Two Sundays ago, Dale spoke on justification, being declared holy. This past Sunday Shannon talked about sanctification, the process of being made holy. But what does this look like lived out?
Adoption is a perfect example of justification and sanctification. When parents adopt a child, the child legally becomes a son or daughter of the parents. The child is powerless through the process. The child can’t declare himself a son, the parents and court system do. Truthfully, the child doesn’t even have the right to make themselves a child of the parents. Yet, the parents declare him as theirs and he is given a new identity. He is justified.
Sanctification happens because of justification. At first, the child is the same kid he was before being adopted. But his state is different. He is no longer ignored, but chosen and this changes everything. As time progresses, he starts to be more and more like his new parents. This takes effort from both the parents and the child. It’s a relationship.
Adoption is near and dear to our church family. We’ve seen this beautiful relationship between justification and sanctification play out first hand many times over. Further, as Christ followers, we are all adopted. Paul writes, “Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy (sanctified), you were made right (justified) with God by calling on the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Jesus Christ has justified us, made us right, in God’s sight by laying His sinless life down for our sinful lives. He justified us; that part is done. Sanctification is the process of living out our response to Christ making us right. It’s our desire and journey to become more and more like the Justifier, Jesus Christ. This takes effort from both us and the Spirit. It’s a relationship.
You have no power to justify yourself. However, you can make yourself available to allow Jesus to sanctify you. The more you look to the Father the more you become like him. He is Holy. The more you become like Christ the more holy you become.
It’s a relationship.