Through sanctification by the Spirit… 2 Thessalonians 2:13
This word sanctification can mean either “made holy” or “set apart.” It probably has the second meaning, “set apart,” here.
Imagine a good friend holding a brand-new bag of your favorite candy—M&M’s, Twizzlers, or perhaps Skittles. She takes a handful of candy for herself, and she says she’ll give the rest to you after dinner tonight. She even gives you her word.
You may not be happy about the amount of candy that she took, but when she scooped up some of the candy, she “sanctified” every piece that ended up in her hand. She “set them apart” from the rest. And this is precisely what God has done for you in Christ. He has reached down into the world and scooped you up. He has placed His hand on your life and said, “I claim you for my own, and I’m going to reproduce the very image of my Son in you.”
Who has God set apart for Himself? Who are the ones God will transform into the image of His Son? It’s not random, like grabbing a handful of candy from a bag. All who are loved by God, chosen by God, and saved by God, come to believe in God “through… belief in the truth” (2:13). And all who believe are also sanctified by God.
That means, if you’re a Christian today, God’s hand is intentionally on you for good. Think about that when you’re tired of the battle. It will help you stay the course of the Christian life.
What do you think of when you hear that God’s hand is intentionally on you for good?