Justified to be Sanctified

“Religion claims that sanctification justifies me. Gospel claims that justification enables sanctification.” Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church

What a striking statement! So much of what we struggle with as Christians is staked in this simple truth. How many times are we doubtful of the hand of God in our lives? How often do we speculate God’s sanctifying work? And how many times do we run to “doing good” in order to “feel good”. For Christians, it’s all too often that we forget God is bringing into completion every good work that he has started in us (Philippians 1:6). We all too often forget that we are his workmanship, and not a work that is waiting for us to complete. We all too often forget that it’s not our continual effort that will make us any more righteous before God, but that we are as righteous as we can be, through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ that was poured for us. And we all too often forget that it’s not our works that will make us any better, but we are made better so that we can work. Our justification enables our sanctification. Don’t get the two mixed up. The order is of greater importance than we think. It’s the difference between Religion and the Gospel. As we are made right in the eyes of God, we are then enabled to do right before Him, not the converse.

“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” The Apostle Paul, Philippians 1:6

The Difference between Religion and the Gospel by Mark Driscoll

Religion says, if I obey, God will love me.
Gospel says, because God loves me, I can obey.
Religion has good people & bad people.
Gospel has only repentant and unrepentant people.
Religion values a birth family.
Gospel values a new birth.
Religion depends on what I do.
Gospel depends on what Jesus has done.
Religion claims that sanctification justifies me.
Gospel claims that justification enables sanctification.
Religion has the goal to get from God.
Gospel has the goal to get God.
Religion sees hardships as punishment for sin.
Gospel sees hardship as sanctified affliction.
Religion is about me.
Gospel is about Jesus.
Religion believes appearing as a good person is the key.
Gospel believes that being honest is the key.
Religion has an uncertainty of standing before God.
Gospel has certainty based upon Jesus’ work.
Religion sees Jesus as the means.
Gospel sees Jesus as the end.
Religion ends in pride or despair.
Gospel ends in humble joy.

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2 Comments on “Justified to be Sanctified”

  1. Chris says:

    First off – I’m a fan of Driscoll and have many hours of his sermons on my ipod. I’ve learned a lot listening to him. I’m kind of new to him and really studying the bible so bear with me. I watched this video from a nightline interview and have a few questions. Your post above makes sense to me about justification and santification but on the video ‘they’ say he believes in predetermination. Does this mean that he believes that some people are predetermined from birth to go to hell? If this is so, some won’t be able to turn to Jesus and be saved?

    • Dan Ko says:

      yea, without putting words in his mouth, I’d safely assume he holds to the Calvinist position of predestination. I’m not sure if that’s in the form of double-predestination (predestined for heaven AND predestined for hell) or single-predestination (predestined for salvation), but that i’d leave up to him (i didn’t watch the video). a calvinist understanding of god’s sovereignty would lead us to believe that he ordains those who are elect and those who are not (whether this is true, there are biblical evidences for/against this, so you should do your own hw). suffice it to say, god is all-knowing, therefore, if we hold to that, we logically could conclude that he predestines. great questions though! 🙂


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