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Justification and sanctification.

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by pawnraider, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. pawnraider

    pawnraider Member

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    What is Justification and Sanctification?
     
  2. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    Justification is an act of God, by which He accounts or adjudges a person righteous in His sight, solely by His own grace and the works and merits of our Lord Jesus Christ. It's not a change in the person's nature, but it's a change in his standing in the sight of God. In short, God imputes over to the sinner the righteousness of Christ -- it's the free gift of life through Christ Jesus, apprehended by faith.

    Sanctification is growth in holiness and a gradual conformity into the holy image of God, which is the progressive work of the Holy Spirit and man. It is brought about by the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; and above all things love and fear of the Lord.

    In a word, through faith in Jesus Christ, we are counted as righteous (Justification), that we may become like obedient children of God (Sanctification).
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  3. AJTruth

    AJTruth Active Member Supporter

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    Justification - Sanctification - Salvation

    Justification means: Judicially Declared Righteous, by a sovereign God. Who is beginning = Creator & end = Judge.

    The very word salvation signifies that we cannot save ourselves. When Christ said it is finished (Jn 19:30) he spoke of redemption itself.

    Redemption means: gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.

    The sinless Christ's sacrificial atonement. Paid in full, the laws required wage for sin (Rom 6:23).

    When we place our faith in Christ's death, burial & resurrection. God imputes/transfers our sins onto Christ & Christ's righteous onto us.

    2 Cor 5:21 He "made"(imputed) Jesus to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made (have imputed onto us) the righteousness of God in him

    Santification: The moment we believe/trust place our faith in Christ's Sin atoning death, burial & resurrection. God saves (justifies), seal's (with His Holy spirit) & sanctifies (sets us apart, for a work/mission Eph 2:10)

    To, sanctify, something is to set it apart for special use.

    Salvation: At the moment we truly make the decision to trust Christ we are saved & sanctified.

    Our salvation is forever secure. Yet, sanctification is a process, that continues, """which we must work through""" (Phil 2:12) until our final redemption. Which is a new incorruptible/heavenly body when we meet the Lord at life's end.

    Eph 1:
    13 In Christ you trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

    (The moment we are saved, God ""SEALS"" us with His Holy Spirit, its His promise to us)

    14 Which is the "earnest" of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession

    (Earnest means: down payment. The indwelling Holy Spirit is our guarantee that keeps us until the final day we receive our incorruptible/heavenly body.

    2 Tim 1:14 The Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you

    2 cor 1:22 Who hath also "sealed us" & "given the earnest" of the Holy Spirit in our hearts

    So, the life long sanctification process begins: the moment we are saved & continues until we receive our incorruptible/heavenly body at this life's end.

    So, we work thru this process all our lives
     
  4. PeaceB

    PeaceB Well-Known Member It's My Birthday!

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    1) If God adjudges a person righteous without changing the person's nature, how do you explain this verse:

    He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD. (Proverbs 17:15)​

    Is not adjudging a sinner righteous, without first changing his nature to make him righteous in-fact, the equivalent of justifying the wicked, which God abhors?

    2) If what you wrote is true, how do you explain the various verses in Scripture that suggest that righteousness from God is infused into a person, which changes his very nature? For example:

    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)​

    He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life (Titus 3:5-7)

    And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people (Acts 6:8).

    And hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us (Romans 5:5).​
     
  5. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    Yes, in Christ we are a new creation, but it's not on account of our new creation that we are saved, but on account of Jesus Christ. A new creation is a product of faith in Christ, by God's grace through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    In simple terms, what I'm saying is this:
    We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. We are justified by God's grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. And when we believe in the Lord, we are counted as righteous.
     
  6. PeaceB

    PeaceB Well-Known Member It's My Birthday!

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    Is the new creation that God makes righteous in fact and righteous as declared, or is the new creation that God makes unrighteous in fact, and righteous in declared?

    Let me see if I understand this. Jesus comes to the Earth and takes the form of a man, suffers, dies, and rises again, for our salvation. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, and God's grace through the power of the Holy Spirit, God makes us into a new creation. Yet, for some unknown reason, God decides to make us into a new creation that is unrighteous, instead of a new creation that is righteous? Why?

    In other words, why should God employ a legal fiction, when God is capable of making us actually righteous? And why would God do that, when He abhors "he that justifieth the wicked"?

    I don't mean to give you a hard time about it, but that does not seem to make a whole lot of sense. Do you have any idea why God would want to declare someone righteous when he is not, when God has the capability of making the person righteous?

    It sounds a bit like a teacher giving Steve, who scored a 50% on a test, an A because his brother John scored 100%. Wouldn't it be better for John to teach Steve to score 90% or 95% on the test, so that when the teacher gives Steve an A, it is based on his true ability?
     
  7. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    Not a problem. It's a good question :)

    First of all, I nearly word for word repeated Scripture:
    Ephesians 2:10 Romans 3:23-25 (or better yet, see the full context of Romans 3:21-31) Genesis 15:6

    When I say "counted as righteous", I refer to the teachings found in Romans 4

    However, I also believe the regenerate to be holy, for we have been washed by the blood of Christ; dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus, a new creation set apart for God, being made into obedient children of God.

    To put it in a different way:
    1. Can people who believe in God sin? Yes, inasmuch as we are not without sin, unlike Christ who is the only one without sin, we still need to pray for forgiveness.
    2. Are people who believe in God then unrighteous? No, we are righteous on account of faith in Jesus.
    3. Does this righteousness come from us or from God? From God.
     
  8. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Justification and righteousness are different forms of the same word. I’m going to speak of justification in Paul’s letters, since that’s the usual context.

