What does it mean when God says you are sanctified?

Self-ImprovementSpirituality

  • Author James Rondinone
  • Published August 25, 2023
  • Word count 823

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You Are Sanctified

Have you ever thought of calling someone holy? Usually, this refers to a person involved with a particular faith that’s performing good works for the less fortunate. In some religious circles, when someone is considered holy, they’re designated as a saint. In one particular faith, Catholicism, this classification isn’t taken lightly. There are a few stages, four to be exact, that must be followed for someone to be considered as such. Are you aware of what each of these levels are about? I’m certainly not. The following article will unveil to us what these consist of.

WHO BECOMES A SAINT IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND IS THAT CHANGING?

Any Catholic or group of Catholics can request that the bishop open a case. [They’ll] need to name a formal intermediary, called the “postulator,” [who’ll] promote the cause of the saint. At this point, the candidate is called “a servant of God.”

A formal investigation examines [the] “servant of God’s” life. Those who knew the candidate are interviewed, and affidavits for and against the candidate are reviewed. Also, the candidate’s writings – if any exist – are examined for consistency with Catholic doctrine. A “promoter of justice” named by the local bishop ensures that proper procedures are [followed,] and a notary certifies the documentation.

The proceedings of the investigation, called “Acta” or “The Acts,” are forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in Rome. The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints is large, with a prefect, a secretary, [an undersecretary, and a staff of twenty-three people. There are also over thirty] cardinals and bishops associated with the congregation’s work at various stages.

The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints appoints a “relator” (one of five who currently work for the congregation) who supervises the postulator in writing a position paper called a “positio.” The positio argues for the virtues of the servant of God and can be thousands of pages long. The congregation examines the positio and members vote “yes” or “no” on the cause. “Yes” votes must be unanimous.

The final decision lies with the pope. When he signs a “Decree of Heroic Virtue,” the person becomes “venerable.” Then two stages remain: beatification and sainthood.86

Here’s my question for you to consider. Do you think of yourself as a saint, i.e., someone who is holy? And what about God? Do you believe that He considers you as such? Let’s find out. If you have your Bible handy, please go to the book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 10:9-10

Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

We’re told that Jesus came to do His father’s will, i.e., to take away the first (set aside the legal system of sacrifices that are of no value in removing sin) and establish the second (the Divine will, willing our redemption through Christ, and perfectly fulfilled by him87). By which will you are sanctified (have been made holy; from unholy alienation into a state of consecration to God88)through the offering of the body (the atonement; perfectly holy body) of Jesus Christ as a once and for all sacrifice for sin.

What else we can learn about being sanctified is that this verb in Koine Greek is in the form of a perfect passive participle. By God’s will, during the establishment of the second covenant of grace, the Hebrew believers responded to His invitation of salvation, and received sanctification (the state of holiness) at this moment in time with present continual results, i.e., they remain in a perpetual sanctified state.

In the eyes of God, like them, you’re holy and therefore this is how you should see yourself. This isn’t based on whether you perform good works or whether your behavior is approved of by God or others. With that said, can you answer this question? Are you a saint?

Don’t look at your condition when answering this question. Simply believe in God’s declaration about you. You’re holy or are constantly in a state of holiness in the present. And yes, you’re a saint. This will never change in God’s eyes and neither should it in yours. And this reality will be worked out in your new life in Christ as you grow spiritually. Hallelujah!

Another declaration about our new lives that we’ll look at next is one that I’ve wrestled with for years. Thank God that He’s declared in His Word how we should perceive and address this.

Endnotes

86“Who becomes a saint in the Catholic Church, and is that changing?” THE CONVERSATION 03 November 2022

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87The Pulpit Commentary.

88Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary.

My name is James Rondinone. I am a husband, father, and spiritual leader.

I grew up in Massachusetts and began my own spiritual journey early on in life.

I attended Bible college, having completed a two-year Christian Leadership Course of Study and graduated as valedictorian (Summa Cum Laude).

Studying and teaching the Word of God has been a passion of mine for over 20 years.

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