April 10, 2011. Romans #12

Sanctification

Romans 5:9, 10

Romans 5:9 and 10 go together. Paul tells us that as sinners, we are, first, justified. In Christ, God the Father now considers us just; that is, just as though we had never sinned. Then, as enemies of God, we are, second, reconciled; that is, through Christ, God's eternal wrath against his people is appeased. The death of Christ is the sacrifice that satisfied divine justice.

A third term not used by Paul at this point is sanctified.

Scripture is clear—sanctification is the natural result of justification. Paul is very clear: if there is no sanctification, there is no salvation, for if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. 2 Corinthians 7:17 & Galatians 6:15.

Sanctify or sanctification are common and important terms used througout scripture, but it is avoided by the natural man. Sanctification requires denial of the lust of the flesh, and holyness to God.

There are seven common terms in Scripture which point to the same thing—salvation, as used in both 9 & 10.

These seven terms were already well established in the Old Testament, so they were well known by the Jews of Paul's day. All of the terms are used by Paul in Romans, except regeneration, which he uses only in Titus 3:5:

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

We defined salvation in Romans 5:1-11. At this point, I want to define the six terms that point to salvation. Each deserves a lengthy examination, but I will only give quick overview of them before we look at the seventh, sanctification.

1) Redemption,
2) justification,
3) regeneration,
4) righteousness
5) holiness
6) reconciliation,
7) Sanctification.

Regardless of the term used, according to Scripture the end result of salvation in this life must be sanctification. Scripture is clear—If there is no sanctification, there can be no salvation.

Though we identify each of these terms in their New Testament context, they are by no means new. There is nothing new in the New Testament, except the new seal of the old covenant, that is, the blood of Christ. Christ did not change any of the moral laws of the old covenant.

Redemption:

Redemption means to free someone from bondage. It often involves the paying of a ransom, a price that makes redemption possible. The Israelites were redeemed from Egypt. We were redeemed from the power of sin and the curse of the Law #Ga 3:13 through Jesus; #Ro 3:24 Col 1:14 We were bought with a price; #1Co 6:20 7:23. (Dictionary of Theology The law itself is not a curse, but the penalty for breaking the law is the curse–death.)

Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Psalms 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 14 [the Holy Spirit] is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

His people are redeemed through his blood. Christ's shed blood represents his death, which paid our death penalty.

Redemption has several parts:

First, forgiveness of sins.

Second, change of ownership. We have been redeemed. We have been purchased from the enemy of our souls. Christ, with his own blood, payed our sin debt. We are now under new ownership, with new responsibilities:

1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

1 Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

The change of ownership means a change of masters and desires; now rather than serving lusts and sin, we can serve the Lord by following and obeying him as his servant.

John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Ephesians 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Third, redemption means that though we remain in the world, we are no longer part of the world.

John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Fourth, there is a final redemption coming when we will be removed from the presence of sin.

We can never be redeemed more than we were at conversion. There is no such thing as "progressive" redemption. That is, we do not become more redeemed as time goes on, and then completely redeemed at the end. However, we do increase in sancitification.

Nevertheless, one day we will be completely redeemed in the sense that we will leave this body of sin to dwell with Christ forever.

Justification:

To be justified is to be made righteous. It is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins. It is not that the sinner is now sinless, but that he is "declared" sinless. This justification is based on the shed blood of Jesus, "... having now been justified by His blood..." #Ro 5:9 When God sees the Christian, He sees him through the sacrifice of Jesus and "sees" him without sin. This declaration of innocence is not without cost for it required the satisfaction of God's Law, "... without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness". #Heb 9:22 By the sacrifice of Jesus, in the "one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men", #Ro 5:18 NASB. In justification, the justice of God fell upon Himself—Jesus. We receive mercy—we are not judged according to our sins. And grace is shed upon us—we receive eternal life. This justification is a gift of grace, #Ro 3:24 by faith #Ro 3:28 because Jesus bore our guilt. #Isa 53:12 (Dictionary of Theology.)

