What is Justification & Sanctification?

The following is an essay that I wrote recently for my last year in Bible Institute. I pray that it serves as a blessing as it has been to my life. I have learned so much about these topics and I really enjoyed doing the research and I thought that it will be great to share what I have learned.

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Sin goes against God and everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This is the problem: We are all guilty and responsible for our sin and therefore we are condemned as the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  We are deserving of God’s wrath because of our godlessness. However, God fixes this dilemma by providing Jesus Christ as a sacrifice of atonement for our sins because He loves us.  Now this sacrifice of blood provides justification for all those who believe and sin is forgiven. Now that sin is forgiven everyone can stand right before God. Once we receive God’s justification through faith, we are forgiven and justified for our sin by the grace of God and then sanctification follows, which is both instantaneous and progressive. Instant sanctification occurs at the moment of salvation, when a believer receives Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior of their life. When the believer is instantly sanctified, they are now to be separated from life of sin to God.  As the believer develops in their walk with God, the process sanctification continues to be at work progressively through the Holy Spirit as the believer remains set apart from a life of sin and dedicated to God. Throughout this process the believer is being transformed to be more like Christ.

As per Meriam-Webster dictionary the term Justification is the state of being justified by God. Justification is the act of God which legally declares that God forgives the sinner of all their sins. In addition, God accepts and makes the sinner righteous in His sight. This happens, when the sinner puts their trust in Jesus Christ. Justification for the sinner by God is exclusively based on the submission and death of His Son, our ambassador, Jesus Christ.  Therefore, it is only the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ that satisfied the demands of God against sin which then makes it possible for God to declare the sinner righteous. In Romans 5:18, written by Apostle Paul, it states:

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Justification does not make the sinner righteous but when God looks at the sinner “in Christ”, he declares them righteous. Righteousness can only be obtained by faith in Jesus Christ and not by self-efforts as it says in the word in the book of Habakkuk “The righteous will live by faith.” When the sinner confesses their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, they are justified through faith alone not by any good works. There is nothing that the sinner can do to be justified; justification is only through what Jesus Christ did for the sinner on the cross. When His act on the cross was committed, his perfect righteousness was imputed to the sinner. The same way that the sin of the sinner was put upon Jesus Christ, so does His righteousness transferred to the sinner.  For this reason, when Paul addressed the Jews in the book of Romans, he made it clear to them that just because they followed the law did not mean that they stand righteous and justified before God. The Jews thought highly of themselves because they knew God’s word and were God’s special people. However, they were sinners just like the Gentiles and needed to put their trust in the Jesus Christ as the law was not sufficient to save them.  The basis in which righteousness is granted for the sinner is through the shed of the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. It was done only through the redemption process of His sacrifice.  The worth of this blood that was shed is the righteous element in which God willfully displays His grace to save the sinner.

Justification is then followed by sanctification. They complement each other in the way that they both deal with sin.  However, they have major differences that are very essential to know. For example, justification deals with the person’s guilt for sinning and sanctification address the control and manipulation of sin in the sinner’s life. Justification is the declaration of God that a sinner is made righteous and sanctification is the process in which God renews and transforms the person as a whole.  The sinner is now united to Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection and through the Holy Spirit; the sinner is now dead to the reign of sin and alive to righteousness.   The believer has chosen to die with Christ and now is obliged to put sin to death and present their members to God as instruments for righteousness (Romans 6:13).   Another difference between justification and sanctification is that justification is a finished and complete act on behalf of God himself.  This means that a believer that puts their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ has now been completely freed from the wrath of God and the condemnation that was the consequence of sin. On the other hand, sanctification continues to be a progressive work in the believer’s life. Even though sin is defeated and as believer’s we are free from it, we are not perfect. For this reason, the process of sanctification allows for God to make the changes in the believer’s life that need to be made in order to have a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Sanctification means “to be set apart for God” and be made holy through conforming to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.  This process of sanctification is how God changes a sinner so that His purpose can be completed in Christ. God’s people are to be set apart for his purposes. As it says in 2 Timothy 2:20-21:

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Sanctification involves the word of God to dwell inside of the believer to make this change possible. However, it is a struggle as the flesh is of sinful nature and at times it serves as a weapon that can hinder the growth of the believer in God. For this reason, we have to submit daily to God; it is only through His power that we can overcome sin. We are unable to live a holy life on our own.

