I Thessalonians 5:23
“May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.”
How do we become holy?
There are two aspects to holiness. First of all, to be ‘holy’ simply means that we are ‘different’ – because we belong not to the world but to God. (Exodus 33:15,16)
And what makes the difference is the presence of God: the fact that He is with us. (Ezekiel 37:27,28)
But it is also true that to enjoy God’s presence we must behave in a ‘holy’ manner. (Psalm 15)
And so God initiates the process of sanctification, then as we respond to Him we become closer to Him and more like Jesus in the way we live, and then our lives become even more filled with His presence, and so on… what scientists would describe as a ‘positive feedback loop’ (John 14:23)
At least, that’s how it should work… we need God’s help, of course. That’s why Paul prays for the Thessalonians, that the process of their sanctification will progress towards completion.