Leslie M. John
‘Sanctification’ differs from ‘Justification’, insomuch that justification is the legal action by which the man accused of charges is acquitted, and justified as ‘not guilty’. After a person is declared as ‘not guilty’ the person is free from accusations and will not be punished, for any of the crimes he might or might not have committed. The verdict ‘not guilty’ is powerful enough to set free the accused from all charges, and from the time he is declared ‘not guilty’ he is innocent of all the charges leveled against him. The person is set free and he can mingle with the society in a normal way as does any other citizen.
Sanctification, on the other hand, is not achieved in one stage but in several stages. It can be divided mainly into three stages and they are:
- Positional sanctification _
- Practical sanctification/Progressive Sanctification
- Perfect sanctification
Positional sanctification is achieved when a man accepts Jesus as His personal savior by confessing his sins to Him, and believes in heart that God raised Him from the dead. This is the Spiritual birth, that is to say, the man is born from above. Every man is born into this world, physically, once from his parents. The man is said to be ‘born-again’, when he is born from above, and unless a man is born-again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
Holy Spirit takes residence in his heart and indwells him immediately when He is born-again. There is no separate waiting period required for Holy Spirit to come and take residence in a believer’s heart. This is one time action and will not be repeated. We need filling up of Holy Spirit, time and again, at different periods of time, when we venture a new task for the Lord.
Jesus healed the impotent man, who was lying at Bethesda pool, for thirty eight years. The man totally depended on Jesus for healing by saying that “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool”, in an answer to the question from Jesus, who asked him, “Wilt thou be made whole?” Jesus said to him to take up his bed and walk.
Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. (John 5:8)
Afterward when Jesus saw him in the temple He said to the man “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (cf. John 5:7-14)
In another occasion, when the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus, a woman caught red-handed in adultery, and demanded that she be stoned to death, according to Mosaic Law, He said to them “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”. They all were convicted by their own conscience, and “went out one by one, beginning at the eldest even unto the last”. Then Jesus lifted Himself and asked her if anyone condemned her. The woman addressing Jesus as “Lord” said, “No man, Lord”. Then Jesus set her free from her sin and said to her not to sin any more. (cf. John 8:2-11)
“She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11)
Earlier in another occasion scribes blamed Jesus saying that He was blaspheming God by forgiving sins, by His own authority, but then Jesus said to them that the ‘Son of man” had the power on earth to forgive sins.
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. (Matthew 9:6)
Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior and salvation belongs to Him. There no salvation in any another.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
We are consecrated to be holy till we die. We are saved from our sins and punishment. Our sins are cleaned in the precious blood of Lord Jesus Christ, who purchased us not with silver and gold but by His own blood. We are not supposed to sin after we are born-again.