More Than Just Forgiveness of Sins

J.C. Ryle Imageby J.C. Ryle

He who supposes that Jesus Christ only lived and died and rose again in order to provide justification and forgiveness of sins for His people has yet much to learn. Whether he knows it or not, he is dishonoring our blessed Lord and making Him only a half Saviour. The Lord Jesus has undertaken everything that His people’s souls require: not only to deliver them from the guilt of their sins by His atoning death, but from the dominion of their sins, by placing in their hearts the Holy Spirit; not only to justify them, but also to sanctify them. He is, thus, not only their “righteousness,” but their “sanctification” (1Co 1:30).

Let us hear what the Bible says:

“For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified.”

“Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it.”

“Christ . . . gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

“Christ . . . bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.”

Christ “hath . . . reconciled [you] in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight”

(John 17:19; Ephesians 5:25-26; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24; Colossians 1:22).

Let the meaning of these five texts be carefully considered. If words mean anything, they teach that Christ undertakes the sanctification, no less than the justification, of His believing people. Both are alike provided for in that “everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure,” of which the Mediator is Christ. In fact, Christ in one place is called “He that sanctifieth,” and His people “they who are sanctified” (Heb 2:11).

by J.C. Ryle