"But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly..." - Psalm 4:3
First off, let me say that it is extremely sad to me that so many people don't know the meaning of this word and the connection it has to the Christian! Hopefully I will be able to provide a small glimpse into the word during this article so as to aid in an understanding of just some of the blessings that are said to be in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), because they all stem from "sanctification."
The Bible holds within its pages 137 matches to the words "sanctify," "sanctified," and "sanctification" and even more if you were to consider phrases, like in our main text (Psalm 4:3), that have the meaning but not the exact word. The first time referring all the way back to the 7th day that ever existed. God is said to have "sanctified" the seventh day which would later be known as the Sabbath Day, or the day of rest (Genesis 2:3). The last time speaking of those who were Christians and made that way by God the Father, those who were "preserved" in Christ (Jude 1). So, this idea has been around since the beginning and is still alive and well some 6,500 years later during the Christian age! What a wonderful thought, but only if we actually know what it means!
Alright, enough introduction, WHAT DOES SANCTIFICATION MEAN! - It means exactly what David wrote in Psalm 4:3, "set apart." Now, the word in Psalm 4:3 is a different word than that of Genesis 2:3 but the English word carries the same meaning. God "set apart" the 7th day and made it special just as David states God had "set apart" for Himself those who are godly and made them special!
We're special? How in the world are those that are godly special compared to those who are not (also known as those spoken to in verse 2 of Psalm 4)?
It's easy, and it's all found in the 2 words directly proceeding the phrase "set apart" in Psalm 4:3. We were set aside, made special, put on a pedestal for God! Peter said it like this,
"But you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" - 1 Peter 2:9
How are we special? Let's read it again straight from the pen of Peter, "...that you may proclaim the praises ofHim who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)." Isn't that what David said way back in Psalm 4? - "The Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly." What's it mean to be "godly"? It means, according to Strong's, "(religiously) pious" or, according to the Dictionary.com app, "conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devout; pious." There it is again! It all relates back to following God's LAWS. That's who we are set apart, that's how we proclaim (show) the praises of God to the world, that's how we are godly.
Sanctification means you follow God's laws and then you're special, and people will see that special nature you have received through your outward actions based upon your beliefs (your "religion," James 1:21-27). Sanctification carries the entire weight of being a Christian! It denotes a person completely set on obeying God regardless of his own ideas or preconceived beliefs. It makes a person special!