This morning I was reminded of something I had read or heard a long time ago, though I can’t recall from where or who. The thought was brought to mind while listening to an elderly preacher speaking about justification, sanctification, and glorification. I taught a lesson a few years back entitled Big Words to help folks better comprehend some of the words we use to explain different parts of theology and this was my finale for that lesson:
“Justification happens when you meet Jesus. Glorification happens when you see Him. Everything that happens in between is sanctification.”
That is undoubtedly the simplest explanation of those terms I’ve yet to come across. It’s also, for the same reason I reckon, the most memorable way, for me at least, of explaining it to someone that doesn’t quite have an understanding of those “big words”.
After the elderly preacher wrapped up the message the pastor made a few closing comments, mostly about justification. He used the illustration, which you may be familiar with, that once we are justified through Christ Jesus it is “just as if I’d” never sinned because we are made righteous by grace, through faith in His perfect and final sacrifice. And it is the individual who decides whether or not to accept this gift, a decision that everyone must make for themselves only.
My mind lit up with thoughts at this point, so much so I laid my iPad aside (yes, I use a tablet in church as well as at home for reading/studying almost exclusively) and grabbed a pen and index card from its case. Writing is a funny thing for me; I could’ve easily switched to the notepad-app and typed my thoughts but I went for the pen and paper instead. I suppose that likely says something about me, though I don’t know what, that I use the iPad in church but out of habit, preference, of something else grabbed a pen and paper to jot down a haiku! At any rate, this is what flowed from my pen:
choosing sin street is
my choice for my life’s journey-
the highway of hope
Life is indeed filled with choices: daily mundane ones and the far less frequent life changing ones. For me, I’m proud to say that I happily and humbly accept that free gift and am constantly learning and growing in this process of sanctification as I await glorification.