This article is the second part of John Murray’s order of redemption continuing with sanctification and concluding with glorification. As a refresher, the order follows these eight steps. The concept of union with Christ is covered as a bonus at the end.
Effectual calling -> regeneration -> faith / repentance -> justification -> adoption -> sanctification -> perseverance -> glorification
5. Sanctification: the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness. The process begins with regeneration and is grounded in justification. Its aim is to eliminate all sin and achieve complete conformity to the image of God’s Son in knowledge, righteousness and holiness. Sanctification involves the concentration of thought, of interest, of heart, mind, will and purpose upon the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus and the engagement of our whole being with those means which God has instituted for the attainment of that destination.
- Recognition of sin and conflict with it
- Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? – Romans 7:24
- I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes. – Job 42:5-6
- Sin is not master of us
- Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness… But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,… But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. – Romans 6:12-13, 17, 22
- Progressive maturation into Christ’s likeness
- Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. – Philippians 2:12-13
- And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. – Philippians 1:9-11
6. Perseverance: a guarantee that the persons given to Jesus shall continue in Him unto death and cannot be snatched away.
- and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. – Matthew 10:22
- All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. or I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. – John 6:37-39
- I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”- John 10:28-30
- In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:13-14
7. Glorification (immortality): it is the attainment of the goal to which the elect of God were predestined in the eternal purpose of the Father and it the consummation of the redemption secured and procured by the vicarious work of Christ. It occurs at the resurrection of the body, which produces the complete and final restoration of human nature (body and spirit) in conformity to the image of the risen, exalted and glorified Redeemer’s glorified human nature. It will be an instantaneous change that will take place to the whole company of the redeemed when Christ comes again the second time and will descend from heaven with a shout of triumph over the last enemy bringing the realization of God’s redemptive plan.
- But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. – Philippians 3:20-21
- When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality – 1 Corinthians 15:54a
- even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus – Ephesians 2:5-6
- and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. – Romans 8:17
Bonus topic – Union with Christ: it is the application of the efficacy of His death and in the virtue of His resurrection leading to a deliverance from the power of sin. Union occurs at our calling and binds us to the efficacy and virtue by which we are sanctified with the ultimate fruition as glorification as Sons of God. We are “in Christ”:
- Elected: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him… In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace – Ephesians 1:3-4, 7
- Redeemed in death and resurrection: But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,- Ephesians 2:4-6
- Created anew: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10
- Christian life: I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge – 1 Corinthians 1:4-5
- Dead: For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. – 1 Thessalonians 4:16
- Glorified: For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. – 1 Corinthians 15:22
- Analogies that illustrate our relationship to being ‘in Him’: building stones and corners tone (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4-5), Adam and humanity (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:19-49), husband and wife (Ephesians 5:22-33), head and other members of body (Ephesians 4:15-16), vine and branches (John 15) and members of the Trinity (John 14:23; 17:21-23)