Brief Blog: Justification/Sanctification.
What is Justification and what is Sanctification?
Justification is one time occurrence based off the finished work of Christ on the cross. Faith in Christ dying on the cross, buried and three days later rose from the dead, saves a person. It results in a declaration of being "not guilty" before God.
Sanctification is a process of transforming into the image of Christ, separated from the World. This must not be confused with works Salvation because it is not.
Does Sanctification effect Salvation? No, justification happens through Christ Alone, through what He did on the Cross. Justification is instantaneous. In a person's life sanctification is gradual. God is creating godly character and conforming a believer to His will. The transformation partially happens through a person seeking God and His will. And. Allowing God to change their life.
Clarification: Since sanctification is setting one apart from the world; justification sets a person apart from condemnation. At the same time, godly character, spiritual maturity, a love for God and a hatred for sin change a person's life.
Some teach you must be justified to receive Salvation. We can only be sanctified after being justified. In a sense, this is true; however, justification is the declaration of a not guilty" verdict before God. Therefore, when God looks at us, He sees the righteousness of His perfect Son.
Bible verses to study.
John 10:36, "do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?"
Rom. 15:16, "to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."
1 Cor. 1:2, "to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours."
1 Cor. 6:11, "And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God."
1 Tim. 4:4-5, "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer."
Heb. 2:11, "For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren."
All that we need is given to us in Christ. So there is one sense in which we are not yet completely formed into the image of Christ (sanctification of being made like Jesus), yet in another sense we are because we are seen as "in Christ," set apart for holy use where all our spiritual needs and purposes are met through Jesus.
Does this mean those justified by grace can sin as much as they want?
Romans 6:1-2 says, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer in it?"
1 Thess. 4:7 says, "God has called us not for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification."
The Scriptures teach us that we are to live holy lives and avoid sin (Col. 1:5-11). Just because we are saved and eternally justified before God (John 10:28), that is no excuse to continue in the sin from which we were saved. Of course, we all sin (Rom. 3:23). But the war between the saved and sin is continuous (Rom. 7:14-20) and it won't be until the return of Jesus that we will be delivered from this body of death (Rom. 7:24). To seek sin continually, and use God's grace to excuse it later, is to trample the blood of Christ underfoot (Heb. 10:29) and to reveal the person's true sinful, unsaved nature (1 John 2:4; 2:19). Other verses worth checking out are: Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; and 1 Pet. 2:21-22.
What the cults do with justification and sanctification
The cults consistently blur the meanings of the two terms and misapply the truths taught in God's word. The result is a theology of works righteousness, of earning their salvation, which only leads to damnation. This is because by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified (Gal. 2:16). Man cannot contribute to his salvation (Gal. 5:1-8). Man is sinful, and even his best deeds are stained and filthy before God (Isaiah 64:6). Therefore, making a person right before God can only be God's work (Gal. 2:20).
Typically, in cult theologies, a person is not justified (declared righteous in God's eyes) until the final day of judgment when his works are weighed and a reward is given, or he is found worthy of his place with God. Thus, a person with this errant theology can not claim 1 John 5:13 as his own which says, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God."
Contextually, "These things" refers to loving God, being obedient to Him, belief in Christ, and eternal life in Jesus. Therefore, 1 John 5:13 can be considered a test. If you are believing and doing the right things, then you will know if you have eternal life. Can a cultist know he has eternal life? No, he cannot, but a Christian can.
People in cults don't understand the difference between justification and sanctification. Therefore, they must depend upon a cooperative effort with God to have their sins forgiven, which is, essentially, combining the filthy works of man (Isaiah 64:6) with the holy work of God. They don't mix. They can't. Hence, salvation is by grace through faith alone. To believe anything else is to miss salvation.