But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen 2 Peter 3:18
What is a mature Christian? It is one who is Justified, Sanctified, and Glorified. This is what the Apostle Paul was doing with believers at the church in Corinth. These believers were babes in the Lord and were not growing as they should have and this is why he wrote this letter to the Corinthian church.
Too many Christians even today are baby Christians after years of being saved. Christians are to grow and mature in the Lord. These believers were arguing over who was the best preacher, what food to eat, taking believers to court, and the spiritual gifts.
They needed this letter the Apostle wrote to them from Philippi. They also needed to know who they were in Christ. Do you know who you are?
1 - JUSTIFIED
Justified means for a person to be righteous. The scriptures say;
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities as the wind have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6
So, it’s saying man is unrighteous, but he needs to be righteous. So how can that be? It is clear from the scriptures that the unsaved cannot understand these things.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
So how can sinful man obtain what God does require? Man cannot obtain it by living good or being moral. He cannot receive it by being “religious” or by any other means.
ONLY BY FAITH CAN WE BE JUSTIFIED!!
What God demands, God will supply, and he does. God has supplied righteousness for all sinners through his Son the Lord Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who has satisfied God concerning the law of God and has met his approval by dying upon the cross for the sins of the whole world and rising from the dead three days later.
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
So, the righteousness of God is Jesus Christ and it’s clear that he is our righteousness.
Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
The question becomes, how can I as a sinner get the righteousness of God and be justified?
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
So, let’s look at the word justified. It has the same meaning as justification. It means the act of God declaring men free from the guilt of sin and acceptable. It also means to be as if we have never sinned. So today if you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ you are justified and acceptable to God because of your faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
2 - SANCTIFIED
To make holy and set apart for God.
Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
When a person is saved, they no longer belong to themselves. They now have the LORD as their Master. It seems most of us don’t get that at first and some never may.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
1 Corinthians 6:19-21 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
The word holy is used 544 time in our King James Bible. The word references God in its highest application in his purity, majesty and glory. God is holy and set apart or sanctified for he alone is God. There is no blemish or imperfection in Him.
The offering up of Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sin sanctifies and makes us acceptable to God. This one offer of Jesus has forever perfected us before God.
Jude the brother our Lord Jesus said in Jude 1:1;
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
We are not only justified and sanctified, but we are being preserved, Jude says. Believers are sanctified by God and preserved in Jesus Christ. As we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ, and we are sanctified or made holy to do the will of our Lord who redeemed us, we to go about living our lives in this world.
To be sanctified means we do not live like the world around us. We have different goals in life. We want to serve and please the Lord. We want the Lord to use us to reach others who are lost.
I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:14-17
The Apostle Paul writes to the church at Rome in Romans 12:1-2;
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We must remember who we are as God’s people. The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:9-10;
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
To be glorified has to do with honor and to be given dignity;
*We are now son and daughters of God.
*We are now kings and priest of God.
*We are now brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
*We are now citizens of heaven.
*We will receive new bodies to live in forever.
*We have been glorified!!!
The good news is justification, sanctification and glorification are all FREE. The truth is we did not deserve this. It is all by the grace of God whose love for us is infinite. Can you now imagine living in an eternal paradise? Can you fathom living forever where there is no fear, disease, no devil, or anything to bring sorrow or grief! We will be living in a glorified city with our glorious Lord enjoying him, and the saints of all ages. Yes, my friend all who trust in him as their savior will have all of these benefits one day. What a glorious future is awaiting the children of God. Won’t you trust Him today.
Heavenly Father how blessed we are to be called the children of God. All of us who love you look forward to this soon coming day. Please help us to be faithful stewards of the time you have given us to continue to learn & grow in your word. In Jesus’ holy precious name, we pray. Amen. “Loving the Savior” Preacher