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Passive sanctification refers to the primary cause or source of a believer's sanctification. In this sense, sanctification is purely a supernatural work - meaning that it goes beyond that which nature or natural man can produce. It is a work performed by God within the believer, not something the believer produces of himself.

God begins, continues, and completes sanctification in the life of His child. He begins it in regeneration and conversion; continues it in His indwelling work of activating and strengthening the person's new nature; and completes it at death when the elect soul is delivered from its old nature and from all sin.

God does not just implant new spiritual life in His children's hearts to convert their wills and then leave them. Rather, God continues to graciously activate and support His spiritual work against the many opposing, sinful powers and influences. Therefore, any victories over sin and gains in holiness made in the lives of the elect are due to God's work within them - due to God's supernatural work, not natural man's accomplishments.

The work of sanctification is ascribed to each of the three Perions in the divine Trinity, as shown in the chart below.

SANCTIFICATION IS THE SUPERNATURAL WORK OF THE TRIUNE GOD
Divine Person
Example Texts

1. God the Father

Sanctify them through Thy truth.

- John 17:17a

Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.

- Jude: 1

2. God the Son

But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

- 1 Corinthians 1:30

Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate.

- Hebrews 13:12

2. God the Holy Spirit

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

- II Thessalonians 2:13

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

- I Peter 1:2

 

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

- I Thessalonians 5:23

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

- Titus 2:14

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

- Hebrews 13:20-21

And ye shall keep My statutes, and do them: 1 am the LORD which sanctify you.

- Leviticus 20:8

Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it;

That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word,

That He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

- Ephesians 5:25b-27

 

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