    For the key letters, the issue was what defines someone as one of God’s people, circumcision or being a follower of Jesus. Paul says that what defines us as being one of God’s people — what justifies us — is faith. He uses the example of Abraham, who was justified by faith.

    The issue is not faith vs works, as it is sometimes formulated. In fact in speaking of Abraham, he talks about Abraham’s faithful life, and points to some of his actions. But Abraham's actions came out of his relationship to God, and not a set of rules.

    So the real issue is rules vs. inner orientation. This is the same argument Jesus had with the Pharisees. In Mat 5, and many other places, he says that what matters is acting out of love, rather than following rules — particularly the rules as conceived by the Pharisees, which were based on a purity code. Similarly Paul argues that what makes us justified is faith, not following OT rules. Note that he clearly has in mind here rules such as circumcision and other rules that set Jews apart, not general moral principles.

    The Greek word pistis means both faith and faithfulness. And of course Jesus is clear that saying Lord Lord without doing anything about it isn’t being his follower. So neither Paul nor Jesus is talking about belief vs action. Rather, the question is whether actions are motivated by something like the purity code or out of love for God and neighbor. Paul says we are justified by faith / faithfulness to Christ, rather than by following a set of rules. Meaning that’s how we’re defined as Christians.

    Sanctification at its base is being set apart for God. The nuances are different for different NT writers. For Paul, it’s a gift from God, just as justification is. It includes having the Holy Spirit present, and being reconciled to God by Christ. In the deutero-Pauline letters it tends more in the direction of moral purity.

    It’s used in Protestant theology to represent participation in the Christian life. At least in Calvin’s theology, faith unites us to Christ, and produces two results: justification — which is understood as acceptance by God, and sanctification — which refers to living as a Christian. Protestant theology is based on a distinction between faith and works that is not precisely what Paul had in mind, but it’s closely related. Thus Christian action are considered to be a part of sanctification, which is based on faith. The basic idea that what we do comes out of our inner disposition — faith, and thus that being a Christian isn’t a matter of complying with rules, is true to both Jesus and Paul. But the exact way it’s formulated isn’t quite what Paul said, largely because there are slight differences in the definitions of words.
     
  9. PeaceB

    PeaceB Well-Known Member It's My Birthday!

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    Thanks. I did recognize the scripture references, but I did not think they got to the heart of the question as to whether the "righteousness of God" is Christ's own personal righteousness, which is imputed to the believer, or a different righteousness that is given to the believer from God. If it were a bank account, I suppose that I would interpret "credited" or "counted" to mean something along the lines that funds are actually put into my account in fact, and then I pay the creditor from those funds, while you would look at my account as actually still empty, but the creditor looks at the someone else's account that is full, and takes the money directly from his account instead. I think that Scripture is more supportive of the "infused" view, but you disagree obviously.

    For your point number 2, what do you do with a text like Galatians 5:19-21?
     
  10. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Righteousness has slightly different meanings for God and us. For us, it’s being acceptable to God. It’s not moral perfection, but it is being faithful, and repenting when we fail.

    For God, it’s always associated with the covenant. It’s his commitment to supporting us as he promised.

    Despite many claims to the contrary, you will never find a place in Scripture when it is said that Christ’s righteousness is credited to us. God accepts our faith / faithfulness (pistis means both) as making us one of his people. Hence Paul says that he reckons our faith as righteousness.

    The idea that Christ’s righteousness is credited to us seems to come out of the thought that God will only accept moral perfection. Since we can’t be perfect, and Christ is, the Reformers understood the statement that God imputes righteousness to us as meaning that he credits Christ’s righteousness to us. It’s a reasonable idea given what they thought righteousness meant, but it’s not actually what Paul says. They’re certainly right that God accepting us as righteous is an act of grace, not something we deserve.
     
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  11. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    At the risk of derailing into an endless Catholic vs Lutheran debate, I'll try and keep it brief and leave it at this :)

    Scripture talks freely in many ways, often using the same words to point to different things. It's also full of paradoxes; such as Jesus Christ being fully man and fully God. Likewise, I believe it can be said both that "we are sinners" and that "we are free of sin" - they are both accurate and they are not contrary, but points to the same truth in Christ; namely, justification by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.

    "Righteousness" can be used in two senses: Before the world, and before God. In some places Scripture will call someone blameless and righteous, but in other places it will say that no one is righteous - not even one. That is, only Christ is without sin and righteous before the Father. Dying and raising into Christ therefore means dying to sin and raising into the righteousness of Christ, which is not of ourselves, but a free gift from God. In other words, Sanctification does not affect Justification, but Sanctification is a result of Justification. This does not make good works any less important, for we are to uphold the law, because we are in Christ, who is the founder and perfecter of our faith. But it's in God's grace and His own promise through Christ that we are saved - not of our works.

    I have to politely disagree with the bank analogy, because I don't think it makes sense as a symbol for Justification, but even if I thought it did, it would not be an "empty credit", for Christ is in us, as we are in Christ. John 14:20

    To answer your question - I hold faith to be binary. It may be strong or weak, but either we are a new creation in the Lord or we're not. Galatians 5:19-21 talks about people who do not belong to the Lord, but are given into sin. We can know this from our Lord's own words in Matthew 7:15-20

    Suffice to say, I can appreciate that our views on Justification are different, but in the words of Irenaeus: "Disagreement in fasting does not destroy unity in faith". God bless :)
     
  12. PeaceB

    PeaceB Well-Known Member It's My Birthday!

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    Thanks. No analogy is perfect, of course.
     
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