Justification is being made righteous in God’s eyes. It is being declared innocent of one’s sins, considered ‘blameless’. This is the act of Christ’s righteousness being imputed to the believer.
Merriam-Webster defines ‘impute’ as laying the responsibility or blame for something to another, or to attribute something to something else.
We receive justification through faith in Jesus Christ, as we see in Romans 3:28: “For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. (HCSB)”
Justification is a free gift of righteousness from God that cannot earned, received through His grace and by Faith in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:20-28)
Jesus is required for this because He bore our guilt upon the cross (Isaiah 53:12). No other name, thing, person or object can perform the same because Jesus was the one and only perfect sacrifice.
- At what point are we justified in God’s eyes?
- How does a person become justified?
- Are we justified all at once? Over time?
- Can we be partially justified? Is it an all or none kind of thing?
To sanctify something means to it set apart as holy. A synonym of sanctify is consecrate.“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
2 Corinthians 7:1 KJV
Sanctification is a process. Our sanctification begins with our justification and its continuation is not optional- it is not acceptable to simply get saved and not pursue more knowledge of God. Jesus said it best:“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
John 15:5 KJV
Paul says that we need to be transformed and renewed:“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 KJV
After we are saved, God begins His work in us. By prayer, studying God’s Word, and fellowship with other Christians we grow in the knowledge of God and become more Christ-like (see 2 Peter 3:18).
As Jesus said, Christians will bear much fruit. We all will bear fruit in our lives, either the fruits of the flesh or the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). As we grow in Christ, and the Holy Spirit works within us, we show more and more of the fruits of the Spirit and fewer works of the flesh. The sin in our lives decreases:“No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”
1 John 3:6 NIV “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)
See also Colossians 3:1-11, Hebrews 12:1-2, 1 Peter 1:14-16, Hebrews 12:14.
- Are we sanctified at the point of salvation?
- How can we become more sanctified?
- Can we achieve complete sanctification? (Mathew 5:48, James 3:2, Romans 7:15-20, Philippians 1:6)