Justification & Sanctification

  1. Sanctification - hagiasmos (ἁγιασμός, 38), “sanctification,” is used of (a) separation to God, 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; (b) the course of life befitting those so separated, 1 Thess. 4:3, 4, 7; Rom. 6:19, 22; 1 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 12:14. “Sanctification is that relationship with God into which men enter by faith in Christ, Acts 26:18; 1 Cor. 6:11, and to which their sole title is the death of Christ, Eph. 5:25, 26; Col. 1:22; Heb. 10:10, 29; 13:12.  

    “Sanctification is also used in NT of the separation of the believer from evil things and ways. This sanctification is God’s will for the believer, 1 Thess. 4:3, and His purpose in calling him by the gospel, v. 7; it must be learned from God, v. 4, as He teaches it by His Word, John 17:17, 19, cf. Ps. 17:4; 119:9, and it must be pursued by the believer, earnestly and undeviatingly, 1 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 12:14. For the holy character, hagiosune, 1 Thess. 3:13, is not vicarious, i. e., it cannot be transferred or imputed, it is an individual possession, built up, little by little, as the result of obedience to the Word of God, and of following the example of Christ, Matt. 11:29; John 13:15; Eph. 4:20; Phil. 2:5, in the power of the Holy Spirit, Rom. 8:13; Eph. 3:16.

    “The Holy Spirit is the Agent in sanctification, Rom. 15:16; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; cf. 1 Cor. 6:11.... The sanctification of the Spirit is associated with the choice, or election, of God; it is a Divine act preceding the acceptance of the Gospel by the individual.”
    - From the Vines Complete Expository Dictionary by W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Jr.
  2. Sanctify, Sanctification [קָדַשׁ qadash; ἁγιάζω hagiazō, ἁγιασμός hagiasmos, ἁγνίζω hagnizō]. The NRSV uses a variety of words to render this word group into English, e. g., sanctify, consecrate, dedicate, set apart, hallow, purify, make sacred/holy, be/become holy, show/display/manifest/maintain holiness, sanctification, consecration, holiness, sanctuary. In general terms, sanctification is the act or process by which persons or objects are cleansed and/or set apart for God’s purposes. In its full canonical significance, to be sanctified is to be graciously taken up into, and set apart for active participation in the saving, reconciling purposes of God. For Christians this happens only as they become and remain part of the community of God’s people, a people who are corporately and personally being shaped by the Spirit into the image of the crucified Son, and thereby being restored into the image of the holy, life- giving, Triune God. - From the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Complete Set.
  3. First, if you’re a believer, remember that your sanctification is incomplete, and every single day you need your Lord afresh. The world is distracting you. Satan is condemning you. Temptations are whispering to you. Familiar sins don’t easily go away. Is it any wonder that sometimes we buckle? Let’s remember how weak — how bad — we still are. The Bible warns us, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12). Let’s be realistic. We’re more evil than we know. We’re spring-loaded to fall away from God. It is a sin to fall out of love with God. It is a sin of the greatest magnitude, and it isn’t hard to do. From the reading "Act Three: The Betrayal" about Isaiah 38:1-39:8 in Preaching the Word COmmentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughes et al, Crossway Publishers
  4. Paul writes of this in Romans saying succinctly that Jesus “was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (4:24–25). This does not mean that we were justified by Christ’s resurrection; it was his death that did that. Rather, it means that by the resurrection God gave notice that Christ’s death was that perfect substitution for sin he entered this world to make and that he, the Father, had accepted it in place of the condemnation of the sinner. - From the commentary on John 17:4 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  5. God is faithful; He has never failed and never will.  He plants within us His Holy Spirit, who is so sensitive to the  presence of sin that every intimation of its approach is recorded.  Sanctification is the process whereby God trains us to heed the Spirit’s signals. - From page 90 of the book Illustrating Great Themes of Scripture by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
  6. Psalm 119:17 - Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. We are not justified by the works of the law but by the righteousness of Christ. In the Old Testament emphasis, law came before life. The Old Testament dictum was, "This do, and thou shalt live." Doing aright would bring life (Luke 10:28; Romans 10:5). In the New Testament emphasis, life comes before law. The New Testament dictum is, "If you live you will do this." "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death... that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:2,4).
