Larger Catechism 77. Q. “In what ways do justification and sanctification differ?”
A. “Even though justification and sanctification are inseparably joined together,
yet they do differ.
In justification, God imputes the righteousness of Christ to us.
In sanctification, his Spirit implants grace in us and enables us to exercise it.
In justification, God pardons our sin.
In sanctification, God subdues our sin.
In justification, God sets all believers equally and perfectly free in this life from the revenging wrath of God so that we will never fall into condemnation.
In sanctification, God’s work is neither equal in all believers, nor is it perfect in any in this life; instead, it keeps growing up to perfection.”
(paraphrased into modern English)
How are justification and sanctification alike?
1. Justification and sanctification are inseparably joined together. There is no such thing as justification without sanctification, and there is no such thing as sanctification without justification. If you receive one, you also receive the other.
2. God is the author and worker of both justification and sanctification.
3. God grants both justification and sanctification as free gifts of his grace in Christ.
How do justification and sanctification differ?
|Justification is:||Sanctification is:|
|1. God’s definitive act of free grace for us; it is his changing our legal status.||1. God’s ongoing work of free grace in us; it is his changing our personal character.|
|2. A definitive act by which the Father imputes Christ righteousness to us.||2. An ongoing work by which the Holy Spirit works Christ’s grace in us.|
|3. A definitive act by which God forgives
all our sin.
|3. An ongoing work by which God subdues all our sin.|
|4. Total and equal in all believers.||4. Different in degree in different believers.|
|5. Complete and perfect in this life.||5. Incomplete and imperfect in this life.|
|6. God’s judicial verdict by which he sets us free from condemnation and awards us eternal life.||6. God’s transforming work by which he delivers us from our sins and grants us growth into Christ’s likeness.|