"In justification the basis is the finished work of Jesus Christ; in sanctification it is the finished work of Christ. In justification we must see, acknowledge, and act upon the fact that we cannot save ourselves. In sanctification we must see, acknowledge, and act upon the fact that we cannot live the Christian life in our own strength, or in our own goodness.
In justification the instrument by which we receive the free gift of God is faith, which believes God as he has given us his promises in the Bible. In sanctification the instrument by which we receive the free gift of God is faith, which believes God as he has given us his promises in the Bible. It is exactly the same thing. There is one difference between the practice of justification and sanctification. As justification deals with our guilt, and sanctification deals with the problem of the power of sin in our lives as Christians, justification is once for all, and the Christian life is moment by moment. There is this a difference in that one deals with the guilt of my sin, and the other deals with the power of sin in my life.
If we are Christians, we have understood and acted upon the finished work of Christ once for all at our justification, and our guilt is gone forever. Now let us understand and act upon the practice of that same work moment by moment in our present lives.
Let me repeat: the only difference in the practice is that in justification it is once for all, and the Christian life is lived moment by moment. The Christian life is acting moment by moment on the same principle, and in the same way, as I acted at the moment of my justification." (Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality, Chapter 7: The Fruitful Bride)
Secondarily to the Bible itself, I consider True Spirituality to be among the most important and influential books in my own life. I first read True Spirituality years ago, and for many years it collected dust on my shelf. A few years ago I read it again and realized Schaeffer was articulating many conclusions and thoughts about the Christian life that, over the years, I was coming to see more clearly. Whatever I did or did not understand when I first read True Spirituality many years ago, Biblical seeds were planted that, unknown to myself, over those years were bearing fruit in my mind, heart, and life.
Sola Deo Gloria,
~ The Billy Goat ~