What is Salvation?

Justification + Sanctification + Glorification = Complete Salvation

“And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Messiah Yeshua and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

“And those he predestined, he also called; he also justified, those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:30).

The first time we heard the terms justification, sanctification and glorification used together as complete salvation,  we knew that this was a foundational Truth that had been missing in all the churches we had attended.  We always heard the justified message of “be born again” or “be saved”.  However, we always wondered, ‘then what?’  Answers always came in the form of  “Jesus is all we need”.  When discussing justification, this is absolutely true.  Jesus’ sacrificial death is the only way a sinner is justified before God and made righteous.   But what about the world seeing us and our lives as different from them?  What do we have that is different and sets us apart?  The same answer came in the same form “All we need in Jesus.”

We were also taught that sanctification is given at the same moment we are justified.  Rather than teaching justification and sanctification as two different parts of a believer’s walk as they are defined in Scripture, sanctification became lost in a ‘grace’ church doctrine and sin became justified rather than the sinful person.  Lifestyles to not suddenly become sanctified becomes someone claims to know Jesus.  Just look around.  Many claim to know him, but walk in the defeat of sin.  So how are we sanctified?  What sanctifies us?  And for what purpose are we sanctified?

Glorification was never taught except in the concept of  “Now we’re saved and we’re going to be caught up in the clouds with Jesus and be in heaven.   This can happen at any moment, so be ready.”   How does one ‘get ready’ if they already have Jesus? What does it mean ‘be ready’?   And, what happens between the moment a person is born again and goes suddenly into the clouds.  For most believers,  the time between being born again and this pie in the sky meeting of the Lord includes the rest of  our lives.


“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Messiah Yeshua. … For we maintain that a man is justified by faith …” (Romans 3:23, 27-28).

The word justify means to show or provide adequate reason for something.  For example, when a culture says that something is okay, the church finds ways to accept the same behavior.  Two generations ago, fornication was a sin; today it is acceptable.  In this generation, homosexuality is being transformed by the culture as a lifestyle when God calls it an abomination.  When it comes to sins like like these, we cannot justify them or ourselves before God.   There is nothing we can say or do that excuses or justifies our sinful behavior to Him.  We are rebellious people. Period.    We can stand before God and make rationalizations for our sinful ways, but they will never justify us in presence of a holy God who made the wage for sin, death.

Fig leaves never justified Adam’s sin just as we can never do, perform, or make what it takes to be justified before God.  Many times we try to justify our sins by saying that certain things in Scripture are not for us today or that ‘we’re not convicted of something yet’, but our rationalizations for our sinful selves  are nothing more than our own fig leaves.  It is us, our inner man, who needs to be justified.

“God made him who had no sin to a sin offering for us …” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

God became flesh in Yeshua and Yeshua lived a sinless life.   He paid the death wage of sin for us and  became our sin offering.   In return we received life, abundant in the present and eternal in the coming Kingdom.   Putting our faith in Yeshua’s blood and his death the cross is the only justification we have before God.  There is no other way; no other religion that offers freedom from sin by faith.   Justification is by faith alone in Messiah Yeshua.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Messiah Yeshua” (Romans 5:1).

“You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone” (James 2:24).

This last verse seems to contradict all the others. What is James trying to say?


The word ‘sanctify’ comes from the Greek word hagios and  means ‘separation’. This is a very different meaning from justify.  By faith we are justified before God and can stand in his presence.   After we are justified, we then enter a life of sanctification where what we do sets us apart as God’s children who grow in maturity.  The word ‘saint’ comes from the word ‘sanctify’.  Holy or kadosh in Hebrew has the same meaning: to set apart for sacred use, consecrate, make holy, purify.

“Yeshua says, “Sanctify them by the truth; your Word is Truth” (John 17:17).

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Messiah Yeshua” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

These two verses are quite explicit.  First, The WORD sanctifies us and sets us apart as God’s people – His saints.  Through the Word we learn and know what God desires us to do and not to do.  When we obey His Word, we become set apart for Him and are sanctified.

Sanctification doesn’t occur just in our spirits, but in our souls and bodies as well.   This means that our emotions and our physical bodies should be set apart for His glory and His purpose as well.   The more we seek to do this, the more we study God’s Word and know His Ways, we become sanctified.

“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the Truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

This verse says we’re ‘saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and belief in the Truth.’  Remember,  Yeshua says “Your Word is Truth”.   How does the Word as Truth sanctify us?

“Who [You]  have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Messiah Yeshua … (1 Peter 1:2).

Sanctification is the working of the Spirit of God in our lives in order that we might live in obedience to Yeshua.   Yeshua is the Word in the flesh according to John 1:14.   So the Spirit of God and the Word work together to sanctify us on a daily basis.    When we obey the Word [Yeshua], we receive the Spirit.  Our obedience, our sanctified lifestyle,  is proof that the Spirit of God lives in us, convicts us and transforms us into His holy people.

