When Does Sanctification Occur?

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I often catch myself daydreaming about spiritual growth and wondering what people, places, and events God will use to shape me.  It’s certainly easy to value the monumental over the mundane, falling into the assumption that God is more likely to use “big” things rather than “small.”

Romans 8:28 reminds us that God is actively working in all things for the good of His people.  Contrary to popular opinion, however, my understanding of goodness does not dictate how God works; His working is good according to His standard and purpose.  Romans 8:29 gives us a glimpse of His purpose – part of God’s plan is that His people would be conformed to the image of Jesus.  Progressively this is known as sanctification; in an ultimate sense it is called glorification.

We know glorification is coming in the future, but when does sanctification occur?  The bottom line is that God is always at work accomplishing what He declares to be the good of His people, namely their growth in Christ-likeness.  All of life is the operating room; nothing is off limits.  School, relationships, employment, and continuous to-do lists are not ends in and of themselves; they are a means by which God is refining us and the tools He is using to mold us as we approach the day when, ultimately, God’s “good working” in our lives comes to fruition because “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).   

Written by: Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11