There is no further sanctification required after justification. Everyone who is justified through Jesus Christ is fully and completely sanctified.

There is no further sanctification required after justification. Everyone who is justified through Jesus Christ is fully and completely sanctified.

I developed this notion while researching what is wrong with the idea of “Christian accountability”, the teaching that Christians need to have “accountability partners”. Noticing that Bible teachings against “Christian accountability” are the same as that against the Judaizers from the days of the apostles Peter and Paul, I realized that legalism in any form can be identified by the teaching of “after accepting the grace of Jesus Christ, you must now start to do this”. To wit:

Judaizers circa 1st century AD: “Christians, now that you have accepted the grace of Jesus Christ, you must now be circumcised and obey the Laws of Moses”.

Catholic legalism: “Christians, now that you have accepted the grace of Jesus Christ, you must now go to church every Sunday, confess your sins to a priest every week, pray the rosary every morning, and receive the sacraments.”

Charismatic legalism: “Christians, now that you have accepted the grace of Jesus Christ, you must now also be baptized in the Holy Spirit and start speaking in tongues.”

Latter-day Saints: “Christians, now that you have accepted the grace of Jesus Christ, you must now also become a missionary, be sealed with your spouse(s) in celestial marriage, and never again consume alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco.”*

Christian accountability proponents: “Christians, now that you have accepted the grace of Jesus Christ, you must now also be held accountable by accountability partners in Christian accountability.”

In other words, “Grace is not enough. After grace, this:”

I noticed that the “this” is always presented as a form of sanctification, some means to make a believer “more holy”. Christians who practise the “works of sanctification” are held to be better than those who do not. Legalists may admit that the grace of Jesus Christ is enough, but they will say that it is only enough for you to be a “minimal Christian”. In order to be a “good Christian”, you need to practise the works of sanctification, as per the legalist’s prescription.

In contrast, the Bible describes all Christians this way:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)

For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

Notice the absence of any distinction between “minimal” versus “good” Christians in these passages. All followers of Jesus Christ are the same in nature.

This is not to suggest that Christians cannot grow closer to Christ through time and willingness to cultivate intimacy with God. Being a relationship, however, we grow close to God by a desire in the heart, and not by following rules. To take marriage as an example, no matter how close the spouses are as newlyweds, they would want to be even closer to each other on their 50th wedding anniversary. And if that’s the desire in their hearts, they will! But can anyone say, because of that, they are now only a “minimal husband” or “minimal wife”, and will not become a “good husband” or “good wife” until their 50th wedding anniversary? Or can anyone say that, in order to be a “good husband” or “good wife”, they need to follow a bunch of rules such as obligatory kissing routines, mandatory greetings, and prescribed activities? I don’t think that anyone would enjoy getting “obligatory kisses” from their spouse anyway, since those are false, and feel that way. If one desires to become closer to one’s spouse and to express one’s love, one will automatically and authentically do those things that would accomplish that goal, and the proficiency in which one does those things will be better and better. Likewise, if we desire to become closer to God and to express our love for Him, we will automatically (through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in us) and authentically do those things that would make us more like Christ and would achieve God’s will of us. And we will do those things better over time as well.

So, just as someone becomes a husband or wife fully and completely on the wedding day, anyone who is justified through faith in Christ was also fully and completely sanctified at that same time. To say that there is some mandatory process of sanctification that needs to happen after justification, is just legalism.

This video message is also worth pondering:

*Note: That being said, the Book of Mormon declares in Moroni 10:33, “And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.” It seems that, had the LDS stopped there, many Mormons today just might be fans of Starbucks lattés.


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3 Responses to “There is no further sanctification required after justification. Everyone who is justified through Jesus Christ is fully and completely sanctified.”

  1. Alcoholism Says:

    Timeless info. I can’t tell you how often we discuss topics like this in group. If drunks are seekers why are they so lost. And if they are just hiding, why do they always get found.


  2. patnercomputer Says:

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.


  3. newlifenowministries Says:

    Many people, including most Christians, do not understand the grace of God. Anyone who says that you must do this or that to be “saved” is demeaning the perfect sacrifice that Jesus made for us.
    I would challenge anyone to read two small books and give me their opinion on this issue.
    One is the book of Galatians and the other is a small book called Hebrews.
    In these two small books or letters, you will see that we can do nothing to save ourselves. Jesus died ONCE for all who will believe on His name.
    Now I am not condoning sin. Sin is horrible and opens the door for the devil to destroy your life and move you farther away from God. But the Bible clearly teaches that if you are “in Christ” your sins are forgiven past, present, and future.

    You might say, : How can God forgive sin that I have not even committed yet?
    Well, you sure better hope He does because Jesus died 2000 years ago and He is not going to die again! If God did not forgive future sin, then everybody after Jesus’ death and resurrection would be lost!
    The Apostle Paul clearly makes this point all through his epistles. If obeying the law and man made rules could save you then Jesus died for nothing!
    Jesus died so that we could be made righteous in the eyes of God. We can never be made right with God through our own works or behaviors. Anything that teaches this doctrine is a ‘false gospel’. And what did Paul say about those who teach a false gospel? He said let them be cursed. He said that even if an angel taught a false gospel let him be cursed!

    So we see that if we accept Jesus asour Lord and Savior, our sins are forgiven—past, present, and future. The issue now becomes–What about sin? Are we now free to sin? NO!!!!!!!!! We are now free to serve Jesus Christ out of a pure heart. If we are really saved we will do what pleases Him. Anyone who is in a relationship with Him and has felt His love and grace wants to do what He wants.
    The people who bring up this issue of sin are the ones who are usually not comfortable with their walk with God and have issues with sin in their own lives.
    Let me drop a bomb—-everyone sins! We all make mistakes. That is why Jesus came in the first place. Do not condemn yourself when you make a mistake. Confess it to your Father. He has already forgiven you.

    Rev. Greg Davidson, D.D.
    New Life Now Ministries


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