There are four vital words which help us to better understand the salvation process: (1) mortification, (2) justification, (3) sanctification and (4) glorification. These words emphasize certain parts of the redemption process. In the Bible there is a connection between our unity with Christ and salvation (Romans 6:1-6; Ephesians 1:7). This unity with Christ results in some rather dramatic changes. Let us examine the meanings of these four words to better understand the part they play in our salvation.
- Mortification means, "to put to death." In order to follow Christ we must be willing to die to the world by putting to death the desires of the flesh. We must slay those earthly passions which war against our righteousness. We need to understand that these lusts belong to our old life and should have no part in our new life as a child of God. We are commanded in God's word to deal with these sinful desires by putting them to death (Colossians 3:5; Romans 8:13; Romans 6:3). Nothing is more characteristic of a genuine Christian than having put these past sinful ways to death. However, we must realize that mortification (putting to death our sinful ways) will continue to be an ongoing process. We will face new challenges each and every day as the devil tries to rob us of our righteousness.
- Justification is God declaring that we are "not guilty" we are "innocent" (Romans 5:1). We are justified when our active, working faith obeys God's plan of salvation (Romans 10:17; John 8:24; Luke 13:3; Matthew 10:32-33; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-19). Some teach that we are saved by faith alone, but the Bible teaches that faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Justification does not describe a change in our behavior or desire as much as it describes the change in our standing before God.
- Sanctification is the word that describes our character change. This change occurs when we follow the teachings found in God's word. It continues until the end of our lives as we submit to the teachings of the Bible. The word sanctification has reference to being "separated to God" and living lives of "holiness" and "purity" (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). God's will (desire) is for our sanctification. He wants us to live lives of holiness and purity. However, our will is sometimes in conflict with God's will. Every Christian is engaged in an ongoing battle against succumbing to temptation (Romans 7:15).
- Glorification means to be made glorious, to be honored or praised. As we battle against sin we should expect that our victories will greatly outnumber our defeats. It is encouraging to know that the battle between good and evil is already decided (Revelation 12:9). God's word assures us that victory will come to the faithful Christian (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).
These four words help us to understand the salvation process: (1) mortification, (2) justification, (3) sanctification and (4) glorification. The Bible teaches us that justification and glorification are God's work while we must focus on mortification and sanctification. Let us put to death the sin in our lives and choose to live in holiness, purity and righteousness.
The WVBS Online Bible School has no statement of faith, creed book or religious manual. The only statement of a Christian's faith which is needed is the Bible. If a statement of faith says less than the Bible it has left something out. If a statement of faith says more than the Bible it has added to God's word (Revelation 22:18-19). Let us abandon the opinions of men and seek to practice and teach only that which is found in God's word. The staff of the school is composed of Christians seeking to teach others about the Bible. The material produced is designed to be used by anybody seeking a greater understanding of God's word.
The goal of the school is to serve God and His people by doing His will to the best of our ability. We have a genuine desire to glorify the Father, His beloved Son, His word and His blood-bought church and not to glorify ourselves or any other men.