    The psalmist entered into the good of that: living, he would obey God’s Word. The life must come first, and that life can come only from God’s bountiful dealings. That life is inherent in God’s Word. It is imparted to the soul in the new birth— "being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (I Peter 1:23).  - From the John Phillips Commentary Series, Psalm 119:17-18.
  7. The Lord loves us in spite of our imperfections and failures. His work of sanctification is a progressive one, and He will not cease to work until our sanctification is complete, and we are transformed into His image:  “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Ph. 1:6).   - From the reading about Song of Soloman 1:8-10 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  8. Romans 3:24 (a) - Being justified Justification is by grace exclusively. What is grace? It is unmerited, undeserved, unearned favor. The riches of God climax in justification. And if that isn’t enough, the phrase “being justified” is in the aorist tense, which means it is an action that happens continually. Justification didn’t only take place the day we were saved or baptized, for even this very moment we are being justified and declared righteous. So often we feel that, because of our sin, we’ve forfeited the access and the freedom we once had with God. Not true. Justification is a continual action, a continual declaration of righteousness. - From the commentary on Romans 3:24 from Courson’s Application Commentary by Jon Courson.
  9. Romans 3:25: God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice.
  10. The verb sanctify (hagiazō) occurs more in Hebrews than any other NT document. Assuming the relational framework of covenant and using the imagery of sanctuary ritual and priestly ministry, the writer develops Jesus’ death as a one- time sanctifying act initiating a new covenant (8:7- 13; 9:15- 22; 10:1- 18, 29). Depicting Jesus as both faithful priest and sacrifice (2:17; 7:26- 28), the writer underscores the efficacy of this one- time offering of Christ’s body/blood in sanctifying the audience in the past and continuing to sanctify them in the present (2:11; 10:10, 14) as they keep that covenant. Here sanctification is a covenantal reality effected by Jesus’ sacrifice of atonement for the people’s sins (2:17) resulting in the defeat of “the one who has the power of death” (2:14 b- 15), the purification of our conscience/consciousness from dead works/sins so that we might serve the living God (9:13- 14; 10:2), forgiveness of sins (9:22) and the removal of sin itself (9:26). Ironically, the one who sanctifies, the Son of the living God, does so through the defilement of his own corpse (13:11- 13) thereby revealing and conveying life and holiness to the people of the new covenant in order that they may “share [God’s] holiness” (Heb 12:10). But, as with Israel, remaining in the sphere of God’s sanctifying activity requires remaining in a community that “pursues sanctification” (hagiasmos, 12:14) through a variety of grace- enabled (13:20- 21) ecclesial practices (e. g., 12:7, 14- 17; 13:1- 9, 15- 16). It also requires a corporate eschewing of willful sin (10:26- 31). Purposely and continually living in unholy ways (10:29), in effect, nullifies the sacrifice for sins that first sanctified the audience (10:26, 29).  - From the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Complete Set.
  11. Sanctification comes rather from seeking always and increasingly to have the Lord Jesus Christ exalted in our lives. And the way to do that is by discovering what he desires of us and for us in his Word. - From the commentary on John 17:17 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  12. Sanctification occurs when persons are forgiven, cleansed, set apart and incorporated into a holy people by means of, and in order to participate in, God’s cruciform pattern of redemptive/reconciling activity. The Spirit’s enabling of the church to participate in practices of costly, self- giving love is the means by which God continues sanctifying his people, shaping them more fully into the image of the crucified Son, “the Holy One of God.” As such, they are being, and will become, fully restored into the image of the life- giving, Triune God, i. e., entirely sanctified.  - From the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Complete Set.
  13. "Elect... through sanctification of the Spirit." The work of the Holy Spirit in a human heart begins with conviction (John 16:7- 11), moves on to regeneration (John 3:3- 8), then to sanctification, and climaxes in our ultimate glorification (Rom. 8:26- 30). God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all mentioned by Paul in Romans 8:26- 30 as being active in the redemptive process that puts us in the family of God. It is an event of such magnitude that each member of the Godhead is personally involved in it. - From commentary on 1:2 of 1 Peter from Phillips Commentaries by John Phillips.
  14. Justification, Justify [צָדֵק tsadheq; δικαιόω dikaioō, δικαίωμα dikaiōma, δικαίωσις dikaiōsis]. Normally, the noun “justification” and the verb “to justify” refer to being set right, to being vindicated by a judge, to having a debt removed, or to having a right relationship restored or granted. - From the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Complete Set.
