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Basic to understanding entire or perfect sanctification is one’s concept of sin. Any lack of full conformity to the will of God is sin. This complete or perfect sanctification is not possible in this lifetime. If you water down the meaning of sin then you can teach full deliverance while in the flesh.

Ultimate or perfect sanctification promises that one day we will be just like Christ. Our sanctification is consummated in the glorification of the believer.

God always finished what He starts, and His goal is a perfect saint. He never starts something He cannot complete according to His divine will and purpose.

You will one day become like Jesus. God’s purpose in saving you is “to be conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Rom. 8:28-29). We will become like Jesus Christ because God is the One transforming us.

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).

Ultimate final perfection will be ours when Christ comes. We will look upon that day and declare, “I saw God do it!” It will not be something we have accomplished in our own strength. It will be God’s handiwork through His grace and power.

We must not deviate from the goal of unqualified conformity to Christ. Jesus said, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). “You shall be holy as I am holy” (Lev. 11:45; 1 Pet. 1:16). The standard of holiness is complete conformity to Christ’s image. Anything less is lowering the standard set by God. Our glorified state will be the perfection of sanctification.

In the sanctification of the believer our glorification is implied as the last event in the change from glory to glory. The apostle Paul put glorification as the last and final event in the process of salvation (Rom. 8:28-30). In the grand scope of salvation our glorification is the completion, the consummation, the perfection, and the full realization of what God has in store for the believer. 

The greatest promise in the Scriptures is when Christ appears, “we shall be like Him.”  Glorification is a perfect, indisputable standing before God in the Day of Judgment (Rom. 5:6-11). In glorification believers shall be in a state of complete exoneration for any possible change. Not only are we justified, but we shall be glorified. That is perfect sanctification.

The wonderful salvation God has provided in His grace involves justification, regeneration, and sanctification in this life. In the life to come it means the glorification of the inner person and the resurrection of the body in glory. This sets Christianity apart from all the world religions. None other offers the hope of a resurrected body and eternal life.

What the apostle Paul says about the church in Ephesians 5:27 is true of each believer that Christ “might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.”

God has prepared for us “salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10).

“Just as the inner person undergoes glorification so does the believer’s body” (Rom. 8:23). Our bodies of humiliation will be transformed into bodies of glory identical to that of Christ.

God is preparing us for heaven to be in His presence for all eternity. Our citizenship is in heaven. There we will be made conformable to the glorious body of Christ (Phil. 3:20, 21; 1 John 3:1-3). Everything God is doing now with us and in us is preparing us for heaven.

In sanctification we have already been made partakers in the heavenly calling (Heb. 3:1; 6:4).

We have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12). And He is not through with us yet, and will not be until Christ returns or calls us home in death. Every believer will dwell in heaven in resurrection bodies equipped for heaven. “We shall be changed,” in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

In that blessed moment our progressive sanctification will be complete and we will be perfect in our eyes and God’s holy eyes.

Christ is the goal of our sanctification (Rom. 8:29). We are to grow up in Him (Eph. 4:15). Christ is formed in us (Gal. 4:19). We are to behold Him and be changed into His image (2 Cor. 3:18).

The Christian dies to sin with Christ and lives with Him in a new life. Christ is that new life. The believer dwells in Christ and Christ dwells in Him. He has the mind of Christ (Rom. 6:3-11; 8:9; Gal. 2:20).

Progressive sanctification is the privilege of the Christian until the moment Christ presents him to the Father perfect, mature, complete in Christ.

God predestined His people to be conformed to the likeness of His Son (1 John 3:2). It is God’s plan that His people become like His Son.  This work of the Holy Spirit conforming us to the likeness of Christ is sanctification. The end result is our glorification.

It is this hope or confidence that we will one day be like Jesus that motivates us to be like Him today. It leads us to be as morally pure as possible in this life. When we see Jesus in glory we will be made into the image of Jesus Christ, without sin, forever.

Key Scriptures

Romans 8:28-30; 1 John 3:2-3; Matthew 5:48; 2 Timothy 2:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Ephesians 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

Abiding Principles and Practical Applications

1. God predestined His people to be like His Son, and He always finishes what He starts.

2. When we see Jesus in glory we will be made into the image of His glory. When Christ appears we shall be like Him.


For Further Study

Sanctification in Christ 
Romans 8:31-39 We Won! Our Triumphant Song 
Sanctified Forever 
1 John 2:28-3:3 When Jesus Comes We Shall Be Like Him






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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.


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