Understanding the three steps of salvation: Justification, Sanctification and Glorification

Romans 2:13; Romans 3:20-26, 28, 31; James 2:21, 24-25

  1. Justification is redemption from the curse of sin. This means that because all have sinned and are condemned to death, we are saved from this curse by being justified or declared free of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God. It’s a gift (unmerited) that flows from the abounding grace from God’s throne. We are justified by faith i.e. believing that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and is our saviour! 
  1. Sanctification is the process, after justification, of becoming more like Christ. This occurs through the daily study of God’s word, prayer, witnessing to others and most importantly the power of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of sanctification is made evident in our works, which if we are truly sanctified, cannot contradict either the letter and spirit of the law!
  1. Glorification is the ultimate goal i.e. to be with Christ in heaven, freed of sin and self as without holiness it is impossible to see God.

Another way to explain this is using the Israelites’ journey from Egypt.

  1. They were justified/saved by the blood of the lamb on their door posts. This made them ready to commence the salvation process from Egypt, alegory for our sinful life.
  1. They were sanctified in the wilderness. In the wilderness, after God saved/justified them, He gave them His law for them to obey.
  1. They were glorified when they got to the promised land.

A final way to explain this is using the structure of the sanctuary.

  1. The outer court yard is where the lamb is slain for the sins of the people. This represents justification.
  1. In the holy place you have the candle sticks (our witnessing), the bread (the word of God) and incense (our prayers). This represents sanctification.
  1. Then you have the most holy place, which is where the ark of God sits. This is the ultimate place and only those who have been qualified through the first two phases make it here. Glorification!

NB: remember where the Bible says these things were a ‘shadow’ of things to come? That’s partly explained in the above understanding of the sanctuary structure and items. 😦💡

Conclusion: Understanding the above further explains the meaning of faith without works is dead. Romans 2:13 says not the hearers only are justified but the doers. Initially this sounds conflicting with justification by faith. But it makes sense when you understand that…the justified are doers of the law! You can’t be truly justified and not do the law is the point Paul in so many words is trying to say and James also said. We cannot truly say we love God and we’re disobeying His laws as this would disprove the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore the idea of cheap grace from God isn’t backed by the Bible i.e. thinking once we believe alone we don’t have anything else to do. Even Jesus said in Matt 12:37 “by thy words you’re justified or condemned”…as out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 

So in summary, we are justified/saved (from the curse of sin…death) by faith, but will be judged by our works which should evidence true faith and love for God…or not! 💡

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s