Justification and Sanctification
57. What is justification?
a. Justification is a judicial
act of God (Dt 25:1) by declaring that all claims of the law are satisfied
with respect to the sinner on the basis of the righteousness of Jesus (Ro
b. Elements of justification:
To justify means to declare righteous,
to reckon or credited as rightous (Ro 4:2-5), or to not count the sin (Ps
32:2), but it is not the same as making one righteous. God declares the
sinner righteous despite his sins.
forgive sin, remove guilt and punishment
(Mic 7:18-19; Ro 8:33)
impute Christís righteousness, restore
the sinner to Godís favour (Jas 2:23; Ro 3:22)
adopt as a child of God (Ro 8:15-16),
with the right to eternal life (Ro 5:1-2)
d. Adoption: God makes the believer
a member of His family (Jn 1:12) with many privileges:
Courtroom metaphor: God is pictured
as the Judge. The sinner is convicted, yet the Advocate of sinners, the
Son of God, takes the penalty upon Himself (Ro 5:16-18; 1Jn 2:1).
The sinner is then accepted and received by the divine judge (Ro 3:21-31;
1Co 6:11; 1Jn 2:1-2; 3:5).
Family metaphor: God is pictured as
the caring parent who loves all in the household, and whose love is great
enough to discipline the children and to suffer on their behalf. The atonement
becomes a reconciliation of the parent with the prodigal child (Lk 15:11-32).
Temple metaphor: God is pictured as
present in the temple where sacrifices are made to satisfy the requirement
of divine righteousness. The Son is here pictured as the high priest, who,
as sinners approach the altar, cleanses, purifies, and readies them for
meeting with God (Heb 2:17; 3:1).
The believer is able to speak to God
and relate to Him as Father (Mt 6:9; Gal 4:7; Ro 8:15-16).
God loves His child (1Jn 3:1), understands
him (Ps 103:13-14), takes care of his needs (Mt 6:32), gives him many good
gifts (Mt 7:11) including inheritance in heaven (1Pe 1:4), but also disciplines
him (Heb 12:5-6).
The believer is led by the Holy Spirit
The believer shares Christís glory
but also His suffering (Ro 8:17).
The believer is a member of the church
family, with brothers and sisters (Jas 1:2; Phm 1:2).
a. Sanctification is the continuing
work of God with the cooperation of the believer to develop the new life
closer to the image of God (2Co 3:18) and ultimately bring it to perfection.
The process will gradually enable the believer more and more to die unto
sin, and live unto righteousness (Ro 6:11; 12:1).
b. Elements of sanctification:
What is sanctification?
c. 3 types: [Normally, the word
"sanctification" refers to the second type.]
to set apart - separation from evil
and the unholy (2Ch 29:5; 1Th 4:3)
to become holy - separation or dedication
unto God (Nu 8:17; Titus 2:14; Heb 13:21; 1Pe 5:10)
(1) instantaneous or positional
sanctification (1Co 6:11; Heb 10:10), same as justification
(2) progressive or experiential
sanctification (2Co 7:1; 1Th 3:12; 4:1): commonly referred to as spiritual
growth (1Pe 2:2), a progressive process during this present life
with increasing degree of:
(3) complete and final sanctification
(1Th 5:23; 3:13), same as final glorification
yielding to God (Ro 6:22),
separation from sin (Gal 5:16-23),
growth in the knowledge of God (2Pe
a. Are there perfect people in
Can a Christian attain perfection in this life as commanded by Jesus (Mt
b. Where in the Bible did God
command us to be perfect?
Noah (Gen 6:9) and Job (Job 1:8) were
called perfect; David (Ps 18:23) was claimed to be perfect (NIV translated
it as "blameless" to avoid controversy); some people and apostles were
But none of them was sinless.
c. Can we be perfect in this life?
Besides the explicit command of Jesus
(Mt 5:48), the command for perfection is found in Gen 17:1; Dt 18:13;
2Co 7:1;13:9,11; Col 4:12; 1Th 5:23.
d. What is perfection as referred
in the Bible?
Since a person cannot be entirely sinless
in this present life (Jas 3:2), most people believe that the command in
the Bible is simply a goal that God desires us to reach, not something
that we have the ability to reach. For example, God commanded the Israelites
to obey the Mosaic Law, knowing that they could not achieve perfect obedience.
In other words, "absolute perfection" is impossible.
However and some theologians (such
as John Wesley and Andrew Murray) believe that Christians can be perfect
(sometimes referred to as "entire sanctification" in 1Th 5:23-24).
They explain that "Christian perfection" is different from "absolute perfection".
Words used in the Bible: Heb. shalam
(perfect heart) and thamam (unblemished, sincere); Gr. telos
(complete, perfect, full-grown and mature; Ro 12:2, 1Co 13:10) and katartizo
(put into proper condition, complete; Heb 13:21, 2Ti 3:17), sometimes translated
as mature or fully committed.
A believer is "perfect" if he has a
complete and perfect relationship with God (2Ki 20:3, Ps 101:2; Php 3:15)
possessesing perfection of heart (earnestly seeking God and His will) and
perfection of obedience (obey all commandments, Col 4:12). The person desires
complete holiness, aims at the highest perfection and is committed wholeheartedly
to attain it.
a. Why do we need to be holy?
What are the practical steps in striving to become holy?
b. In what ways can we strive
to become holy?
the love of God to us through
required for fellowship with
necessary for effective service
only those who walk in holiness experience
(1) Basis: God has made provision
for our holiness but the responsibility for resisting sin is ours.
(3) Negative action:
have Godís Words fixed in our minds
(Jn 17:17), memorize and meditate on Bible verses as we find ourselves
in corrupt surroundings
pursue biblical values fervently
claim Godís promise (1Co 10:13) (3000
in the Bible)
persevere, not discouraged by failures
(4) Positive action:
discipline ourselves, learn to say
"NO", never let exception occur, reduce our exposure to temptation (Gal
guard our own eyes: do not be the source
of temptation to others (especially modesty of dress and purity of actions)
set our desire on spiritual things;
delight ourselves in the law and will of God
be a witness to testify on our journey