Defining and describing justification and sanctification
So, what does the road to heaven actually look like? If you look across the wide spectrum of Christian beliefs you will find far more variety in the answer than you might have thought. You would expect all of the answers to include believing in Jesus - and that's a good start. However, the Bible gives us several other qualifiers for being on the road to heaven, and this is where the confusion begins. The fact is, going to heaven is NOT merely about what one believes. As a matter of fact, being on this journey is not something we can just one day decide to do! Heaven IS possible, but what steps must be taken?
God’s plan can be explained by understanding the biblical meaning of six words. While these words reflect the journey to heaven, they also reveal so much more. SALVATION is first on the list. It describes the overall picture of God’s plan. God knew sin would arrive through the influence of Satan and that His human creation would suffer its terrible consequences. Because God knew this all ahead of time, He also had a plan in place to counteract the deadly effects of sin. His was a plan of SALVATION. This plan that would satisfy justice and bring his human family back to the opportunity for eternal life. By understanding what this first word means, we begin to understand the mind of God.
Redemption and Justification
So, what about heaven? We all know God’s plan provided Jesus as the ransom price for the sin of Adam. This has to do with REDEMPTION, the second of the six words you'll have to listen to podcast to hear about. Jesus did far more than simply pay the price for Adam. In accordance with God’s will, he drew followers to him who would be willing to live lives of sacrifice as he did. To these he promised the opportunity of a heavenly reward. No follower could be considered for this privilege unless they were first called by God to JUSTIFICATION, the third word on the list. Christianity uses this word as a basis for going to heaven.
JUSTIFICATION in the Bible is unique. Today when we say someone has justification for doing something, we mean they have ample reasons behind them. We don’t necessarily agree that their reasons are absolutely righteous, but we acknowledge they are actionable. On the contrary, to be justified in the Bible is to be made right before God. This is only possible because of the ransom of Jesus.
Does this mean when we are justified we are acceptable in God’s sight? What about SANCTIFICATION? What does it mean? How does it fit in with being right in God’s eyes? Check out our January 13, 2020 podcast, “What Three Steps Will Get Us to Heaven? (Part 1)” for more. Then head over to Part 2 for the full picture. We decipher these life-giving words, put them in context and clearly lay out how the pieces fit together. Following the heavenly call is a life-long endeavor. Why not find out how it all works?
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