  15. As “justification” suggests, JUDGMENT carries a positive as well as negative possibility. The judge (shofet [שֹׁפֵט], from the same stem as mishpat) is no remote figure who renders decisions, but an active presence that can condemn and also intercede on behalf of the oppressed to bring them vindication. The same forensic character of the promise to the Babylonian exiles appears in Jeremiah:“Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety,” and those liberated by God, the supreme judge, will live by the slogan, “The Lord is our righteousness (tsedhaqah),” i. e., “our” vindication, justification, or salvation (Jer 23:6; 33:16 see also Isa 46:13; 51:6). Note the association of “righteousness” and “justification” or “vindication.” Similarly, the “deliverance,” “salvation,” and vindication surface in Isa 51:5 in Yahweh’s promise:“I will bring near my deliverance (tsedheq צֶדֶק) swiftly.  - From the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Complete Set.
  16. The words justification and justify have paramount importance for understanding Paul’s theologizing and the history of dogma. While the nouns for justification (dikaiōma and dikaiōsis) and the verb justify (dikaioō) come from a linguistic family whose lineage spans the entire Bible, no English translation adequately captures the family ties to words like “righteousness” (dikaiosyne), “the righteous one” (dikaios δίκαιος), “to acquit” (dikaioō δικαιόω), or to the synonym “justice” (mishpat). To illustrate, note the confusion of the NRSV translation of Rom 3:26:“It was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous (dikaiosynē) and that he justifies (dikaios) the one who has faith in Jesus.” Here different words, “righteous” and “justifies,” translate the same Gk. root. An appreciation of these family connections and the nuances they convey is crucial not only for exploring Paul’s theological discourse but also for understanding biblical usage generally. - From the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Complete Set.
  17. We must have holiness or sanctification. In fact, it is this that Jesus most emphasizes in our text. He says, “For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified” (v.19). In what sense was Jesus sanctified? As we saw earlier, he was sanctified in the sense of being set apart totally for the work God had given him to do, the work of dying for our salvation. The parallel in our case is to be set apart totally for the work we have been given to do, which is the work of carrying the gospel of the crucified but risen Christ to all men everywhere. If we do not do this, or if we are halfhearted about it, the world will know it and will hardly consider our message to be earth-shattering. - From the commentary on John 17:19 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  18. Justification - The debated translation “faith [or faithfulness] of Christ” rather than “faith in Christ” is consistent with Paul’s view of justification through the faith of Jesus in Rom 5:18- 19:“Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification (dikaiōsis) and life for all. For just 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. - From the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Complete Set.
  19. Romans 8:30 (ESV) - And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.  From 1 Peter 1:2 - By obedience, sanctification is also meant here. This signifies both habitual obedience, renewal of heart, and conformity to the divine will. The mind is illumined by the Holy Spirit, so it can know and believe the divine will. This faith is the main part of obedience (see Romans 1:8). The Causes for This Condition - According to the foreknowledge of God the Father. The apostle tells his readers that they are sanctified and justified because of Jesus Christ. He is to them both righteousness and sanctification. The sprinkling by his blood purifies them from guilt and gives them life so they can obey. We now consider how this is applied. It is achieved by the holy, and holy- making or sanctifying, Spirit, the author of their selection from the world and their effectual calling to grace. The source of this is God the Father.  By the sanctifying work. See 1 Corinthians 1:26, 28. This is the first act of the decree of election, which separates people from the profane world and consecrates them to God. So in relation to election and to its own nature it is appropriately called sanctifying work (see John 15:19; Acts 2:47; 13:48; Romans 8:28, 30. - From commentary from 1 Peter 1:2 from Crossway Claasic Commentary 1 & 2 Peter.
  20. Justification - In Romans Paul unfolded the gospel for a community he had not founded, precisely in terms of this biblical master theme, the righteousness (dikaiosýnē) of God (Rom. 1:16- 17). Only after presenting Gentiles and Jews alike under God’s judgment (Rom. 1:18–3:20) and a reference to “the justice of God” (3:5, God as Judge), does Paul in 3:22, 24- 26 set forth our being justified by God’s grace through faith in Jesus. The sacrificial death of Christ explains how God remains just while expiating sins. Justification is not merely an initial step toward salvation, in the believer’s past, but also involves future vindication and living out the experience in the present (Rom. 5:1; cf. 2:13; 3:20, 24). Justification is the foundation for carrying out God’s will in daily life by service to others, in church and world (Rom. 12:1- 2), including “whatever is just” (Phil. 4:8). - From Erdman’s Dictionary of the Bible.
