Let’s look at some big theological words today and see why it is important to get them right.
Justification and sanctification.
According to the Easton’s Bible Dictionary, “justification declares that all the claims of the law are satisfied in respect of the justified”. This is what Jesus obtained for us on the cross. Romans 5:1 states, “therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
When you are justified by faith you are no longer guilty of sin but set free through the blood of Jesus from the curse of sin. You are justified. Justification is the first step into God’s Kingdom. You get justified when you acknowledge the fact that you are a sinner in need of a saviour. Then, according to Romans 10: 9, you are saved when you “confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead”.
Salvation is made possible by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. You are then called a child of God. The next step is to grow up.
That process is called sanctification.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary reads, “sanctification is the carrying on to perfection the work begun in regeneration, and it extends to the whole man”. This means, to be justified by the blood of Jesus from sin will make you a child of God, but will not make you live a Christ-like life without the ongoing empowerment and work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Therefore it is important to understand that calling Jesus your Saviour is not enough to make you be fruitful. You need to make Him Lord of your life and obey Him in order to live a life of blessing and fruitfulness.
We need to get this order right. You first need to be justified by the blood of Jesus before you can be sanctified by the Holy Spirit. So often, as Christians, we expect those who are not yet justified to be sanctified. We judge people who live immoral lives and argue with them about what is right and wrong. Those who are not justified by the blood of Jesus cannot live lives that are sanctified.
This is the main reason it’s so difficult to argue about issues like abortion and sexual immorality with those who have not accepted Jesus as their Redeemer from sin. As Christians, we should always live lives that are continuously being sanctified, yet love those who are not yet justified. We should never put sanctification before justification. In every conversation it should always be Jesus first, and morality second.
We should love like Jesus loved.
Romans 5:8 reads, “but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Next week we will start looking in more detail at the sanctification process we all need to embrace in our lives.
Thank you Jesus.