1 Corinthians 1:2 “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus”
Paul says that the members of the church at Corinth are sanctified. The Greek word he uses here comes from the same root word that is translated as holy or saint. Whenever you read any of these words – sanctify, saint, holy - in their various forms, they all convey the idea of someone or something that is separated or reserved from others to be special or set apart for special purposes and uses.
It’s not just the Corinthians who were sanctified. The New testament frequently uses words like holy, saint, and sanctified to refer to all disciples. If you believe in Jesus Christ you are a holy, sanctified saint. This means you are set apart and reserved for special purposes. You are prized and particularly cherished by God and he has dedicated you for his use and to do his service.
In the days of temple worship there were bowls and other utensils that were reserved for use in the sacrifices performed during the worship of the Lord. These utensils were sanctified and holy. It would have been a great blasphemy for anyone to take one of those bowls home and use it in his own house. These bowls could only be used for temple worship and for no other purpose.
So what does that mean for us? It means we are not to live in a common, ordinary way. We are separated from ordinary people for a higher, special kind of life. Does that mean we should not have jobs, get married, have children, own houses and do all the other things of normal human life? Does that mean we should spend our entire lives in monastery cells praying and worshipping God? Prayer and worship are certainly good things and we should be doing them often but all the other things listed above are good as well and are actually God’s will for most people.The difference for us is the way we do those things. For example, ordinary people might tell a lie if it helps them get what they want or avoid trouble but you would never want to lie if you are sanctified. You are reserved for something better and higher. You have been set apart for truth telling. The same goes for many other ways of doing things. Ordinary people can steal, be lazy, hold grudges, take revenge, be selfish, and similar things but sanctified people are reserved for a special, higher way of life. When a sanctified person does one of these common things it’s like taking a bowl from the good china, one that’s reserved for special times when you have guests, and using it to feed the dog. You also would never think about serving food to a guest in the dog’s dish. In the same way we should consider it unthinkable to live like ordinary people. Sanctified people are reserved for better things.