  21. After the initial break with sin that the Holy Spirit brings about in our lives at conversion, he also produces in us growth in holiness of life. He brings forth the "fruit of the Spirit" within us ("love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control," Gal. 5:22- 23), those qualities that reflect the character of God. As we continually "are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another," we should be reminded that "this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:18). Sanctification comes by the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; cf. Rom. 8:4, 15- 16), so that it is "by the Spirit" that we are able to "put to death the deeds of the body" and grow in personal holiness (Rom. 8:13; see 7:6; Phil. 1:19). - From the Book "Systematic Theology" by Wayne Grudem.
  22. Footnote 760: Some may wish to add to this section one or more passages from Hebrews that speak about our sanctification as having been completed in the past. For example, the author says that by the will of God "we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb. 10:10). The Greek expression is a periphrastic perfect passive participle, ἠγιασμένοι ἐσμὲν which speaks of a continuing present situation that results from a completed past action:"We are continually in the state of" having been sanctified '(and we continue to feel the results of that previous act of sanctification). “  

    But in Hebrews the term sanctify (Gk. ἀγιάζω, G39) is related more to the Old Testament background of ceremonial purity or holiness as necessary for access to God's presence, and therefore" sanctified "in Hebrews means" made holy and righteous in God's sight and therefore fit to draw near to God in worship. "As such," sanctified "in Hebrews is roughly equivalent to" justified "in Paul's vocabulary. This sense of" sanctified "can be seen in Heb. 9:13; 10:10; 13:12. These passages speak of a ceremonial kind of purification that allows access to God, and, as such," sanctification "here applies to the beginning of the Christian life. Nevertheless, the focus is more on access to God in worship, while the Pauline emphasis is on justification from the penalty of sin that was due under God's law.
     - From the Book "Systematic Theology" by Wayne Grudem.
  23. Footnote 761: There is a different usage of the word sanctified in the Wesleyan/Holiness tradition within Protestantism. In these circles the experience of sanctification is sometimes viewed as a single event subsequent to conversion in which a Christian attains a higher level of holiness, a level sometimes known as "entire sanctification" or "sinless perfection." Within this tradition, sanctification is seen as an experience one seeks for in the Christian life and is sometimes able to attain. (See the systematic theologies listed under the category "Arminian" in the bibliography at the end of this chapter.) Therefore, while most Protestants would say, "I am being sanctified," some within the Wesleyan/Holiness tradition would say, "I have been sanctified," referring not to the initial break with sin that comes with conversion, but to a subsequent experience in which they began to know freedom from conscious sin in their lives. The difficulties with this position are outlined in section 4 below, "Sanctification Is Never Completed in This Life. - From the Book "Systematic Theology" by Wayne Grudem.
  24. Sanctification in a narrower sense, when distinguished from justification, signifies the inherent holiness of a Christian, or his being inclined and enabled to perform the obedience mentioned in this verse. But here it means renewal- people being dedicated to God by his Holy Spirit drawing them to him. So it embraces justification and the start of faith, through which the soul is justified by the application of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. - From commentary from 1 Peter 1:2 from Crossway Claasic Commentary 1 & 2 Peter.
  25. What makes the death of Christ so unique and indeed marks it out as the focal point of history is that it accomplished precisely what needed to be accomplished in regard to our salvation. We deserved to die for sin; Christ died for us. We were under the just wrath of God by reason of our transgressions; Christ bore that wrath in our place. We were alienated from God; Christ reconciled us to him. We were sold under sin; Christ bought our freedom by paying sin’s price. From one perspective all this is spiritual. It has to do both with moral matters and with spiritual relationships. But from another point of view, this is as concrete and historical as the birth of Julius Caesar or the death of Socrates. - From the commentary on John 19:30 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 volumes) by James Montgomery Boice. 
