“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
Justification is the term that describes the fact that God declares us righteous by His grace through our faith in the death and work of Jesus. Justification is the grace of God extended to us. However, often we view it as the only grace that He extends to us (and from this narrow perspective, we say it is the grace that “He extended to us”). But this is not the only grace that God offers to those who put their faith in Jesus. You see, the next step of God’s grace comes in His giving to us His Holy Spirit and His Word. These two work together in the next step of God’s grace, namely, Sanctification (the purifying of ourselves to be holy, clean vessels, acceptable and pleasing to God).
Just as much as Justification took the grace of God, Sanctification takes God’s overwhelmingly powerful grace. You see, God doesn’t just save us; He changes us. This idea is known as “Duplex Gratia” (double grace) – He justifies and He sanctifies. If we view this sanctification as a gift of God, much like our justification is a gift from God, it will change our attitude towards purifying ourselves and “laying aside all malice, and all guile (lying), and hypocrisies and envies, and all evil speakings.” Now we can rejoice that God has effectively saved us from hell, and now He is saving us from the power of those sinful things that cancer our lives. His grace, through His Word, continues to call us to holiness, while empowering us with His Spirit to live lives that are holy. Now enjoy sanctification, it is not a stoic curse of the Christian life, it is a joy inducing blessing and grace from a beneficent God. “Taste that the Lord is gracious” to us in this way.
Food For Thought: Today we mentioned “duplex gratia,” meaning “double grace.” What are the two works of God’s grace that we looked at today?