What is the difference between Justification and Sanctification?

Author: BibleAsk Team


It is when a person -has been saved- from all past sins when he asks and accepts God’s forgiveness by faith. This is an instant experience. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28).

Faith in Christ means being grateful for what He did for sinners. It implies having a trust in Him without reservation. A Christian is willing to take Him at His word and follow Him. Justification is synonymous with the doctrine of “imputed righteousness.”


It is when a person is -being saved- from the power of sin as he surrenders daily to God and walks in obedience to His word. This is a life time process. “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

Sanctification takes place when a person holds to Christ daily by study of the Word and prayer. “For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:5). Thus, the believer cooperates with God’s power through the work of the Holy Spirit.  The Christian will allow the Lord to do His will in his life. The only way he stops this process is to cut himself off deliberately and disconnect himself from the Lord. Sanctification is synonymous with the doctrine of “imparted righteousness.”


It is when a person -shall be saved- from the presence of sin when Christ comes again. “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day” (2 Thessalonians 1:10).


Therefore, the Christian can properly speak of salvation in three tenses – past, present, and future. He can say, “I have been saved” when he gives his life to the Lord, “I am being saved” as he is walking daily with the Lord. And “I shall be saved” when he reaches the eternal promised land.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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