Q&A: Sanctification in Hebrews 12:14

Sanctification in Hebrews 12:14

Question

Is the holiness mentioned in Hebrews 12:14 definitive consecration or is it progressive purity?

Answer

Although there are many mentions of holiness or sanctification as definitive consecration in Hebrews, in this particular case the author was speaking of progressive purity. One way to know this is that the author was exhorting the church to pursue sanctification. Since everyone in the church is already definitively consecrated, it would make no sense to exhort them to further definitive consecration. The exhortation is also given in the context of discipline, which equates sharing in God's holiness with being trained and yielding the fruit of righteousness (Heb. 12:10-11) -- this is essentially the definition of progressive purity. Also, the exhortation to holiness accompanies exhortations to do many other ongoing good works, implying that the pursuit of holiness is also to be ongoing.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.