How do we receive the work of the Spirit?

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth” (John 14:15).

“Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that the lives in us:  We know it by the Spirit he gave us” (1 John 3:24).

These verses say that when we love Yeshua and obey his commands then he asks his Father to send the Spirit to live in us as a Counselor.  If we do not obey the commands of Yeshua’s Father and ultimately our Father, then Yeshua doesn’t ask for us to receive the Spirit.  It follows then that there is no evidence that God’s Spirit lives in us and we don’t live in the Truth.    It is only through the Spirit of God that we are sanctified and made holy unto the LORD.

The Commands

Since we are to believe that Yeshua is the visible image of God and also the Word in the flesh, we must also believe that all the commands given by God, spoken by Him, written by Him, inspired by Him, were and are Yeshua.  This means that all the commands found in the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings and the Apostles are for us to obey.  Whatever we choose to dismiss or consider irrelevant for our lives and disobey means that we will not receive the Spirit of Truth about those things.   However, those things which we do by faith and obey, the Spirit will guide us into all Truth and we will gain understanding about those things.

The best way to obey Yeshua is to live like him.  Yeshua never broke one command of the Father; in fact he taught that those who teach others to obey the commands will be great in the Kingdom; those who teach others to break the least of the commands will be least in the Kingdom (Matthew 5:17).    If we imitate Him in our lives, we will not only obey the commands, but be sanctified and set apart as he was.  This means we have to reflect on everything we do in light of the Scriptures and change our lifestyles rather than justify our ways through deceptions.

“Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.  But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them.  This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must live as Yeshua did” (1 John 2:4-6).

Adoption into a Family

As believers, we are adopted into the family of God.  As such, we are to look like members of His household and this is attained through sanctification.  For example, an adopted child has a lifestyle and ways that may be contrary to their new  family.  If we adopt an adolescent child from an orphanage, they will not resemble our family or  know our way of life.  When they become a son or daughter to us, they will have to conform into the image of our family taking on the lifestyle of our family and abide by our family rules.  If they choose to obey, there will be peace between siblings within the family unit. If they choose not to obey, they will still be a member of our family due to the ‘adoption law’, but when they go out into the world, they will not be recognized as a family member.  They may have our name, but will not honor us causing grief and pain for the entire household.

When we are born again in to the Kingdom of God,  we become full members of God’s household were removed.    We become heirs with God’s other children.  We take on His name, His family, and His outline for living.   We are to live our lives in obedience showing the world  that we have been adopted into the family of God.   This is sanctification and is a lifelong process.

“Look, I am coming soon. My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done” (Revelation 22:12).

There are eternal rewards given for what we do in our lifetime walk of sanctification.  How much we ‘count the cost’ and walk in the sanctifying work of the Spirit determines our reward in the Kingdom of God.  We are either ‘saved’ by the skin of our teeth as one escaping the lake of fire or we are wholly and purposefully committed to serving the Messiah and gain the rewards that come with Him.


“And those he predestined, he also called those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:30).

The definition of ‘glorification’ is  ‘to give glory, honor, or high praise, to exalt.’ Glorification is the culmination of our salvation when we are completely redeemed and resurrected with a new immortal body.  When the redemption of our bodies is complete and we are completed transformed into the image of Messiah, we will assemble before Yahweh Elohim to praise, honor and magnify Him for all eternity.

Revelation gives a glimpse of the glorification of the saints.  There are those who glorify him through robes washed in the blood of the Lamb holding palm branches and shouting ‘salvation belongs to our God’ (Revelation 7:9).  There are those who receive “fine linen, bright and clean to wear” which stands for the righteous acts of the saints (Revelation 19:8).   There are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Matthew 8:11, Revelation 19:9).

Our glorification will ultimately be the Yahweh’s glorification.  His sovereignty through His mercy and justice will be revealed in an unparalleled manner. The gathering of the glorified Body of Messiah will be an event unlike anything ever witnessed in all of Yahweh’s creation.  The praise and worship will be like nothing that has happened before in all of creation.  This is our hope; this is our vision for eternity and the restoration of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

“On the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people (saints) and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.   This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you” (2 Thessalonians 1:10).

Justification, sanctification, and glorification are all parts of complete salvation.  Each one is a step into maturity and walking in the life of the Spirit.  “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Messiah (justification) and be taken forward (sanctification) to maturity (glorification), not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death (useless traditions of men), and of faith in God, instructions about immersions (baptisms, cleansing rites), the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.  And God permitting, we will do so” (Hebrews 6:1-3).

©2010 Tent Stake Ministries

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