I received the following question: “What are the main and general differences between justification, conversion, and sanctification?”
Justification is being declared holy.
Sanctification is being made holy.
When we are declared holy it doesn’t mean that we actually are holy. In god’s sight, through faith in Christ and his saving work, we are seen to be holy even though we still sin! This is justification.
Justification is instaneous. The moment a person has faith in Christ is the exact moment they are saved – seen to be holy in God’s sight.
At the exact same moment a person is justified he is converted. He has gone from life to death, from a child of Satan to a child of God. Just as justification is instantaneous, conversion is instaneous.
Through the life of the believer, he grows in holiness. He becomes more like Christ. Sin lessens and good works abound. However, in this life, we will never become perfect. We will always still have sin. So though we are becoming holy in sanctication, the process is never complete this side of heaven.
Justification and conversion happen at the exact same moment and the effects are ongoing.
Justification and conversion are both instaneous.
Sanctiication is a process.