Sanctification is a lifelong process for the believer that leads to spiritual maturity.  The process of sanctification is like the process of metamorphosis in which the fictional creatures “Pokémon” go through.  Humans known as Pokémon Trainers catch and train Pokémon to battle one another as a hobby. Through their experiences, Pokémon grow and mature and turn into stronger Pokémon. Like the Pokémon, the believer is being trained. The trainer for the believer is the Spirit of God. The believer must yield to the Spirit of God as it says “Live by the Spirit and you won’t satisfy the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). As the believer embarks in this journey of sanctification, it is a process that involves having a divine partnership with God in order to live a life in obedience to Christ. For this reason, it is important to renew the mind with consistency and experiences through the word of God as behavior is influenced by the mind. This is the only way that the believer will transform, grow, display maturity and become stronger like the Pokémon. As believers we must be consistent in not allowing sin to have control and instead offering ourselves to Christ in obedience because He who began a good work in us will surely finish it (Philippians 1:6).

Justification and sanctification are terms that involve how God deals with the sin in our lives. Sin separates and deprives us from having a relationship with God and leads to death. But through the amazing occurrences of justification and sanctification we see how great the grace, love and mercy of God is for all creation. First, God justifies and forgives us by making us righteous before Him through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. This act is complete and fulfilled only through the shedding of Christ’s blood. When we accept this sacrifice through faith and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, God does not see a worthless condemned sinner anymore but a righteous man or woman.  This made the way for God to separate us from sin so that we are no longer slaves of its control. He sanctifies and separates us for His own as we are indwelt with Holy Spirit. We can now go before Him in confidence and build a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. God then continues the work in us through the ongoing aspect of sanctification which will leads us to be being transformed into who he created us to be.  We must also do our part in completely surrendering our life to God and yielding to what He wants to do in our individual lives.

Prayer:

Thank you Lord for the sacrifice you made on the cross. Thank you for taking my place and shedding your blood so that I can be justified. Thank you God for setting me a apart and drawing me closer to you. Thank you for your Holy Spirit.  I pray that as I go through this process of sanctification that you continue to guide me and help me surrender to your will as I become more like you. My desire is to be a clean vessel for your glory and honor. I declare that sin may have no part with me. I declare all chains of the enemy broken in the mighty name of Jesus and that your Holy Spirit may flow freely in my life in Jesus name!! Amen!!

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon

http://www.pokemon.com/us/parents-guide/

https://bible.org/article/regeneration-justification-and-sanctification

http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-are-justification-and-sanctification/

http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/justification-and-sanctification-what-do-they-mean-and-what-does-the-bible-teach-about-them-11628887.html

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justification

https://www.cmalliance.org/alife/sanctification-101/

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I’m Back and I’m Better

It’s been almost a year since my last blog post and so much has happened that I can’t wait to share with you all! This past year has been one for the books! God has continued to bless me in so many ways despite my shortcomings and how unworthy I am. I have come to know His love, mercy and grace in such marvelous and great ways, Wow!!! He is so good and so real in my life and He can be in yours too if you let Him and believe!!!

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I am currently with a broken foot and on non-weight bearing and it has been the perfect opportunity for me to just refocus on the important things and reflect on everything.  I have been so busy with work and preoccupied with other things of life that I really haven’t had the chance to really do things that I love and are very important to me, one of them being writing and sharing what God has put in my heart. But that is all about to change and for the better.  I have been tired of living mechanically and I guess that having this broken foot has really made me more self-aware and thoughtful of ways to make things better without letting anything get in the way.

I have trust that God will lead me in every step of the way. I love how despite my broken foot being such an inconvenience, I have come to see the good in it, for me it has definitely been a blessing in disguise.

Well that is all for now folks…

Stay tune for more posts and updates on my broken foot and how I broke it! How in the world did I end up with a #JonesFracture???

 

I will keep on moving, I will keep on trying

It’s official; I uploaded this video of me singing to social media (Facebook) for the first time in my life.  I know that it might not be a big deal but to me and those that know me very well know that this was not an easy thing for me to do.  I have always been shy and have struggled with self-worth and low self-esteem since a very young age. It was not until recently, that I have received new strength and courage from God to expand my borders in different ways and share with others what the Lord is doing in my life.

Attached to the video I wrote the following:

Sharing this part of my life with the public is new to me but late last night I could not sleep and I prayed to my Lord and He inspired this new song in my heart as He has before, I really hope it will be a blessing as it has blessed me and giving me motivation to not give up no matter the circumstances knowing that He is my Hope.

The following are the words to the song:

I will keep on moving, I will keep on trying

I’ve got nothing else to lose

I will keep on moving, I will keep on trying

Cuz my only inspiration is you

I will not give up, I will keep on trying

My only hope is in you

I will keep on moving, I will keep on trying

My only inspiration is you

I will keep on moving, I will keep on trying

My only inspiration is you

I need you now, I need you now, I need you now, I need now

My only hope is in you Lord

And my only inspiration is you.

