Sanctification, Justification and Peace with God

I have been reading a lot about Sanctification lately. It seems like every now and then I hit some sort of wall, I think I am chugging along pretty well and my sin or lack of focus or doubts about my walk with the Lord overtake my thoughts and I struggle. I struggle with my motives, question and second guess my thoughts and I always end up back in scripture and God provides the answers to my doubts and I have peace again.  I know God’s promises, I believe in the perseverance of the saints but there are days when my behavior and sin get in the way of what I know in my heart to be true according to scripture.  The process of sanctification is going to go on until the Lord calls us home or comes and gets us and it’s such a blessing to know and understand that God enables us to serve Him, to spread His Gospel and love and care for His sheep and that HE is in charge of our eternal security.

A few of the resources that helped me this week I have listed below. An amazing sermon by John MacArthur that nearly had me bawling like a baby at my desk at work:Peace and Grace: Links in the chain of security.

A wonderful article by Mike Ratliff from Possessing the treasure, Here: Sanctification, and a A  post from Diane at Theology for Girls  by J.C.Ryle below.

You can also read the original : Here


Sanctification is a thing that cannot justify a man, and yet it pleases God.
The holiest actions of the holiest saint that ever lived are all more or less full of defects and imperfections.  They are either wrong in the motive or defective in their performance and in themselves  are nothing better than “splendid sins,” deserving God’s wrath and condemnation.  To suppose that such actions can stand the severity of God’s judgment, atone for sin, and merit heaven is simply absurd.

“By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified…Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by   faith without the deeds of the law. ” (Rom 3:20,28).
The only righteousness in which we can appear before God is the righteousness of another — even the perfect righteousness of our Substitute and Representative, Jesus Christ the Lord.  His work, and not our work is our only title to heaven.  This is truth that we should be ready to die to maintain.

Sanctification is the outcome and inseparable consequence of regeneration.
He that is born again and made a new creature receives a new nature and a new principle and always lives a new life.   A regeneration, which a man can have and yet live carelessly in sin or worldliness, is a regeneration invented by uninspired theologians, but never mentioned in Scripture. On the contrary, St. John expressly says, “he that is born of God doth not commit sin” (I Jo 3:9), “doeth righteousness” (3:9-14); “loveth the brethren,” “keepeth himself,” and “overcometh the world” (5:4-18). Simply put, the lack of sanctification is a sign of non-regeneration. Where there is no holy life, there has been no holy birth..
Sanctification is a thing that admits of growth and degrees.
A man may climb from one step to another in holiness and be far more sanctified at one period of his life than another.   More pardoned and more justified than he is when he first believes he cannot be, though he may feel it more.  More sanctified he certainly may be because every grace in his new character may be strengthened, enlarged, and deepened….If there is any point on which Gods holiest saints agree it is this:  that they see more, know more, feel more, do more, repent more, and believe more as they get on in spiritual life and in proportion to the closeness of their walk with God.  In short, they “grown in grace” as St Peter exhorts believers to do and to “abound more and more.”  (2 Pe 3:18; I Th 4:1)
For all this, however, the Bible distinctly teaches that the holy actions of a sanctified man, although imperfect, are pleasing in the sight of God.
“With such sacrifice God is well pleased”. (Heb 13:16).   “Children, obey your parents…for this is well pleasing unto the Lord” (Col 3:20). “We…do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (I Jo 3:22).    Let this never be forgotten, for it is a very comfortable doctrine.   Just as a parent is pleased with the efforts of his little child to please him, though it be only by picking a daisy or walking across a room, so is our Father in heaven pleased with the poor performances of His believing children. He looks at the motive, principle, and intention of their actions and not merely at their quantity and quality. He regards them as members of His own dear Son, and for His sake, wherever there is a single eye,   He is well pleased.   ~ J.C. Ryle
Selected excerpts  from J.C. Ryle, Holiness; Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots, available from Chapel Library


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7 responses to “Sanctification, Justification and Peace with God

  1. dawnmarie4

    So hard.

  2. Teresa

    Yes Maam it is Dawn Marie. I took great comfort in some of these articles, especially the MacArthur sermon, it’s fantastic.

  3. thereformedtraveler

    Oh yes and amen! Thanks much for putting up Mike Ratliff’s article. (so we can compare to the false) Much needed truth in this day and age. Yes, oh dear, how much is enough before I ‘get sanctified’, how many hoops do I have to jump through to be acceptable, how many ‘spiritual disciplines’ do I have to perform? What if my ‘affections’ are in the ditch for a day, two, a month, a year-do I go through myself off a cliff? (as some have due to false teachings on sanctification) Again, thanks much for the posting!

    • Teresa

      Your so very welcome, Mike’s article and the links he provided to his other articles really helped me get over “me”.

  4. Teresa,
    I read the above article and these comments but I haven’t had a chance to click on the links yet. I have wondered in the past how to define sanctification, because there are so many things that we experience. Two Bible verses help me a little.

    ” 27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
    28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Romans 8:27-30 KJV

    “15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
    18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17: 15-21

    I know that the Romans passage does not mention the word “sanctify”, but it does really encourage me that in that passage all of the verbs in that passage are done for us and to us by the Lord.

    In the John 17 passage where Jesus is praying for all who would be regenerated, and says that they would be sanctified through the truth, but He is asking the father to do this, because it is a process that the Father does for us. If I understand correctly we do not sanctify ourselves…we might see the effects of our sanctification (evidence that the Lord is sanctifying us) by fruits of the Spirit and also the struggle in us to not follow the sinful flesh , but the Spirit, but they are just evidences of what the Lord has promised to do Himself for us.

    I hope it is okay that I shared my opinion. I struggle with assurance at times and this has helped me.

  5. So good to know that I am not alone… Thank you for your thoughts and the helpful links! Grace and love!

  6. Wow. That is some topic, girl! And all I can think about is the end of which is the purity of God’s image in us!

    Thank you for the links, too! As always, you are a wonderful blessing!

    Thanking God for you!

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