The Difference Between Justification and Sanctification
Romans 8:3-4 #101
December 11, 2011 Charles e Whisnant, Pastor-Teacher-Theologian-Student
3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4That the righteousness1345 of the law3551 might be fulfilled4137 in us, who walk4043 not after the flesh2596, but after2596 the Spirit4151.
“So that the righteous requirement of the law to be satisfied of what the Law demands and be performed in us, to those who do not live by fleshly ways but in a spiritual way.”
So that (In order that) (2443) (hina)
1B Is a purpose statement (purpose clause) clearly linking verse 4 with the truth Paul has just explained in 8:3 (In Greek verses 3 and 4 are in one sentence).
2B In short, he is explaining the purpose of the death of Christ, which is the fulfillment of the righteous requirement of the Law in believers who walk after the Spirit.
3B Now what is the relationship between this justified state and our being freed from the slavery of sin (sanctification)?
- Vs. 4 describes the fulfillment of the law “in us” (not just for us), and therefore refers to the real practical progress of sanctification (“in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”).
- The logical relationship with vs. 3 (justification) is that vs. 4 (sanctification) results from and is the purpose of verse 3.
- “[God] condemned sin in the flesh (v 3b), so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us. (8:4a)”
4B In other words, our union with Christ in His death for us secures our justification, which then leads, as a result, to our moral transformation , progressive sanctification.
1B Refers to what God has declared to be right – His righteous demands. He is Holy and has the right to make righteous demands.
“Righteousness“1345 of thelaw3551 means “righteous requirements.” The law has certain righteous requirements.
1B The law demands and requires that a person live a righteous life of loving God (perfectly) and loving one’s neighbor (perfectly).
2B How can I fulfill what the law requires? How can I keep the law?
1C The Person and Power of the Holy Spirit makes this possible.
2C Note carefully that the verse does not say “by us“, it says “in us“!
3C This is something God does IN ME by His power and by His Working and by His Spirit!
3B The law requires that I LOVE GOD and LOVE MY NEIGHBOR. Matthew 22:36-40 These two commandments summarize not only the Ten Commandments but all of God’s commandments.
4B I cannot keep the law by trying to keep the law. A sinner cannot keep God’s holy law. It is impossible. Even a “regenerated sinner” = a believer cannot do this.
5B “How to perform that which is good (the keeping of God’s law) I find not” Romans 7:18
The key to fulfilling the law is LOVE. Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14.
- The key to having LOVE is a Spirit-filled walk. Galatians 5:13-23 and Romans 8:4
- The Spirit of God thus produces this LOVE in me. Galatians 5:22. I cannot but He can!
- If a person is walking according to the Spirit, then God is at work in Him producing that righteous life.
- We are His workmanship Ephesians 2:10! It’s impossible for me, that is my flesh, to keep God’s law. It’s impossible for God in me (when I allow Him to do His work) not to keep the law! What the flesh could never do, God can do
1B The Law demands and requires that a person live a righteous life of loving God (perfectly) and loving one’s neighbor (perfectly).
2B How can I fulfill what the law requires? How can I fulfill the law?
1C The Person and Power of the Holy Spirit makes this possible (The passive voice speaks of an external power, the “divine” passive = God’s power).
2C In other words, this fulfillment or accomplishment is something God does in me by His power and by His Working and by His Spirit!
What God demands, we could not do. But praise God that what God demands, He supplies.
Who walk4043 not after the flesh2596, but after2596 the Spirit4151.
1B Refers to the bent of life of the believer. He is the one who walks after the Spirit as the pattern of his life; service of sin does not characterize him . Is the best biblical term for the believer’s responsibility in the Christian life.
So my question is: How do we fulfill the requirement of the law? And specifically how can any of my “walking” by the Spirit – which is always imperfect in this life – be said to fulfill God’s law which is holy and just and good. Since when does God’s holy law and divine standard say, “Pretty good will do”? What I would like to do is answer this question summary of the relationship of the Christian to the Law in 12 Thesis so that we can clarify our overall position and then move ahead into Romans 8 without having to rebuild these things over and over.