  26. John 17:17 - Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.   - The means Jesus expects his Father to use as he sanctifies his Son’s followers is the truth. The Father will immerse Jesus’ followers in the revelation of himself in his Son; he will sanctify them by sending the Paraclete (Holy Spirit) to guide them into all truth (15:13). Jesus’ followers will be ‘set apart’ from the world, reserved for God’s service, insofar as they think and live in conformity with the truth, the ‘word’ of revelation (v. 6) supremely mediated through Christ (himself the truth, 14:6, and the Word incarnate, 1:1, 14) —the revelation now embodied in the pages of this book. In practical terms, no- one can be ‘sanctified’ or set apart for the Lord’s use without learning to think God’s thoughts after him, without learning to live in conformity with the ‘word’ he has graciously given. By contrast, the heart of ‘worldliness’, of what makes the world the world (1:9), is fundamental suppression or denial of the truth, profound rejection of God’s gracious ‘word’, his self- disclosure in Christ. -  From comment on John 17:17 in the Pillar New Testament Commentary. 
  27. The NT doctrine of sanctification, while closely allied to justification, is nevertheless distinct from it. As in the OT, sanctification points first to the separateness-- the holy transcendence of God-- and second, to a moral quality and relationship that is Godlike. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit, who unites a person with Christ and renews his life spiritually. The NT language entails the baptism in the Spirit (1 Cor 12:13); the seal of the Spirit (Eph 1:13, 14; 4:30), the indwelling of the Spirit (John 14:17; Rom 5:4; 8:9- 11; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19; 2 Tim 1:14), instruction by the Spirit (John 14:26; 16:12- 15), the filling of the Spirit (Eph 5:18), and the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22, 23). Sanctification is related to justification, which is a standing before God (Heb 10:10), and may be thought of as development into a new ideal (10:14). - From XIV. Salvation in the Expositors Bible Commentary - Revised Series by Zondervan Publishing.
  28. Of the Spirit. The Word calls people externally and through that external calling prevails with many to an external receiving and professing of religion. But if it is left like that, it proceeds no further. It is indeed the means of sanctification and effectual calling (see John 17:17). But it does this when the Spirit, who speaks through the Word, works in the heart and causes it to hear and obey. A person's spirit or soul is the chief and first subject of this work, and it is but a slight work if it does not start there. 
    The Spirit, in this verse, is the Spirit of God, not the spirit of man, who is the subject of sanctification. Therefore our Saviour prayed to the Father that he would sanctify his own through the truth of the Word (see John 17:17). He does this by the concurrence of his Spirit with that Word of truth that gives life, making it become the power of God for salvation for all who believe (see Romans 1:16). It is a suitable means in itself, but it is a prevailing means only when the Spirit of God brings it into the heart. It is a sword. "The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double- edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). But the Word does not do this unless it is in the hands of the Spirit and he is penetrating and dividing. The Word calls, but the Spirit draws- not severed from the Word, but working in it and by it.  
    We must endeavor to have this sanctifying Spirit in ourselves and pray much for it, for his promise to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask (see Luke 11:13) applies to us. Shall we be so foolish as to lack this because we do not ask? When we find our souls weighed down, then let us pray, "Draw me.
     - From commentary from 1 Peter 1:2 from Crossway Claasic Commentary 1 & 2 Peter.
  29. Could anything be more utterly unexpected or overwhelming than the new relationship with God that is bestowed on his children? It is hard to think so. Justification is overwhelming enough, for it is all of grace. God did not need to justify us. Having justified us he could still have left us on a much inferior level of status and privilege. But he has gone far beyond what we could ever conceive of or expect by taking us into his own family where our status and privilege are that of daughters and sons. So great is God’s condescension in this act of adoption that we would be inclined to dismiss this relationship, thinking it presumption, were it not that God has made a special effort to seal these truths to our hearts. As Paul has written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:9–10). - From the commentary on John 20:17 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 volumes) by James Montgomery Boice. 
  30. XI. Justification By Faith: Isolated Doctrine or Not?  Sanctification is another related area of which Paul speaks much, (e. g., 1 Thess 4:3), drawing on the rich imagery and language of the Old Testament and associating it too with the work of the Spirit. While theologians are right in warning us against the danger of confusing justification and sanctification, yet it is certain that Paul never considered either in isolation, but saw both as part of one and the same great spiritual activity. It is, however, typical of Paul's vivid thought that he regards sanctification as twofold-- a past act by which we have been dedicated to God (1 Cor 1:2) and a present activity of continual service of God (Rom 12:1). - From the Expositors Bible Commentary - Revised Series by Zondervan Publishing.
