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SEPTEMBER: Life in Christ

September 29

JUSTIFICATION AND SANCTIFICATION

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 Jphn 1:9

John does not use the terms justification and sanctification; they are Paul's great words. But, of course, John teaches exactly the same doctrine. Furthermore, I think that much of the trouble with regard to these matters has arisen because people will not see that fact. John, in his own pictorial way, is teaching precisely the same truth as the apostle Paul teaches in his more logical and legal manner by means of his terms justification and i>sanctification, righteousness and redemption, and so on.

What is meant by justification? Justification is the New Testament term that represents our standing in the presence of God. Justification means not only the forgiveness of our sins, but also that our sins have been dealt with and have been removed from us. Justification states that God regards us as righteous, as if we had not sinned. In other words, it is a stronger term than forgiveness; we may be forgiven, and yet our sins remain upon us. But what God does for us in justification is to remove the guilt altogether, to remove the sin. He does not punish us for it; He looks upon us as righteous, as if we had not sinned; our sin has been removed.

Sanctification, on the other hand, is that condition in which the sin principle is dealt with. Justification does not deal with the sin principle within us; it deals with the sins that we have committed. But after our sins have been forgiven, and sin and guilt have been removed from us, the sin principle will remain within us, and what the New Testament means by this doctrine of sanctification is the process whereby the very principle and the activity of sin within us is being taken out of us and removed.

A Thought to Ponder
Justification means not only the forgiveness of our sins, but also that our sins have been removed from us.

From Fellowship with God, pp. 137-138.



Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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