The Forgotten Grace of Sanctification
The word “salvation” is difficult to translate into English. It has three meanings—all at the same time—that must be remembered each time the word is used.
“Salvation” literally means “We have been saved. We are being saved. We will be saved.” The single word in Greek holds three theological realities: justification, sanctification, and glorification.
Let me break it down:
- Justification is the moment we confess our sin and declare Jesus is our Lord.
- Glorification is the moment when we join Christ and all the saints in heaven, when the work of Christ is completed in us. In that moment, we’ll be like Him.
- Sanctification is the daily process of becoming more and more like Christ.
Honestly, most of us are so excited our sins have been forgiven and wondering what heaven will be like that we forget the Spirit’s daily work in us. Our thinking is to confess Christ and then just hang on until we get to heaven.
But there’s more to salvation than that. Jesus loves us so much He won’t leave us in our sin. And not only that, He wants to heal us from all of sins damage.
Day by day, as we grow closer to Him, our desires are healed so that we only want what He wants. Our thoughts are healed so that we think only what He thinks. Our love is healed so that we love only what He loves.
It’s a slow and tedious process, but we must remember how much work there is to do in us to shape us into the image of Christ.
As we pray, the Spirit guides us in making decisions that allow the image of Christ to be formed in us. Yes, there are a lot of decisions, but each one either takes us closer to Christ or further away from Him.
That’s why Jesus walked so much. It made it easier for His followers to keep up with Him. Step by step. Day by day.