The bible declares that those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength and they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31). Through this song the Lord reminded me that it doesn’t matter how many times I fail giving up is not an option.  That it’s okay not to have it all together, it’s okay to make mistakes, just don’t stay there long, and keep moving. He reminded me not to give up (no matter what!!) and instead to hope in him and in due time he will strengthen me. He also reminded me that he created me to be a overcomer and it does not matter what the circumstances look like because he is on my side and he is my hope (the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking that it could happen: a feeling that something good will happen or be true) and my inspiration (something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create: a force or influence that inspires someone). The night that the Lord inspired this song in me, I was unable to sleep (it happens a lot) mostly because I tend to overthink most of the time (especially before bed of course) and sometimes I begin to feel depressed. Nevertheless, it was late and I was feeling down so I just cried out to the Lord in my need and I started saying the following words that became the song in the heart: “I will keep on moving, I will keep on trying.” From there I felt the Lord inspiring in me the tune and words that became the song.  I did not know the reason at the time why I recorded myself, it was totally out of my character but it really took a lot from me to listen to it and when I did, I felt uplifted and motivated instead of sad and blue. I could not believe that I was the girl singing so I listened to it over and over again.  I was really in awe, on how God can inspire me in such way so spontaneously. It was not until the following day, that I finally had the courage to upload it. I am so excited about what the Lord is doing and I will forever be thankful. I know that I was not able to do this on my own but it was him that breathe it and gave it life. I just pray that he continues to work in me and that his perfect will be perfected in my life. God is just so awesome!!! He deserves all the glory and the entire honor.

I don’t know what you are going through, I don’t know your story or what you are struggling with but I do know one that does and his name in Jesus Christ. Don’t give up, don’t give in, put your hope in GOD alone and you will see. I truly believe that if you cry out to him in faith, he will hear from you and answer you as the word of God says:

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (NIV)

I pray that the Lord may strengthen you and fill you with his peace. I pray that his Holy Spirit may hover over you at this moment. I pray that you may acknowledge that you are special to God and that he loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.

Credits:

Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Bible (New International Version) and of course the Holy Spirit of God!!

 

 

 

The BEST of ME

I am not the best daughter, the best friend, the best speaker, the best writer, the popular one, the one that everyone loves and adores. I have struggled because I have lived a life to be the best for people and have always failed because the best that they were expecting was not me at all but a glimpse of who they wanted to be. Therefore, when I did not fit to their paradigm of the best  or the best of who they wanted me to be, they rejected me and this left me feeling empty, confused and with no sense of value. Who they wanted me to be was not me, was not the best of who I was really meant to be. It was not until I turned to my creator, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that I began to feel a sense of purpose. For the living word of God says that,

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

He made me and created me for a purpose.  It was like scales being removed from my eyes and I could finally see that my purpose was not to fit the mold of people’s perception of the best of me but that I was created to live out my purpose and the best of me for Jesus Christ and him alone.  He is my GOD and has never abandoned me or rejected me when I have made mistakes and not fit into his expectations, instead he helps me, walks with me and teaches me to the best for HIM, the best he created me to be before I even existed.  It is not about me anymore but what I am through him who loved and cared for me when everyone else abandoned and rejected me for not being the best and fitting into their mold. He knows me more than anyone, before the foundations of the earth, he saw me. And after I rejected him and put him to the side and went my own way to fulfill my desire and fulfilling the desires of others, pleasing others to please myself through their acceptance to only then be rejected over and over. He still called me by my name and loved me so much. He let me know that HE died for my failures, my sin that was killing me so that I can be the best for him and through him.

God is perfect and he created me fearfully and wonderfully, in his image of perfection and until I reach there I will never be satisfied with less or fulfilling people’s expectations of what they think should be the best of me. At this time, right now, I may not be the best version of what God created me to be, but I hold on to this, that I know for sure is that I am headed there and just knowing that God is with me and will never leave me or forsake me on this journey to the best of what he created me to be gives me great delight.

Psalm 139: 13-16

You made my whole being;
    you formed me in my mother’s body.
 I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.
    What you have done is wonderful.
    I know this very well.
 You saw my bones being formed
    as I took shape in my mother’s body.
When I was put together there,
you saw my body as it was formed.
All the days planned for me
    were written in your book
    before I was one day old.

Lord God I pray that your will be done in my life. That I may live a life for you and only you. To be the best of me through you who created me to be. Thank you Lord for your word, for your wisdom. Continue to strengthen me in Jesus name, Amen!!!