Discussion about holiness, sanctification

Paul Moldovan asked me some questions about the meaning of sanctification for his blog, and this prompted me to think about the subject.

My answer about the meaning of “sanctification” starts like this:

I might prefer the translation “consecrate,” since there is less theological-historical baggage attached. The term means “set apart” for ritual purposes; in biblical usage this especially means set apart from what is profane for exclusively holy use. By Christ’s sacrificial death for us, God has consecrated us, or set us apart, as “saints” (literally, “the consecrated ones”) for his exclusive use. We belong to him. Now, what are the implications of this? If we are “saints” in Christ—i.e., those consecrated to Christ—we ought to live wholly for his purposes, not for our own or others.

The written interview as a whole is posted here:

https://overthinkingchristian. com/2017/08/27/what-is- sanctification-anyway-craig- keener-responds/

The story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40

Some regard the story as unreliable, but I argued in an article in 2008 that we have good reason to believe that the account is in fact reliable. I also worked some with cultural background about this passage.

The article is available for download or reading here (Andrews University Press):


YOU’re a minister (77 seconds)

Ephesians 4:11-13

77-second video (or if you’d rather read, the text follows):

In Ephesians 4:11-13, the job of ministers of the Word is to equip the rest of Christ’s body for the work of the ministry. We believers are all Christ’s body, all called to ministry. We each have special gifts and special doors for ministry. It is you whom God positioned strategically to reach your neighborhood, your school, your place of employment, perhaps for local prisons, nursing homes or other venues. You are responsible for those God placed in your path. 95 percent of the work of Christ’s body will never get done if we are depending on just 5 percent of the members to do it. We can’t neglect work or family, but if we have to neglect some pastimes for ministry, we will be trading merely momentary pleasures for making an eternal difference. If you are Jesus’s follower, you are a member of Christ’s body. Ask God where you can make a greater difference around you. God can and will use you.