The Christian life can be so complex -- and oh so very simple. That we would use such a fancy word as sanctification betrays the complexity. But that defining such a big word could be so easy hints at the simplicity.
Big Word, Modest Meaning
The word sanctification is built on the Latin sanctus, meaning "holy." Sanctification is the theological term we Christians often use for the process of being made holy. For the Christian, whose standard of perfect human holiness is Jesus, the God-man, sanctification is essentially becoming more like Jesus -- being "conformed to the image of his Son," as Romans 8:29 puts it.
Christian growth, or maturation, is another way to define sanctification. It's a big word for the little-by-little progress of the everyday Christian life. That much is simple. But what it encompasses is enormous: how every professing Christian should live, where our holiness is heading, how fast the progress should be, and how it happens in real life. Here’s where it gets complicated and controversial.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]