|Mercy Street Church of Christ
Justification and sanctification...
Justification describes the position of acceptance with God
which he gives us when we trust in Christ as our Savior.
It is a legal term, borrowed from the lawcourts, and its
opposite is condemnation. To justify is to acquit, to
declare an accused person to be just, not guilty. So the
divine judge, because his Son has borne our condemnation,
justifies us, pronouncing us righteous in his sight.
'Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are
in Christ Jesus' (Rom. 8:1).
Sanctification, on the other hand, describes the process
by which justified Christians are changed into the likeness
of Christ. When God justifies us, he *declares* us
righteous through Christ's death for us; when he sanctifies
us, he *makes* us righteous through the power of his Holy
Spirit within us. Justification concerns our outward status
of acceptance with God; sanctification concerns our inward
growth in holiness of character. Further, whereas our
justification is sudden and complete, so that we shall
never be more justified than we were on the day of our
conversion, our sanctification is gradual and incomplete.
It takes a few moments only in court for a judge to
pronounce his verdict and for the accused to be acquitted;
it takes a lifetime even to approach Christlikeness.
grace and peace to you,
For Mercy Street Ministries, I'm Stan Baldwin.
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