The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Justification and Sanctification — Both by Faith!

Justification and sanctification, although they have some things in common, are, nevertheless, to be regarded, as different from each other. Justification, while it does not exclude the present, has special reference to the past. Sanctification, on the contrary, taking up the work, which justification has begun, has a more distinct reference to the present and the future. And accordingly, the one may be supposed to inquire, how the sins, which have been committed in times past, shall be forgiven; while it is the office of the other to inquire, how we shall be kept from sin at the present moment and in time to come. Or, stating the distinction between them in a little different manner, we may perhaps say, that justification removes the condemnatory power or guilt of sin, while sanctification removes the power of sin itself. The one pardons; the other purifies. The one takes away guilt; the other takes away transgression. The one commences the union with God by forgiveness; the other continues it by securing conformity to the divine will. The one is incipient, and terminates in a particular result; the other may be said to be progressive without end.

There can be no doubt, therefore, that justification and sanctification differ from each other. At the same time, it seems to be equally true that in some respects they are closely allied, and sustain a near resemblance. And in particular, they both come into existence, and are both sustained, in connection with the same mighty principle, viz.: by faith. The doctrine of justification by faith may be regarded as a doctrine generally conceded and settled. And when the subject has been fully examined, we cannot well doubt, that the doctrine of sanctification in the same manner, viz.  by faith, will be conceded and established with equal weight of evidence, and with equal unanimity of opinion. We begin to live by faith; and we continue to live in the same methods, which made the beginning. We received forgiveness in the first instance by faith; and in the reception of any and every spiritual favor, which may be necessary in our further progress, and which may properly be included under the general grace of sanctification, we need the same faith.

“Christ has truly loved me,” says Hermann Francke, “and washed me in his blood, so that my salvation is rendered sure, through grace. My beginning, progress, and ending, is by FAITH in Jesus Christ. When I feel my utter inability, and acknowledge that I can do nothing of myself, and cast myself upon his mercy alone, I feel a new power of communication to my soul. I do not seek to be justified in one way, and sanctified in another.” [Memoirs of Augustus Hermann Francke, Chap. 2d.]

— edited from The Life of Faith Part 1, Chapter 9.

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