A few weeks ago, I shared some thoughts on sanctification from Jerry Bridges. One common area of confusion is found in understanding the difference between justification and sanctification.
The following list is taken from C.J. Mahaney's work, Living the Cross Centered Life (pages 118-119). Mahaney's comparisons offer a helpful way to look at the two doctrines.
- Justification is being declared righteous. Sanctification is being made righteous - being conformed to the image of Jesus.
- Justification is our position before God, a position that becomes permanently ours at the time of our conversion. Sanctification is our practice that continues throughout our life on earth.
- Justification is immediate and complete upon conversion. You'll never be more justified that you are the first moment you trust in the Person and finished work of Christ.
- Sanctification is a progressive process. You'll be more sanctified as you continue in grace motivated obedience.
- Justification is objective - Christ's work for us. Sanctification is subjective - Christ's work within us.
What do you think? Feel free to weigh in an discuss.