Justification and Sanctification

One question I received was the difference between justification and sanctification. These are both big
“churchy” words, but they are full of deep meaning for Christians. Justification is our legal state before God.
Because of Christ we are justified. One preacher commented that when Jesus justifies us, He makes it “just as if
I” never sinned. That’s pretty accurate. Justification means to give us the standing before God as pure, righteous
and holy.
 
Yet one of the deep mysteries of the faith is the idea of “already, but not yet”. We are perfect, but we are
being made perfect. We are holy, but we are being made holy. God declares us as something, and gives us that
“legal” standing before him, while we know we are not yet what he claims. God sees us as holy, but we are
keenly aware of our sinfulness.
 
Sanctification is the process of being made holy. God is making us more like Him. We are already
justified, and we are being sanctified. Sanctification is a process that will last until our death.