. Jehovah-M'Kaddesh is the one who sanctifies those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
John 17:17-19 (NKJV)17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
Jesus asked His Father to sanctify us through His Word, which is truth. When we obey His word we are demonstrating our willingness to be set apart to Him.
“We are saved and sanctified for God, not to be specimens in his showroom, but for God to do with us ever as he did with Jesus—make us broken bread and poured out wine as he chooses.” - OSWALD CHAMBERS (1874–1917)
“When in his mercy God leads a soul in the higher path of sanctification, he begins by stripping it of all self-confidence, and to this end he allows our own schemes to fail, our judgment to mislead us. We grope and totter and make countless mistakes until we learn wholly to mistrust ourselves and to put all our confidence in him.” JEAN NICOLAS GROU (1731–1803)
sanc·ti·fy - verb - set apart as or declare holy; consecrate; set apart for sacred use: to make free from sin: purify
"Sanctify" is an ancient concept widespread among religions. ... To sanctify is to literally "set apart for particular use in a special purpose or work and to make holy or sacred."
Sanctification - the act or process of acquiring sanctity, of being made or becoming holy.
Sanctification can be generally defined as being separate or set apart. In the case of the Christian, we are set apart for God and we are separate from the world.
Sanctification is the process of being set apart for God's work and being conformed to the image of Christ.
Romans 8:28-30 (NKJV)28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Salvation is the work of God alone. We don’t have anything to do with it and we can’t earn it.
Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV)8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Salvation is instantaneous sanctification is a process. Salvation comes from outside of us, from God, sanctification comes from within us by the work of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is the divine process by which Christians become more and more like Christ. It is a divine process because the changes in the life of the Christian are produced by the Holy Spirit
Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Those changes are not the result of self-improvement efforts. They are the result of the power of God renewing the heart and mind of the Christian.
Three aspects to sanctification
1. Positional sanctification received at salvation
Acts 20:32 (NKJV) So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
1 Corinthians 1:2 (NKJV)2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
2. Progressive sanctification, the daily growth, becoming more and more set apart for God's use
John 17:16-19 (NKJV)16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
3. Ultimate sanctification, attained only when we are fully and completely set apart to God as we become just like Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NKJV) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 John 3:1-3 (NKJV)1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
The Pathway of Spiritual Growth
After writing this post I read a devotion in InTouch Ministries', Daily Devotions with Dr. Charles Stanley, The Pathway of Spiritual Growth The devotion provides a perfect ending to this post declaring the name of Jehovah-M'kaddesh- The Lord Who Sanctifies You.
Romans 8:29 (NKJV) 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
God predestined us to grow into His likeness, but this doesn't happen at the moment we are saved. While we are redeemed by the Savior's precious blood and immediately have a new heart, our transformation is a lifelong process.
The Holy Spirit enables this journey. Growth is impossible without Him, regardless of our efforts. Yet we can welcome or hinder His transforming hand.
One way we give God willing access to our lives is by obeying this mandate in Romans 12:2: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."
Everyone chooses either a biblical or worldly philosophy as his or her source of truth--and that choice shapes the mind and spirit. Therefore, the Lord tells us to immerse our mind in Scripture, allowing Him to mold us into His beautiful image.
The Bible story about the Israelites wandering in the wilderness illustrates this principle. After saving them from Pharaoh's abuse, God did not bring them immediately to the Promised Land. The Lord knew doing so would bring sinful ways with them. Instead, He led them to the wilderness and gave the Ten Commandments. Only after they learned to obey and turn to almighty God were they ready for the next step.
The process of sanctification isn't always pleasant. In fact, it's often painful for us, just as it was for the Israelites. In God's amazing wisdom and love, however, He knows what we need to leave our old ways that lead to death. And He builds new character in us--full of life and joy.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2016 All Rights Reserved.
We can’t make ourselves holy. We can only be holy because Jehovah- M'Kaddesh sanctifies us. He declares us holy when we embrace Christ's holy work of forgiveness that He accomplished for us on the Cross. Jehovah-M’kaddesh continues our sanctification until the day of Jesus’ return when that sanctification is complete and we are like Him.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.