The following is the 1961 Brethren in Christ Statement on Sanctification, with a few very slight modifications to reflect the gender egalitarianism that all believers today should be striving towards. These very slight modifications appear in italics. The 1961 Statement on Sanctification is solid. I actually prefer it to all other statements. We all would do well to strive faithfully and honestly towards full consecration to God. Holiness is not an option in the Kingdom of God as preached and pointed towards by Jesus of Nazareth. God be with us …
Sanctification throughout the Word of God is used with various meanings: to declare the holy (Gen. 2:3; Ex. 29:43,44), to set apart (Ex.13:2;Jno. 17:19), and to cleanse (Ex. 19:10; Eph. 5:26,27).
As a Christian experience, sanctification embodies the setting apart of the believer in entire consecration (Rom. 12:1,2; Jno. 17:17), and the cleansing of the believer’s heart from carnality (Acts 15:8,9; Eph. 5:26), accompanied by the baptism of the holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Acts 2:1-10).
The sanctification of the believer is required by God (Rom. 8:5-8; Heb. 12:14), provided for by Christ in His atonement (Heb. 10:10; Heb 13:12), and divinely wrought by the Holy Spirit (Heb. 10:14,15; Acts 15:8,9).
When the believer led by the Spirit becomes aware of inner conflict of the flesh and spirit (Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:14-24), loathes his condition, confesses his or her state and need; makes and unreserved consecration (Rom. 6:13-16; Rom. 12:1), and exercises a living faith in the work of Christ on Calvary, he or she is definitely cleansed from the carnal mind. Thus the work of holiness which was begun in regeneration is perfected, and the believer is “sanctified wholly” (II Cor. 7:1; I Thess. 5:23).
This experience for believers is obtained instantaneously and subsequent to the new birth (Acts 8:14-17; Jas. 4:8). The scriptural terms used to describe the cleansing of the believer’s heart imply the same: purifying the heart (Acts 15:8,9), crucifixion of the old man or woman (Rom. 6:6), body of sin destroyed (Rom 6:6), circumcision of the heart (Col. 2:11), deliverance (Rom. 7:24), creation (Psa. 51:10). Even though it is possible for a sanctified believer to fall into sin (Jno. 15:6; II Pet. 2:20-22), the Scriptures reveal that by giving heed to the Word (I Tim. 4:15, 16), being devoted in prayer (Heb. 4:15, 16), and by rendering loving and obedient service to Christ (Rom. 6:16), he or she is kept from willful transgression by the power of God (Jude 20-24).
Although sanctification perfects the motives and desires of the heart, the expression of these in terms of accomplishment is a progressive growth in grace until the close of this life (II Tim. 3:16,17; II Pet. 3:13).