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Justification is a gift of free grace. It is freely provided through Christ. It is imputed to us through the saving faith of Christ. Again, there is no "progressive justification".

However, James makes it abundantly clear that justification produces good works, or sanctification. According to James, Faith without works is dead. That is, faith that does not produce good works is not a saving faith.

Regeneration

The act of God whereby He renews the spiritual condition of a sinner. It is a spiritual change brought about by the work of the Holy Spirit so that the person then possesses new life, eternal life. Regeneration is a change in our moral and spiritual nature where justification is a change in our relationship with God. Also, sanctification is the work of God in us to make us more like Jesus. Regeneration is the beginning of that change. It means to be born again. (Greek Lexicon)

Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Jewish idea of ruling with the King in the restored paradise that was lost in Adam, comes from Daniel chapter 7:

Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

The Jews were convinced that the rulers in that restored paradise would only be Jews, ruled by the Messiah. However, the term saints in Daniel refers to all those in Christ.

The only other time the word regeneration is used is by Paul in,

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Essential to regeneration "is the idea of ‘washing,' referring probably to a cleansing, or separation from old associations, which is essential to the idea of regeneration." (Concise Dictionary, OLB)

Paul's context of regeneration is the new birth, which produces a new life dedicated to God, and a radical change of mind for the better. See Ephesians 4:23.

Christ said in John 3:3, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Then in John 3:7, Ye must be born again. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:23, Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:23.

Regeneration refers to the restoration of all things to their original conditions, as well as life after death. Regeneration results in a new life dedicated to God and a radical change of mind for the better. Regeneration refers to separation from old associations who are outside of Christ. Those who are regenerated have the desire to be sanctified, or more like Christ. Clearly, if that desire to be sanctified is not present, neither is redemption, for the two must go together.

Righteousness:

"This root basically connotes conformity to an ethical or moral standard." And the standard is established by God's law, the Ten Commandments.

Romans 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Psalms 15:1 A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

No man can obtain to God's righteousness as established in his law, so God provided a means that we can be righteous enough to please him. That is the imputed righteousness of Christ, which we obtained through faith. Romans 4.

We have the imputed righteousness of Christ for our standing before God, but that imputed righteousness does not release us from righteous (right) actions according to God's commandments.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: See also 1 John 2:29, 3:7, 10.

Righteousness thus has two parts.

First, the imputed righteousness of Christ, which allows us to come boldly before the Father's throne. Hebrews 4:16, 13:6

Second, we are to progress in righteous living. We are to be instructed in and grow in righteousness, or holiness. That is, we are to be identified more and more with God's ethical and moral standards as revealed to us in his law.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

There is an interesting verse in Revelation 22:11.

Holiness:

A quality of perfection, sinlessness, and inability to sin that is possessed by God alone. As Christians we are called to be holy. #1Pe 1:16 But this does not refer to our nature. Instead, it is a command of our practice and thought. We are to be holy in obedience. #1Pe 1:14 God has made us holy through His Son Jesus; #Eph 1:4, 1Pe 2:9 (Dictionary of Theology)

Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Though we have the applied holiness of Christ, which enables us to boldly approach the Throne of Grace, we are not relieved from working toward a holy life. There is an imputed holiness and a progressive holiness, as we grow in holiness.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Reconciliation.

Is a change from enmity to friendship. It is mutual, i.e., it is a change wrought in both parties who have been at enmity.

Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Leviticus 8:15 And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it.

Temporary reconciliation between God and man was accomplished in the Old Testament with the blood of bulls and goats. This temporary reconciliation was changed to permanent through the blood of Christ.

Reconciled is a common term in use today. Husbands & wives, parents & children, neighbor & neighbor, &c. These people who were at one time wading against one another are now at peace.

But there can be no true reconciliation between man and man until there is reconciliation with God. War against God results in war against our fellow man.

Next, Sanctified?