“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:1-4, ESV).
“Do I need both sanctification and justification?” The way you answer that question will change your life. It will be the difference between bondage and freedom—bondage to the old way, or freedom to walk in newness of life. Your answer to this question is key to your success in overcoming sin, temptation, Satan, and the world.
If both sanctification and justification are required, do they come from the same source? That’s an important question. If both are required, are they attained in the same way? Think about that for a moment, would you? Because I believe many of us believe that justification comes exclusively by grace through faith from God alone. And many of us believe the second comes by man, through man, and man alone. Many falsely believe that it is God who justifies us, but it is now up to us to sanctify ourselves—that it is His responsibility to get us into the kingdom but our responsibility to stay and perform as godly people once we’re in the kingdom. Many of us are saying, “I’ve attained justification by grace and now I must strive day in and day out to get and stay sanctified.”
What we’re saying is, “Thank You, God, for justifying me. Thank you that at the cross You made me right. Thank You that You pardoned my sin and paid the penalty. You stood in my place and took my sin upon You. Thank You for the work of justifying me and now in return, I want to do you a favor and show you how well I can sanctify myself.
The truth that sets us free is not the law that we know or our zealous pursuit in trying to keep the law. The truth that sets us free is in a person, Christ Jesus. He is the only source of freedom from our sin.