  31. Romans 3:24 - Sinners are justified "freely," i. e., as a gift. The same word is used in John 15:25, where it bears a somewhat different but not unrelated meaning-- "without reason." God finds no reason, no basis, in the sinner for declaring him righteous. He must find the cause in himself. This truth goes naturally with the observation that justification is offered by God's grace. Perhaps the best synonym we have for it is "lovingkindness" (passim in the Psalms, KJV). It is a matter not simply of attitude but also of action, as the present verse attests. Grace (charis) lies at the basis of joy (chara) for the believer and leads to thanksgiving (eucharistia). If "freely" is the manner in which justification operates, and grace is its basis, "the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" is the means a gracious God employed to achieve this boon for mankind. The benefit that redemption brings in this life, according to Ephesians 1:7, is forgiveness of sins, and this is applicable in our passage. Another aspect, belonging to the future, is the redemption of the body, which will consummate our salvation (8:23; Eph 4:30). - From  the Expositors Bible Commentary - Revised Series by Zondervan Publishing.
  32. From Acts 20:17-38 - The Lord’s will is that we become all that He intended us to be. His grace is for our growth. We have been programmed for greatness. Sanctification means growth in holiness. That’s a word we use far too little, and it needs to be reclaimed. Holiness is belonging to the Lord and being remade in His image. The word “saint” also has its root in the word “holy.” It means to be set apart, called, chosen, belonging to the Lord. His purpose for us is that we grow intellectually, emotionally, and volitionally. We are meant to be grown- up saints. - From The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volumes 1-35: Genesis - Revelation by Stuart Briscoe.
  33. Acts: 20:35 - Paul’s final admonition is the key to sanctification. He quoted the Lord Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (v. 35). Growth in Christ takes place as we give Him away to others. That always involves giving ourselves and what we have to help them discover what we have found. In actuality, it is blessed both to receive and to give. In fact, we cannot give away what we have been unwilling to receive. Sanctification is a continuing process of being filled with the Lord’s Spirit. The more we receive of Him, the more we have to give of what people really need—love, forgiveness, and lasting care. - From The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volumes 1-35: Genesis - Revelation by Stuart Briscoe.
  34. Sanctification. In the OT - The act or process of acquiring sanctity or holiness as a result of association with deity. It is one of the most important concepts in biblical and historical theology. ….. The most basic meaning of sanctification, however, is generally believed to be “separation.” In each of the thousand places where this term and its cognates appear in the canonical Scriptures, the meaning of separation is either explicit or implicit, and in no instance is this meaning excluded. … The objective of sanctification is purity, whether ritual or moral. … In the NT - Perhaps the most important Greek term for sanctification is hagiasmos, which connotes the state of grace or sanctity not inherent in its subject, but the result of outside action. The term occurs ten times in the NT (Rom. 6:19, 22; 1 Cor. 1:30; 1 Thess. 4:3 – 4, 7; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:2). The act of sanctifying is expressed by the verb hagiazō, which occurs almost thirty times and in several cases means moral purification (Jn. 17:17, 19; Acts 20:32; Eph. 5:26; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Tim. 2:21; Heb. 13:12; 1 Pet. 3:15). The noun hagios is found over 220 times, and in more than sixty passages the plural form is translated saints, the common NT designation of believers. It means that Christians are now separated from the world and joined to Christ (1 Cor. 1:2; cf. Num. 16:3 – 10; 2 Chr. 23:6). In Ephesians this term is joined with amōmos in two passages that describe the church as being “holy and blameless” (Eph. 1:4; 5:27), the latter term referring to the unblemished sacrificial victim, and twice used of Christ (Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:19; cf. Lev. 22:21).  … Progressive sanctification begins in the believer from the moment of his becoming “in Christ.” Actual sanctification is the most common usage of the term; it designates imparted righteousness. Progressive sanctification occurs when one becomes a “partaker of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4 KJV), a “new creation” in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), or is “born anew” (Jn. 3:5, 8). It involves not only a changed relationship to God but also a changed nature, a real as well as a relative change. Among the passages that stress this aspect of sanctification are Acts 26:18; 1 Cor. 1:30; 6:11; and Heb. 9:14 (cf. Rom. 5:1 – 4; 2 Cor. 5:17; Jas. 1:21; 1 Pet. 1:3, 22 – 23; 2:1). The epistle to the Hebrews, in particular, speaks of initial sanctification in this manner, thus linking the OT and the NT concept and nomenclature (Heb. 2:11; 8:10; 9:14; 10:10, 14; 13:12) and making it the equivalent of regeneration. - From Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible by Silva, Moises and Tenney, Merril C.
