Navigation: This page ''
---> Main Page ---> Author. Contact. About Page.

Justification and Sanctification:
I Corinthians 1:30

Traditional evangelical doctrine over the past century has emphasised justification and sanctification. Justification is the change of state, being redeemed, to being made acceptable with God by the death of Christ, and is appropriated simply by faith, not by any qualities we possess or by good works or rituals. Sanctification is the process of being made more and more holy, or like Christ, and occurs by the activity of the Holy Spirit and our response to Him. Those two things are seen to be the two main ones, indeed the only two that matter, in many evangelical circles.

But the other day I discovered I Corinthians 1:30-31:

"It is because of him [God] that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: 'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.'" [NIV]

"But of him [God] are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." [KJV]

Justification (redemption) and sanctification are set alongside wisdom and righteousness. What does this mean? It suggests that justification and sanctification are not the only things God is interested in with us.

Notice: Justification and sanctification are to do with individuals and their relationship with God. Wisdom and righteousness are to do with our relationship with the whole creation under God. (See page that explains how righeousness and justice are both the same root word in both Greek and Hebrew.)

So perhaps, as important as justification and sanctification are, our righteousness ("right relationships among all things in the Created order" [Paul Marshall]) and wisdom are just as important.

We often think of justification as occurring before sanctification; notice the order in I Corinthians 1:30 in reverse: redemption/justification, sanctification, righteousness, wisdom.

Should sanctification lead onto those two?

Should holiness not be an end in itself, but lead on to right relationships with all creation, and then wisdom?

If justification and sanctification are 'two dimensions of salvation', perhaps there is a third (and fourth?) dimensions of salvation? At this point, why not turn to the page on Three Dimensions of Salvation?

See also Three Levels of Good and Evil.

This page ("") is offered to God as on-going work. Comments, queries welcome.

Copyright (c) Andrew Basden at all dates below. But you may use this material subject to certain conditions.

Part of his pages, that open up discussion and exploration from a Christian ('xn') perspective. Written on the Amiga with Protext.

Created: 15 January 2017. Last updated: 21 October 2018 three.levels link, smalls.