How Is Your Justification Different Than Your Sanctification?
by Carlton Pruitt
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Many churches are not interested in holiness teachings or striving to be more like Jesus Christ and yet that is the purpose for which Christ came, namely, "to destroy the works of the Devil" (1 John 3:8) to "deliver us from this present evil age" (Galatians 1:4) AND "that we should be holy and without blame" (Ephesians 1:4;2:10) and as Jesus said, "that we bring forth much fruit" (John 15:8). This is how we prove ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ "and so shall ye be my disciples"
said our Lord.
In other words the character of all those who are true Christians will be fruit producing members of the body of Christ. These are said to be sanctified and justified.
For those claiming or professing to be disciples and who are not living holy or sanctified lives our Lord has this to say,
"Why call me Lord, Lord and do not the things I say?" Luke 6:46
My former pastor John Doolittle long ago told me that our justification before God "was as if we had never sinned." I'm sure this wasn't original with him because over the years I've heard this same expression many times.
To be justified is to be declared righteous before God so that there is not one sin that can accuse us in the final hour on that day of Judgment when the books are open.
As Psalm 32:1-2 states "Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile."
The blessed or righteous man has no sin that the Lord sees or charges to his account. Experimentally the believer does sin but it grieves him and the Spirit. As one who loves the Lord the Christian wants to keep God's commandments as commanded by Jesus John 14:15 "If you love me keep my commandments."
As a Christian you can never be more justified ten years after your effectual calling than you were when you were first called because it is a one time event that wipes your sinful record clean as it were but you should be more sanctified. You should be more sanctified in the sense that you have matured in the faith and have been more and more conformed to the image of God's son Jesus Christ.
After ten years of coming to the faith I should think you will show forth more fruit of the Spirit and commit less sin in your life through sanctification of the Holy Spirit than upon first being born again. Your faith and knowledge will have developed.
If you can not see a real change in your life and you find yourself doing the same sins as you did before you made a profession of faith then check yourself before you wreck yourself because you are not saved. You've deceived yourself because that old heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9
As a mature believer in Jesus Christ the word of God will have dwelt in you over the years and hopefully so richly that you will seldom sin again. You will still sin but less frequently and such scandalous sins as was done before your conversion will practically be unheard of.
"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:11
NOTE: Here we see that sanctification and justification go hand in hand and are not to be separated as if one could take place without the other. This is impossible. Take note also that the list of sins described those believers before their change "such were (PAST TENSE) some of you BUT ye are washed...etc. The washing of the Holy Spirit cleanses us from all sin (justification) and sanctifies so that there is a radical break with sin. Former lifestyles are no more practiced because the character has changed due to a new heart. The drunkard stops getting drunk, the liar stops lying, the fornicator stops their sexual immorality. God has written the law of God upon the sinner's heart so that the believer's faith "works by love" enabling him to keep the law of God howbeit not perfectly.
This is not to say a Christian can not fall into drunkeness or cursing with his mouth etc but he will repent, he will confess and by God's help forsake that sin. Christians that are justified never want to sin in their redeemed spirit but they still have a body of sin that wars against their spirit making the struggle against sin a constant lifelong fight (Galatians 5 and Romans 7)
Before conversion we loved our sin and practiced rebellion against our Creator, indeed we drank "iniquity like water."
Upon coming to faith in Christ you are but a babe in Christ learning certain truths from scripture and listening to your heavenly Father as He guides you with His eye. (Psalm 32:8) As you feed on the word you grow in both grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a command found in 1 Peter 3:18. You must grow and advance to maturity in the spiritual realm just as you did in the physical realm. You didn't remain a baby. That's impossible and so it is in the spiritual. It is impossible to remain a babe in Christ for if you are truly born again by the Spirit you will grow and mature and become more like Jesus.
This mean you become more patient, loving, kind, etc. showing forth your good works with meekness and mortifying the deeds of the flesh which is part of sanctification.
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. " This two part growth is part of the process of sanctification.
Let me break it down this way for simplication
1. Saints have been saved from the penalty of sin (Rom 5:1; 8:1)
2. Saints are being saved from the power of sin (1 Cor 1:18
3. Saints will be saved from the presence of sin. This is glorification. After our bodies are resurrected on the last day or Second Coming of Christ. (Romans 13:11; 8:30
1 Peter 1:5)
There is no disputing of this three-fold work of salvation in the true believer's life. Those who do so are not reading the scriptures carefully and are falling into serious error with deleterious repercussions.
