Monday, July 18, 2011

justified and sanctified

as of lately, i've been learning a lot about the difference between justification and sanctification (theologically, anyways). i realize that a lot of times i mix up justification (which comes from God and God alone) and sanctification (which requires us to do something through the power of God). let's define some stuff first;

justification - being made right before God, happens once, at the point of new-birth. when you are a born-again Christian, your standing with God is as if God views you with no sin. you have been saved. you are covered with the blood of Christ. you cannot do anything about this, you do not bring about your own justification.

sanctification - after being saved, each and every Christian slowly conforms to the image of Christ (until we're transformed perfectly to Christ's image when we're glorified). we rid ourselves of sin, deceit, malice, wickedness. we stop conforming to the patterns of the world and we conform to Christ's righteousness instead. all through the power of the Holy Spirit. without Him, sanctification is not possible.

so, as of late i've been mixing up the two. trying to work for my justification, and the assumption that i am already perfectly sanctified. wow ggitf. how wrong i am! trying to do things to "get saved" just doesn't fly with God. in ephesians, we see we are dead in our sins, dead, DEAD! dead people don't rise by themselves. we need God to resurrect us from the dead, to bring us back from the sin that we love so much, and to be made right before Him before we can even do anything for Him.
after that, it's not like we're suddenly perfect, sinless, and mega-holy. in God's eyes in judgment day, yes, but for now we're still humans, we still sin, we still fall. and sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives after we've been born again to conform to Christ's image. we still can't do it. praise God! but we must allow and heed what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives and to follow what the bible teaches us. we can't just 'sit back' and 'just let God do it all', but at the same time we have to realize we can't sanctify ourselves without the Holy Spirit working. crazies!

anyways, that's just a brief. i'll try to blog more on other things i've been learning.
fight the good fight!


  1. hmmm...John Piper talks about this here: He talks about how we need to "act the miracle", but it's not possible without God.

    Philippians 2:12-13: "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

    So we need to work out our salvation, but at the same time, it's not us working but God. So sanctification is by grace.

    Unfortunately, the sermon page is down for some reason =/. I found it on youtube though haha:

  2. another thing John Piper talks about is that the gospel is central to sanctification. That through the cross we are justified and also empowered to conquer to sin. He uses the quote: "He breaks the power of cancelled sin” not the other way around ("He cancels the guilt of conquered sins"), which isn't the gospel/good news.