Finis Jennings Dake
When Are Men Justified?
The words "justify" and "justification" are used 64 times in the Bible and not once is it stated that justification comes
before sanctification, either in the initial act of making holy or in the process of sanctification and justification throughout
life. Not once does the Bible state there is a time element between these two phases of salvation. Just the opposite is
taught in Scripture. Men are justified:
Justification is spoken of as the last phase of salvation that makes holy in the initial state of sanctification, that makes
clear before God, and that clears the record of everything God has against us. It is spoken of as the final settlement of
differences between men. It is used of men justifying God; that is, clearing God of all blame (Psalm 51:4; Luke 7:29;
Romans 3:26). It is used of people who justify themselves when they think they are not guilty. Thus, justification of man
by God simply means that when God washes and sanctifies a sinner, He declares him not guilty (I Corinthians 6:9-11;
Acts 13:38-39). God could not declare any man not guilty who has not been sanctified and cleansed from all sin,
including inbred sin. As long as the old man or the spirit of the devil is in a man he is still guilty and condemned.
Sanctification Comes Before Justification
1) Paul definitely states that a man is washed and sanctified before he is justified. (see point one above). It was the
Holy Spirit was speaking through Paul (I Corinthians 6:11). God knows the true order of His own work.
2) Justification naturally follows sanctification, even if there is a fraction of a second between them, for sanctification is
the setting apart of a man to be made holy by God and justification is the act of declaring the man holy after he is
sanctified. Sanctification is a change of service from Satan to God (Acts 26:18), while justification is a change of state
from sin to holiness, and a new standing before God. Sanctification in the initial stage is that of separation and
cleansing the sinner who sanctifies and separates himself from sin and turns to God. Justification, in the initial act, is
that of declaring a sinner righteous. Sanctification makes the sinner not guilty, and justification declares him not guilty.
Sanctification is more the act of a man being made righteous and holy by separation unto God, and justification is more
the act of acceptance of a man as being holy and a full citizen of Heaven.
God cannot justify a man until He has sanctified and cleansed him of all sin. He could not legally declare a man not
guilty who is still guilty of the least sin, much less should he have the old man, the biggest part of sin, in him. God
cannot tolerate half-heartedness in choice and service. He requires our all in obeying the moral law. He accepts
nothing as virtue but entire obedience to His law. Any act contrary to His law is sin, and inbred sin is no exception. He
could not justify a man who is not free from inbred sin and who is not perfectly holy as far as the sin-question is
concerned. He cannot justify a sinner who renders only partial obedience. He would be disqualified as the Moral
Governor if he upheld and justified a man who still had inbred sin or any other sin in him. The law must be repealed
that condemns inbred sin, before God can justify one who is still condemned by being under the control of this sin,
which is the very devil himself working in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1-3). God could not justify a man
who is still bound by the devil and who is still a slave to sin and Satan. One is still in this state who has not been made
free from the law of sin and death, and who has not had the old man crucified and destroyed from dominating his life, as
in Romans 6,7,and 8. If the sinner comes to God to be cleansed from all sin and has consecrated to the limit to get rid
of all sin, and God does not do His part, then He is responsible for sin remaining in man. God would become a party to
man continuing in sin, and this cannot be. God cleanses from all sin when he save, sanctifies, and justifies a man (I
John 1:7-9; 3:7-10; 5:1-18; II Corinthians 5:17).
In civil courts, a transgressor of the law cannot be justified again in the eyes of the law until he has paid the full penalty
or has been declared not guilty. Getting rid of all that the law has against a man is the first thing, then he is
automatically justified. So with a sinner, getting rid of all that God has against him is the first thing and this is what we
call sanctification. Declaring one holy and just in the sight of god is the next thing, and this we call justification. When
one is in this justified state it is as if God had never had anything against him. He is clear before the moral law as one
who has been made clear before civil law.
To argue that the old man is still in the justified man is to say that God does not hold a man guilty of having the old man,
or the devil in him. If he is "not guilty" in this case then there is no inbred sin to cleanse by a further work of grace. If he
does have inbred sin during the days, months, or years between the two works of grace, then he could not possibly be
justified until the last work of grace that cleanses from sin. If he could be justified while having inbred sin, or the devil in
him, then he is not held responsible for this, as God does not hold it against him, and therefore, there is no need of
ever getting rid of it. Hence, there is no need of ever getting a special work of grace to get rid of the biggest part of sin
in the believer, or to get rid of something God never holds against him.
In the continued aspect of redemption, sanctification is the constant perfecting of life and conduct as one continues to
separate himself to a life of holiness. Justification is the continued imputation of God's righteousness as the believer
walks in the light and in the sanctified and justified state. Sanctification is the continued citizenship in God's kingdom
through continuous consecration to complete obedience to the law and will of God, while continued justification is the
state of acquittal of all condemnation and the declaration of full citizenship. Continued sanctification is the process of
keeping holy (after the initial act of making holy), while continued justification is the process of declaring one to be
righteous who stays holy (after he is justified in the initial act of acquittal). If there is any time element between
sanctification and justification it is the same length of time as when a judge in court says not guilty and the defendant is
automatically at that moment justified again in the eyes of the law, as if he had never broken the law.
3) Justification is spoken of as being the last phase of salvation that makes holy in the initial stage of redemption, that
makes clear before God, and the clears the record of everything God had against us.
4) Justification is spoken of as the final settlement of differences between men. In the case of a sinner and God, the
settlement of differences is completed in sanctification, and the result of this settlement is justification.
5) Justification is spoken of a as men justifying God; that is, clearing God of all guilt and blame. So it is, when a sinner
is justified he is cleared of all guilt by being holy by God.
6) Justification is used of people who try to justify themselves and think they are not guilty. Justification is the state of
one is not guilty of sin in any degree in his life, because he has been sanctified by the blood, the Word, and the Spirit of
God in redemption.
God's Plan For Man, by Finis Jennings Dake, Copyright 1977, Dake Publishing, Inc.
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