Salvation is Free, But Sanctification Cost, But in a Good Way
As we journey through the realm of Christian faith, we encounter two distinct yet profoundly intertwined concepts: salvation and sanctification. While salvation is often painted as a gracious gift from God, sanctification necessitates unswerving dedication and a relentless commitment on the part of the believer. In this blog, we will embark on an exploration of the differences between these two fundamental principles and endeavor to uncover the sacrifices demanded by sanctification.
Salvation: The Unmerited Gift
Salvation, the bedrock of Christian belief, is frequently characterized as a gift freely given to us by God. It represents our deliverance from sin and its dire consequences, achieved solely through unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible unequivocally affirms that salvation is a manifestation of God's grace to humanity and cannot be earned through our own righteous deeds. Ephesians 2:8-9 firmly states, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."
This gift of salvation is extended to all (all in Greek means all:), regardless of their past transgressions, social status, or deeds. It encompasses the promise of eternal life, the forgiveness of sins, and reconciliation with God through faith in Jesus. This facet of salvation is undeniably free, a testament to the boundless Love and grace of our Creator.
Sanctification: The Never-Ending Journey
Sanctification, in contrast, pertains to the process of becoming holy and mirroring the character of Christ. It embodies the spiritual growth and transformation that follows salvation. Sanctification demands active engagement and cooperation on the part of the believer with the work of the Holy Spirit. This transformative process entails shedding our former selves and adopting a new, virtuous way of living.
Unlike salvation, sanctification is not a one-time occurrence but an enduring journey. It necessitates conscious choices and, at times, profound sacrifices. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, speaks of this journey: "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). This doesn't insinuate that we earn our salvation but underscores the commitment and exertion indispensable for sanctification.
The Price of Sanctification
Sanctification, as the perpetual evolution towards Christ-likeness, undeniably comes at a cost.
Here are some aspects that render sanctification a demanding voyage:
- Self-Denial: Sanctification frequently requires renouncing personal desires, comforts, and habits that run counter to God's will. This journey can be a formidable and, at times, agonizing process.
- Discipleship: The expedition of sanctification mandates unwavering discipleship to Jesus. It calls for diligent study of the Word, fervent prayer, and a readiness to embrace the teachings of Christ, which can be arduous.
- Sacrifices: Sanctification may entail relinquishing certain worldly pleasures, relationships, or ambitions that impede our spiritual growth.
- Perseverance: Spiritual growth isn't always linear; it entails confronting challenges, spiritual droughts, and setbacks. Persevering through these times can impose a substantial cost.
- Accountability: Sanctification often thrives in the presence of accountability, be it through fellow believers or mentors who guide and correct us, even when it is uncomfortable.
Salvation is undoubtedly a gracious gift, a testament to God's unmerited favor, accessible to all through faith in Jesus Christ. However, sanctification, the perpetual process of spiritual growth and transformation, necessitates effort, commitment, and personal sacrifice. While salvation offers eternal life and forgiveness, sanctification molds us into the image of Christ, and this journey may demand a considerable price. It is imperative to acknowledge that the cost of sanctification pales in comparison to the profound and eternal rewards it bestows: an intimate communion with God, a transformed character, and a life that radiates the Love of Christ.
Receive the free gift of salvation by faith in Jesus and get ready for the journey to be more like Christ.
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