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Sanctification and justification

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Sanctification and Justification To begin with, it may be useful to define justification. Thus, it is the term that reflects instantaneous legal act that is performed by God as a result of which our sins are deemed as forgiven and we are declared as righteous in the eyes of God. As one can easily see from the very definition, there are two primary stages that have to be accomplished. On the one hand, a person is proclaimed to be free from sin. Of course, the sinful nature is not denied, but justification liberated a person from sin, making one’s sins turn to zeros. The second stage is accomplished when God acknowledges our merits. In other words, a person is able to earn a positive evaluation in his eyes. Justification is closely connected to the idea of righteousness of Christ. Thus, just like the original sin was imputed on the humanity because of Adam, righteousness may be imputed on the humanity after the example of Christ. Another important point that should be mentioned is that justification comes exclusively through the grace of God. It is not based on any particular merit of a person. Therefore, it depends on the actions which are performed by God. However, the biggest significance holds the following notion: although justification is facilitated by God, it comes through the faith which is developed by a person. That is why the latter should also be seen as an irreplaceable prerequisite for justification as if one does not have a sufficient amount of faith, the process of justification will not happen.
The next idea that should be carefully examined is called sanctification. It may be defined as “ a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives” (Grudem, 2009). There are certain differences between sanctification and justification. Thus, the latter is performed once in life and lasts for ever. Contrary to that the former is carried out continuously during one’s life. The latter entirely depends on actions of God and the former is a result of cooperation of God and human. One might define three stages of sanctification. The first one begins with regeneration. The second stage involves the entire life of a person. Finally, it is completed only after the death of an individual. All this results in the understanding that the process of sanctification is a peculiar one as it is never completed when a person is alive. Therefore, death is the essential element of sanctification which can not be omitted. As it has been noted previously, the cooperation between God and human is also important. Of course, it does not mean that this makes the parties equal to a certain point. Nevertheless, it does require a person to work hard so that sanctification could be completed. Finally, one should put emphasis on the fact that sanctification affects every aspect of a person. It has impact on out intellect, on our emotions as well as on our spirit and the body.
Grudem, W. (2009). Systematic theology: An introduction to biblical doctrine. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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