Sanctification and Justification


Are these two Ideas, or one?


They are two concepts but are directly linked and occur virtually simultaneously, with sanctification coming first (eg 1 Cor 6:11, Titus 3:4-7).


It is through our sanctification (being made holy) that we become justified (made right with God).

It is through the sacraments that we receive the grace that sanctifies us.




Justification/Sanctification (These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably in scripture)

1Cor 6:11 And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Heb 13:12
Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood.

Acts 20:32
And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified.

Acts 26:18
to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

1Cor 1:2
To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

Rom 6:22
But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life.

Heb 2:11
For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,

HEB 10:9
And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Heb 10:29
How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?

1Peter 1:2
who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood:

2 Thess 2:13
But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

There is no clear line of division between sanctification and justification. They are closely related terms.



Sanctifying Grace


Justification is process by which we are made right with God, via his holy Spirit within us enabling us to resist and overcome sin, to become more and more renewed in the image of the Creator–made holier and holier, in other words. Justification and sanctification, while distinct concepts, are undeniably intertwined:

Martin Luther said: “There is no justification without sanctification …”

Sanctification is a part of justification, and vice-versa. As we’re made “right” with God, we’re made “holy,” as well. How can we be right with him, in the first place, without being “holy”? Cooperating with his Grace, we allow our holiness to grow; in allowing our holiness to grow, we become increasingly pleasing in the eyes of Our Maker. Ultimately, it is he who initiates and finishes this, however. We simply choose whether or not to allow him to do so, and at any given point in time we can stop this process.

Both begin at baptism and continue throughout the faithful Christian’s walk. We will not leave this world totally sanctified, though, and this is a process which ultimately sees its end in the next Life–through the fires of purgation. We are then brought before the Throne, into the glorious Presence of Our God in Heaven, now worthy through his own infinite merits and love, to stand before him.


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