First, what is sanctification? Merriam-Webster says that sanctification is the state of being sanctified; the state of growing in divine grace as a result of Christian commitment after baptism or conversion. The goal of travelling this road of sanctification is to become Holy as God is Holy. For is tells us in 1 Peter 1:15 – “But because the God who called you is holy you must be holy I us live every aspect of your life” (GW). Holiness is not just a word we use to describe what we need to become it is “more than word study and grammatical exegesis in terms of a specific designation. It is not the term, but the experience and the life that the Scripture stresses. And the experience is of the broadest possible dimensions” (Dayton, 1966). We must live holy is we are to be holy.
Sanctification does not happen instantaneously at the moment of salvation. It is a process by which we live day to day the way we believe Christ would have us live. Jesus followed every commandment and every precept that a man in the flesh should live, if he truly loved God and wanted to please Him with a life that could be called holy. Living a life of holiness is not easy, but it is necessary as a Christian, if we want others to see the glory of God in us. For as Jesus said in Matthew 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven” (AMP).
I like the way Wilber Dayton states the life of holiness when he said, “This life in the Spirit then expresses itself in appropriate ethics—a life of holiness (Rom.12-16). It requires more than a reluctant cease-fire. "Brethren"(Rom. 12:1, converted people) have to respond to the goodness and saving mercies of God by an appropriate dedication or consecration of themselves. They do not dedicate their sins. Those are already forsaken. Rather, they yield their ransomed powers, their bodies, as living sacrifices, holy and well-pleasing to God. This is the reasonable service of the redeemed. The "presentation" (aorist tense) is decisive action. The "transformation" (present tense) is continuous. Thus the life of holiness is launched with a full consecration to God, which is followed by constant access to His renewing and transforming grace (Rom. 12:1, 2)”.
Without a full dedication of a life to God, true holiness will be hard to achieve. Thank God that He sent His Son to achieve it for us. This doesn’t mean that we must stop (or cease-firing as Dayton puts it), but at least we know that we have the Son of God at our backs to help us along the road to the holiness that God seeks of us. As Jesus so eloquently put it in Matthew 11:29-30 – “Place my yoke over your shoulders, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble. Then you will find rest for yourselves because my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (GW).
Dayton, W. (1966). Entire Sanctification as taught in the book of romans. Retrieved from: http://wesley.nnu.edu/fileadmin/ imported_site/wesleyjournal/1966-wtj-01.pdf