The Faith I Live By

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Sanctification the Work of a Lifetime, April 20

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. John 17:19. FLB 116.1

The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven. FLB 116.2

Many commit the error of trying to define minutely the fine points of distinction between justification and sanctification. Into the definitions of these two terms they often bring their own ideas and speculations. Why try to be more minute than is Inspiration on the vital question of righteousness by faith? FLB 116.3

As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christ's atonement in his behalf, and accepts this atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. FLB 116.4

Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ. Wrongs cannot be righted nor reformations wrought in the character by feeble, intermittent efforts. It is only by long, persevering effort, sore discipline, and stern conflict, that we shall overcome. FLB 116.5

It [sanctification] is not merely a theory, an emotion, or a form of words, but a living, active principle, entering into the everyday life. It requires that our habits of eating, drinking, and dressing be such as to secure the preservation of physical, mental, and moral health, that we may present to the Lord our bodies—not an offering corrupted by wrong habits but—“a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” FLB 116.6

The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character.... If studied and obeyed, the Word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. FLB 116.7

There is no such thing as instantaneous sanctification. True sanctification is a daily work, continuing as long as life shall last. FLB 116.8