  35. Sanctification, defined broadly as the work of God’s grace whereby a person reaches perfection in righteousness, begins when one becomes a believer and hence is “in Christ.” It continues progressively until death brings the believer into Christ’s presence unless he “does despite to the Spirit of grace.” It is only as one by dedication and faith realizes in actuality what is provided in the atonement that this grace is experienced; it does not follow as a matter of course, as the exhortations in the NT imply. Parallel to the work of sanctification is the infilling of the Holy Spirit in the believer, perfection in love, having the “mind of Christ,” and “walking as he walked.  - From Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible by Silva, Moises and Tenney, Merril C. 
  36. Justification through AcceptanceGod provided access to himself through Jesus Christ by his cross (Eph. 2:18; 3:12). Acceptance is, in more personal terms, the equivalent of the idea of justification, which comes through accepting God’s gift by faith (Rom. 5:1 – 2). We are accepted by accepting God’s gift. Since this is so, the believer can offer himself acceptably to God (Rom. 12:1). - From Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible by Silva, Moises and Tenney, Merril C.
  37. Some authors treat adoption as a variation or subheading of justification by faith. Justification is a forensic term not having to do with the righteous acts of believers but with the fact that God has declared a person to be righteous and treats him as such; and there is no question that this takes place through the finished work of Christ. Believers are declared righteous in the presence of God not because they live righteously but because of Christ’s righteousness. Adoption emphasizes more exactly the experience of the father- child relationship as against the judge- prisoner relationship. It is the embracing and restoration of the prodigal son. It is not so much the analogy of the judge setting the prisoner free as it is a father restoring his son — the robe, the ring, the feast, the celebration (cf. Lk. 15:22 – 32.  - From Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible by Silva, Moises and Tenney, Merril C.
  38. The ability to trust freely underlies Christian experience. Trust is essential for productively entering into relationship with God and one’s fellow believers and for entering into the gospel realities of justification by faith, adoption as sons of God and joint- heirs with Christ, the forgiveness of sins, and the Christian hope for the future.  - From Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible by Silva, Moises and Tenney, Merril C.
  39. In John 17:17, Jesus prays for the sanctification of his people, saying, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” We will be sanctified. But does this mean that we are therefore to do nothing to seek to grow spiritually? Not at all. The means of our sanctification are specified in this verse. They are study of, meditation upon, and memorization of God’s Word. This is our responsibility. So although ultimately we will all be made like Jesus (1 John 3:2–3), in the meantime we will be sanctified only as we use the means God has placed at our disposal. - From commentary on John 19:28 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  40. As believers we know that justification comes at the moment of conversion. But that is only the beginning. Gradually the believer must understand that his calling now is to remain in Christ and to let Christ remain and work in him.  

    Most Christians have learned from Abraham the first lesson:to believe in God Who justifies the ungodly. But they fail to go beyond that because they do not prayerfully yield themselves to Christ to maintain His life in them. The grace of pardon is only the beginning. Growing in grace leads to a fuller experience of what it means to be in Christ, to live in Him, and to grow in Him.
     - From Teach Me to Pray by Andrew Murray.
  41. Romans 2:6 - God’s judgment is not based on people’s action toward others but on how people act toward Him. Those who do good in relation to God obtain eternal life (vv, 7,10,13), while those who do evil toward God receive God’s wrath (vv. 8, 9, 12). Since justification comes by faith, not works (3:21- 24) and because “there is no one righteous, not even one” (3:10), Paul could not mean that people secure salvation by self- effort. Rather he appealed to the principle:“Actions reveal a person’s heart.” Jesus noted that righteous actions will emerge from within (Mt 12:35). - From The Apologetics Study Bible Notes.
  42. Romans 3:24 - In verse 24 he said that all who believe “are justified.” Justified is a legal term meaning to declare righteous. On the basis of what Christ has accomplished for sinners on the cross, God now views those who believe in Christ from an eschatological perspective. That is, He sees them not as they are but as they will be in Christ. He sees them as He sees Christ:perfect, holy, and without sin (see 2 Cor. 5:21).  - From Holman Concise Bible Commentary by David S. Dockery.
