Saturday, December 26, 2009

Joel R. Beeke: Justification is extrinsic, and sanctification is intrinsic

Joel R. Beeke explains the important distinction between justification and sanctification:

Justification is extrinsic to the sinner saved; sanctification is intrinsic. Justification declares the sinner righteous and holy in Christ; sanctification makes the sinner righteous and holy as fruit from Christ. Justification removes the guilt of sin, having to do with legal status; sanctification subdues the love and power of sin, having to do with spiritual condition. Justification restores to God’s favor; sanctification restores to His image. Justification is a complete and perfect act, a once-and-for-all act in its essence; sanctification is a progressive but incomplete process, not perfected until death. Justification grants the redeemed the title for heaven and the boldness to enter; sanctification gives them the meetness for heaven and the preparation necessary to enjoy it. Justification gives the right of salvation; sanctification gives the beginning of salvation. By grace the justified are what they are in justification; by grace they work what they work in sanctification. Justification is the criminal pardoned; sanctification, the patient healed. (Dr. Joel R. Beeke, “The Relation of Faith to Justification" in Justification by Faith Alone [Soli Deo Gloria, 1995, pp. 82-83])

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