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Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts : Justification Must Precede and Empower Sanctification

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Joined: 2011/9/26
Posts: 896

 Justification Must Precede and Empower Sanctification

Justification Must Precede and Empower Sanctification

Now here's the point. Forgiveness for our sins through faith in Christ must precede and then empower our battle against sin in our lives. Or to put it another way, God's declaration that we are forgiven and righteous in Christ must precede and enable our transformation into loving, sacrificial, Christ-exalting people. The divine declaration must precede the human transformation. Or to put it one more way: Justification must precede and uphold sanctification. Being right with God must precede doing right for God.

Now for some of you this may sound like nitpicking. You may say, "I don't live with these things in mind. So they are not really helpful to me. I just don't think or act that way. That sounds like theology. And to me nothing is more irrelevant to my life than theology." Well, that is probably the way a lot of people feel. But, if you are one of them, consider this for a moment.

Suppose that you are on trial in a courtroom for a capital offense. Your life hangs in the balance. A guilty verdict will mean death, and a not-guilty verdict will mean freedom and life. And suppose the judge says to you: "There are two ways we can deal with this. I can acquit you right now, decisively and irrevocably, and release you so that you can go and live a free and joyful and loving life that shows you really are not a rebellious, crime-loving law breaker, though you have been. Or I can postpone the trial and the verdict for several years and assign you a parole officer to watch you all that time, and let you go out and prove yourself to the court by your life, and then have the trial after that, and base the verdict on whether your behavior was satisfactory or not."

Now does the difference between these two options sound like nitpicking? In one case you are free from condemnation and with gladness live a life that shows the wisdom and mercy of your Judge. In the other case you have the trial always hanging over your head, and the basis of that future verdict will be your own behavior and whether you have measured up. Brothers and sisters, this is not nitpicking. And understanding the difference – call it theology or call it zucchini or call it Biblical truth – is massively important for your life.

If you don't live your life by reflecting on God and what he has done for you and promises to be for you, you need to change. The book of Romans was not written to be rejected by intuitive personalities. It was written to be understood and applied to daily life with for the glory of Christ.

written by John Piper

 2013/3/16 17:34Profile

Joined: 2009/1/13
Posts: 123

 Re: Justification Must Precede and Empower Sanctification

A great Bible teacher once told me as we were studying Romans,the 4 "A'S".We must Accept our Condemnation,to Appreciate our Justification,to Activate our Sanctification to Anticipate our Glorification.

 2013/3/16 19:34Profile

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