The Doctrine of Justification and Sanctification

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Understanding Justification as it relates to one’s identity.

Social Identity Theory

The ego justification motive refers to the desire to protect and enhance a person’s positive identity by defending and improving one’s individual self.

The problem we face is that God is just, and we are unjust.

We can illustrate the problem with the two following circles:
God Man
Just Unjust

How do we reconcile the conflict between a holy completely righteous God, and a fallen, unjust, human being.

Dr. R.C. Sproul
“Let us suppose that the circle on the right represents the character of mankind. If man sins, that sin puts a blemish of sorts, a moral blemish, on the character of fallen man. If he commits another sin, and sin penetrates more deeply into his life, we might add another dot. The issue then becomes, how much of the circle should be shaded when we are judged by the standard of God’s perfection.”

Human corruption is total.

Understanding what Justification looks like in Everyday Life

Justification and the Double Transfer.

Not only is the sin of mankind imputed to Christ, but His righteousness is transferred to our account.

God Man
with the imputed with the imputed
Sin of Man Righteousness of Jesus

If the imputed righteousness of God were fictional then it would be a lie and blemish on the His very character.

The whole point of the Gospel is that at the last minute I embrace Christ, all that He has done is applied to me.

Understanding The Gospel of Sanctification
Sanctification means to be reserved for holy use.
The objective of every believer from the moment of Salvation should whole heartedly seek sanctification. Sanctification demonstrates the urgency to be emptied out of anything that impairs against being a useful vessel for God’s glory. It’s a process that starts in the heart and transforms outwardly living. The Bible is the instrument that God uses to clean our hearts.

God is not satisfied with just calling us righteous.

Sanctification is a lifelong process of redeeming grace upon grace.

Sanctification is the process by which God actually makes us what He has declaredus to be in Christ.

“The focus of the process of sanctification is not rescuing us from external evil, with all of its temptations, which is everywhere around us. The primary focus of sanctification is the ongoing, lifelong rescue of us from us. Although we have been forgiven, declared righteous, and adopted as God’s children, the muck and mess of sin still remain in us. The doctrine of sanctification requires you to admit that you are deeply in need of help.” -Paul Tripp

Sanctification is a call to obedience and a call to run after everything that is ours in Christ, therefore, we see the grace of God applied to every aspect of our lives.

Because sin still lives inside us, there is an ongoing war of worship in our hearts, pulling us back and forth between worship of God and worship of some created thing.

We are called to never stop working out salvation, never allowing ourselves to take it for granted, never permitting ourselves to become spiritually lazy, and never abandoning the spiritual disciplines of which we have been called.

Sanctification is a death to life process.

Gods’ solution: Romans 8:7-9; 12-13.

We do not have the power to kill it on our own, but we have confidence in the spirits presence and work in us.

Colossians 3:1–4 is very helpful here:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

This is a call for us to live in an active pursuit of all the new-life blessings that flow down to us from the throne of the risen and reigning Savior.

Understanding Sanctification in Everyday Life

There is no such thing as a passive Christian.

-Paul Tripp
“The Christian life is a welcome to make God’s purpose for you your daily life purpose. This means that God’s work in and for you becomes your work as well. Your Christian life is about much more than regular church attendance, faithful giving, biblical literacy, theological knowledge, and occasional ministry. These are all very good things, but they are tools in the hands of a much deeper, more personal plan that your Redeemer has for you.”

We should never become satisfied with where we are as Christians.

Galatians 5 is particularly helpful here, as it lays out God’s agenda for us.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. . .. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit”. (Gal. 5:16, 22–25)
Notice how this passage begins and ends. It starts with “walk by the Spirit” and ends with “keep in step with the Spirit.

The call to sanctification is a call to spiritual work ethic.

No, we are not working for a greater acceptance with God. In Christ our acceptance is complete, but we are working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12).
So, in holy awe of the one who lives inside of us, working to radically change us, we make his work our life’s work. His priorities become our priorities. His agenda for our daily lives becomes our agenda. How would our lives radically change if we viewed our lives this way?

There is no such thing as a vibrant, ever-maturing, ministering Christian, apart from the ministry of the local-church.

(Ephesians 4:11-16)
Think of how every ministry of the body of Christ contributes to the death and life process of your spiritual growth. We can’t comprehensively explore everything that’s in this passage, but Paul points out “sanctification needs,” which are in the life of every believer, that is addressed by the ministry of the church.

Sanctification gives all our social relationships a new model and a new purpose.

These relationships expose the depth of the selfishness and rebellion of our hearts, and in so doing, they expose the depth of our need for everything that is ours in Christ.

If we are all in a long-term process of transformation, then our relationships need to be characterized by self-sacrifice patience and perseverance.

Difficulty is one of the primary means by which we are being sanctified.

You have probably never heard anyone say, “I have had the three most amazing years of my life.” There are too many passages to mention in scripture that describe the things we would rather avoid, which are the very things God uses to produce the best in our lives. He is repositioning our very DNA (2 Corinthians 5:15)
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