Salvation cannot be separated from the Word of God. In Rom. 1:16, it is very clear that the Gospel is God’s power for salvation. Sanctified by the Word means by the power of God’s Word that is understood, then one can be matured, so that he no longer lives in sin but lives according to God’s will. God’s Word sanctifies, it means the Word of God avoids mankind from doing evil (John 17: 14-17). Humans of course have to be diligent in learning the truth of the Word of God, because if someone remains in the Word then he can be freed (John 8: 31-32). Freedom here means that the person is freed from the tendency to sin. How does this freedom process take place?
Answering the above statement, we must understand and be able to distinguish the meaning of the Word in the sense of Logos and Rhema. When someone hears the Word of God, the way of thinking is changed cognitively by the teaching taught. In this case the Word (logos) becomes a comprehension in his mind. Logos is the Word understood in mind through the teaching that is heard. For example, when someone hears the Word: Love your enemies. This does not mean that one can already love the enemy, because with our understanding, we haven’t been able to show our love our enemy. For that, we must experience concretely that there are people, who are hostile towards us. While in this struggle, the Holy Spirit will remind the God’s Word. Here the Word (logos) which has been understood in mind, is concretely translated in the reality of life. The Holy Spirit will speak to that person. This word of God is called Rhema.
In certain cases and for certain people (those who love God), God processes sanctification through events that occur in life (Rom. 8:28). All this is done by God, especially to those who feel it is necessary and truly willing to receive instruction or chastening from God (Heb. 12:7-9).
There is no maturity without daily real-life experience.
Indeed, this process is not pleasant, not infrequently even painful, but God wants to cleanse the character of our sinthrough all these real experiences . In this case the Father educates us through His Spirit. This is what is meant as being sanctified by the Spirit of God. By the works or guidance by the spirit, one is possible to have obedience to the Father. So, it is not by strength that one can do or achieve holiness as desired by God, but by the Spirit of God who helps believers. God’s Spirit is the facility of salvation provided to bring people to believe in God’s perfection.
If the word “sanctified” is connected with the statement of Lord Jesus in John 17:19, “For them I sanctify Myself, that they too may be truly sanctified“, so then it means that Lord Jesus tried to obey, in order to fulfill God’s plan. Lord Jesus Himself must struggle to achieve perfection. He doesn’t reach it easily. He must greatly struggle. This is done so that He reaches perfection, and then He can be an example to believers and God uses Him as a mean of salvation. Likewise, believers can be sanctified with truth so that the Father can use them (John 17:19). In Hebrews 5:8-9 it says: “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.” After Lord Jesus accomplished His salvation task, He made humans to be sanctified and used by the Father, as He Himself also experienced it. Paul was also sanctified for this, and became a tool in the hands of God to fulfill God’s plan (Rom. 1: 1).
In this case, it is clear that the sanctification of God does not stop only when believers are transferred from sinners to become God’s children, nor their character is merely corrected, but also planned to be instruments in the hands of the Father to fulfill His plan. The Father’s plan is to destroy the work of the Devil (1 John 3:8). This is parallel to the understanding of the word “holy” in Hebrew namely qadhos, meaning being set apart from others to be used.