  43. Justified by Faith Romans 3:21-31 - God’s justification of those who believe is provided “freely by his grace.” Grace points to God’s free and unmerited favor by which God has without charge to believers declared them to have a right standing in His sight.  
    God could declare persons righteous only by dealing with their sin. This He did in the “redemption that came by Jesus Christ.” The term redemption means a price was paid. The death of Christ on the cross was the payment price for human sin that secured release from the bondage to sin, self, and Satan.  - From Holman Concise Bible Commentary by David S. Dockery.
  44. Justified by Faith Romans 3:21-31 - God is both “just and the one who justifies” those who have faith in Jesus. Therefore Jew and Gentile alike stand justified not by their works but by their faith in the finished work of Christ. - From Holman Concise Bible Commentary by David S. Dockery.
  45. Acts 13:39 - Justification. "[Justification] is the judicial act of God, by which He pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ, and accounts, accepts, and treats them as righteous in the eye of the Law, i. e., as conformed to all its demands. In addition to the pardon of sin, justification declares that all the claims of the Law are satisfied in respect of the justified. It is the act of a judge and not of a sovereign. The Law is not relaxed or set aside, but is declared to be fulfilled in the strictest sense; and so the person justified is declared to be entitled to all the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the Law." Easton Bible Dictionary. - From Evidence Bible Notes by Ray Comfort.
  46. Luke 18:9-14 - Jesus is not calling us to a plan of moral improvement or a list of wrong behaviors to avoid (18:11), but rather to the one thing that we can all pursue, no matter our brokenness or failures:to humble ourselves before God and call upon his mercy. This alone will result in “justification” (v. 14) —which is another way to describe the gospel of freely entering the kingdom (vv. 24–25) and inheriting eternal life (10:25–28; 18:18). - From the Gospel Transformational Bible by Crossway.
  47. Rom. 5:15–21  - Every human being is either in Adam or in Christ. We are all born in Adam, but God by his grace brings many into Christ. Whereas Adam’s trespass led to death and woe, God’s grace abounds through the free gift offered “by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ” (v. 15). The word “grace” occurs 21 times in Romans—six times in Romans 5 alone. This chapter marks a high point of Romans’ teaching about grace. By God’s grace, the “free gift of righteousness” can be dominant in our lives (v. 17). Condemnation for “all men” because of Adam is universal, but the availability of “justification and life for all men” (v. 18) does not mean universal salvation, as the next verse makes clear. It is by grace—received through faith—that Christ’s obedience makes righteous “the many” (not “all”; v. 19). In the end, grace reigns over and among God’s people through the righteousness Christ won (v. 21). The result is eternal life through him—the strongest possible reversal of all the ills that came about through Adam. - From the Gospel Transformational Bible by Crossway.
  48. The answer to that question is given in the Book of Galatians, in which Paul says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us; for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree’” (Gal. 3:13). What does this mean? Well, it is the Bible’s answer to an objection to God’s way of salvation that we might still make even after we have understood the nature and necessity of the atonement. We might understand that Jesus was the innocent Son of God and that he was therefore the only One who could take our place on Calvary, the just for the unjust. We might understand that God judged him in our place. “But that is still not right,” we might argue. “Even if Jesus died willingly, it was still not right for God to punish one who was innocent of all wrongdoing.” At this point Paul’s answer comes in, for he points out that in the Old Testament there is a verse (Deut. 21:23) that pronounces a curse on anyone hanged on a tree as a means of execution. This may not have meant much to those who lived in that day, but it was part of the law of Israel. Thus, when the Lord Jesus Christ was taken and hanged on a tree, he thereby became a technical violator of the whole law (though through no fault of his own) and could be justly punished. In this way God remained just in his execution of Christ, and Christ remained innocent. - From commentary on John 19:30 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  49. Protestant thought has always contended rightly that “the satisfaction of Christ is the only satisfaction for sin and is so perfect and final that it leaves no penal liability for any sin of the believer.” True, the believer often experiences chastisement for sins done in this life (though never in full measure to what he has deserved). But this is not satisfaction. It is discipline only; it is given to help us grow. Even in times of severe chastisement it is still true that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). - From commentary on John 19:30 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.