"and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints."- 1Th 3:12,13
Sanctificationis a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.
Holiness is to be separate or set-apart from the world.
Sin and Death reign in this current world (Rom 5:12-21). And many people today are happy, or not-so-happy, citizens of Sin and Death. The citizens of the Kingdom of God do not fall in those categories. We are sojourners in this world (1Pe 2:11) and ambassadors of the Kingdom of God (2Co 5:20). But we haven't always been that way. Before we were born-again we too were citizens of Sin and Death. But now that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God our process of becoming freer from Sin and Death necessarily means that we are becoming more and more separate from the citizens of Sin and Death. That's why Paul stresses that those whom God has called to be His people are therefore to separate themselves from unclean things and be perfectly holy (2Co 6:14-7:1).
One way that the process of sanctification progresses is through the increase of the love that christians have and express to all people. So, though we are markedly separate from the citizens of Sin and Death by our behavior and our allegiance, that doesn't mean that we don't love them or don't care about them. But this type of love is not something that we, as those initially owned and raised under the reign of Sin and Death and being inherently imperfect and limited beings, are capable of achieving on our own. We need the God of Love to make the increase in love happen for us. The pure and righteous love for God which, if truly in us, must overflow to His creation.
Sin causes separation from God. But the love of God causes separation from Sin and Death. That is the death of Death in the Christian's life (1Pe 2:24) as we wait for the final death of Death (Rev 20:14).
What do you think about the sanctification process? Do you appreciate how you differ from the world around you? Do you feel it happening in your life? In what ways does God help you to become holier? Love to hear anything you have to say about this matter!