CHURCH – The Only Sanctifying Community

If the doctrine of justification is the Article upon which the Church stands or falls, then sanctification may be the doctrine which either provides her clothes or leaves her standing there naked. The Church of Jesus Christ is His bride, adorned with His own righteousness and set apart for His intimate affection and care. This truth is the comfort of all who understand themselves to be included among the household of God. Yet, Christ does not merely call the prostituting adulterous bride to wear new labels (justified and sanctified), He also calls her to live accordingly (Eph 4:1; 1 Thess 2:12). Living in light of her new status, the Church of Jesus Christ is declared to be holy and Christ is making her holy by the washing of His word “so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor” (Eph 5:25-27). This loving reconciliation and renewal is challenged by the fact that the visible Church is made up of believers who are still desirous towards sin, and therein lies the difficulty of understanding just how the visible Church may be clothed with righteousness as she stands justified before the watching world. However, a visible Church, full of sanctified believers, arrayed in magnificence and clothed in righteousness for all the world to see is exactly what God has intended the Church do be.

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