By Jay Adams

Some background information on the nature of salvation:  Justification is an act that changes a man’s relationship to God.  God declares the sinner to be forgiven and accepts him because of the work of Christ.  The man himself has nothing to do but thank God for His grace.  Justification can be compared to the declaration of a judge that a law-breaker will not have to go to jail because someone has paid his fine.

Sanctification, in contrast, is a process that changes a man’s nature.  It includes both the gradual removal of sin and the gradual development of the new life in Christ.  Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit, but man himself is required to use the means that God has provided for growth in holiness.

In this life, however, no man achieves perfect holiness.  Only in the life to come is sin completely abolished.  When he reaches heaven the sinner will be glorified; then his salvation is complete.

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