Those who show no evidence for being saved from the power of sin should honest to God question their salvation. God didn't save us in our sins so that we could have salvation as a kind of "fire insurance" but rather God saves us FROM OUR SINS!
God hates ALL sin. Hypocrites only hate certain sins. Christians are in agreement with God and also hate ALL sin.
Readers might want to read my article "The Sinfulness Of Sin"for
a better understanding of why a light view of sin displeases God and how we should view sin properly.
Any church not teaching this fundamental truth of the gospel is not teaching the whole counsel of God. It is not enough to merely adhere to certain doctrines of "Calvinism" such as TULIP and think you are saved. Many a soul has perished in hell with nothing more than an intellectual understanding of orthodox doctrine because these professing Christians have not been washed from their sins. They haven't been born again and repented (had a new mind, attitude, thoughts toward their sin, God and Jesus Christ as evidenced by turning from all their sins).
This isn't just theoretical with me. I've known such churches who give alot of instruction in Bible doctrine and theology but they do not preach repentance and this is wrong.
People who profess to have much zeal for the truth and whose heads are full of knowledge about the Bible and theology but whose lives are not walking in the Spirit. These individuals have little love for others who are different from them. They can not tolerate disagreement on non-essentials of the faith
such as baptism, or the study of future things (prophecy)
This is especially sad when these individuals have not even studied the doctrines under question but have instead blindly followed their blind leaders into the ditch which they have made for themselves.
Now it is clear that God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to have a holy people, a "peculiar nation", "a royal priesthood" and bless God He's going to get it.(Revelation 4:11)
The sheep for whom Christ died hear His voice, and Jesus knows them and they follow Him and these sheep will never perish. John 10:27-28
If you want to know if you are one of Christ's sheep then you'll hear Christ's voice. You heard it once when you were effectually called into His Kingdom and regenerated (5:25) This was the first resurrection when the spiritually dead soul was made alive and given faith.
Romans 10:13 "For whosover shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Many pastors and Sunday school teachers stop right there with this verse and take verse 13 totally out of context by saying that all you have to do to be saved is to call upon the Lord and ask Him into your heart. But who will call upon the name of the Lord but those who have truly believed the gospel. To believe you must be given spiritual ears to hear. That's why it says in Revelation "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Rev. 2:29 This is not talking about those only that have physical ears for almost everybody has these but rather those that have spiritual ears and that "hear" the things of God. Faith comes by "hearing"
and hearing by the word of God, that is Jesus Christ who is the word of God. John 1:1, 14
Note the following logical progression of salvation.
verse 14 says "How then shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
verse 17 tells us how faith comes "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God."
Only true believers in Jesus Christ will call upon the Lord because they have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and have believed. This is wonderful news! A one time asking Jesus into your heart does not qualify as sound theology because the Bible says the hypocrite will not always call upon the Lord. Why? Because they go back into their old sins and deceive themselves with their carnal mindedness and love of the world.
People like Saul, Judas, Demas and others.
But let none think themselves justified who have not also been sanctified to some degree. The justification is the saving faith of Jesus Christ that (Romans 5:1) which brings peace to the child of God. Before faith came we were at war with God in our hearts and mind. We did those things which please ourselves and not the Father. The sanctification of the believer is the repentance and radical clevage or break with sin that goes hand in hand with justification.
The only way to know you've been forgiven of your sins is to see the evidence of BOTH faith and repentance for we read in Acts 5:31:
"Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
Justification and sanctification are both distinct works of God. They are not the same but neither can they be separated. The only way you know you have been justified is if you have some degree of sanctification. Sanctification involves the work of God's Holy Spirit inside God's elect whereby they walk in the Spirit and so do not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. They mortify or put to death those things which displease God. God knows those who are justified because He knows the heart.
Sanctification will show itself by outward works of piety and godliness. These greatly strengthen one's assurance that one has been declared righteous by God. Many claim to be justified who show no evidence for being sanctified.Many carnal professors of Christianity will have a rude awakening on Judgment Day per our Lord's indictment in Matt. 7:21-23. as they are rejected for not doing the will of God. What is the will of God? If you have the right answer then you have the secret of salvation.
Carlton Pruitt ministers the gospel to the Los Angeles area. Formerly a Hollywood actor (SAG member)and junk removal expert he now spends most of his time studying the scriptures, writing articles, hymns and poems and doing street preaching.
See his videos on http://www.youtube.com Type LAStreetPreacher in the search bar. CONTACT at Carlton2061@gmail.
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