MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #1043

Justification and Sanctification

A Sermon on John 1:16


John 1:16 ESV KJV
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (ESV)

Sermon Description

The Christian life is fraught with hardship and even sin. How can the Christian reconcile being made right before God, yet still fight sin? Through this sermon on John 1:16 titled “Justification and Sanctification,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones helps the Christian see the distinction between justification and sanctification. He describes justification as an imputed righteousness. This is your new status before God. This happens all at once, like the removal of old dirty clothes and the dawning of bright new clothes. Sanctification is imparted righteousness. Dr. Lloyd-Jones elaborates that it is not instantaneous like justification, but is much more like a blood transfusion that takes time, eventually becoming the very lifeblood of the recipient. Furthermore, he describes that every Christian is justified to the same extent and has the same legal standing before God. However, not every Christian is equally sanctified. The Christian of thirty years may see more victory over sin than the Christian of thirty days. For the one struggling with sin, know that the standing before God is secured not by their holiness, but by the holiness of Jesus. Moreover, know that in the struggle with sin, the Holy Spirit is working righteousness until they are called home to glory.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Christians receive grace upon grace from Christ's fullness.
  2. It's important to understand the gospel through summaries like 1 Cor 1:30.
  3. Christ is our wisdom - He shows us God's plan of salvation.
  4. Christ is our righteousness - His righteousness is imputed to us. This was a key debate in early Christianity.
  5. We can't divide Christ - we receive all of Him, not just parts.
  6. We must think scripturally, not start with ourselves and our needs. Start with Christ.
  7. We receive Christ's fullness from the moment we are joined to Him.
  8. Christ is our sanctification - He sets us apart and prepares us for God.
  9. Sanctification is God's work of renewing us in His image and enabling us to die to sin and live for righteousness.
  10. Sanctification means being separated from sin to God. It's the process of being prepared for God's presence.
  11. Justification and sanctification must be held together, though distinguished intellectually. They happen together.
  12. Justification is a declaration, sanctification is a process. Justification pardons sin, sanctification subdues it.
  13. All Christians are equally justified, but not equally sanctified. Sanctification admits of degrees.
  14. Justification is complete in this life, sanctification is progressive.
  15. Justification refers to our standing, sanctification to our state. Both must be understood.
  16. Sanctification does not happen automatically or through a single experience. It is a process.
  17. The NT argues for sanctification, it does not just exhort us to have an experience. We are called to action.
  18. Sanctification is a process of growth in grace until we are glorified.

The Book of John

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.