Below is a “cheat sheet” I created a few years when I was asked to explain the differences between justification and sanctification.
Justification: from the Hebrew and Greek words which mean “to release from punishment or obligation”; a legal term related to the divine act whereby God makes humans, who are sinful and therefore worthy of condemnation, acceptable before a God who is holy and righteous
Sanctification: from the Hebrew and Greek words which mean “to be set apart” or “to be made holy”; the process by which we are made holy – through Christ – striving to be like Him through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit until they reach perfect conformity to Him
- Both proceed originally from the free grace of God.
- Both are part of His great work of salvation, which Christ has undertaken on behalf of His people.
- Those who are justified are always sanctified; those who are sanctified are always justified.
- Both begin at the same time: the moment of salvation.
- Both are necessary for salvation.
|The reckoning and counting a man to be righteous||The actual making a man inwardly righteous|
|Not our own, but the perfect righteousness our Mediator imputed to us and made our own||Our own righteousness, imparted, inherent, and wrought in us by the Spirit|
|Our own works have no place at all.||Our own works are of vast importance.|
|Perfect and complete work at the moment a man believes||Imperfect work never completed until man reaches heaven|
|Eternal and changes their standing||Internal and changes the believer’s state|
|A one-time work||A progressive work|
|Special reference to our persons, our standing in God’s sight, and deliverance from guilt||Special reference to our natures and the moral renewal of our hearts|
|Given us our title to heaven and boldness to enter in||Gives us our meetness for heaven and prepares us for when we dwell there|
|Entirely the work of God||Requires faithful obedience through God’s enabling|
|The act of God about us||The work of God within us|