On J.C. Ryle’s view of Justification and Sanctification

There are some who are asserting that J. C. Ryle disagreed with Calvin on the issue of justification and sanctification being found in the same persons. That is, does God always sanctify the same people he has justified, and does he accomplish these two works by the same grace and by the same work of Christ?

The following decisively answers that question:

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 dishonouring 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.” (1 Cor. i. 30.). . .

Sanctification, then, is the invariable result of that vital union with Christ which true faith
gives to a Christian.—’He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.’
(John xv. 5.) The branch which bears no fruit is no living branch of the vine. The union with Christ
which produces no effect on heart and life is a mere formal union, which is worthless before God.

Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots J. C. Ryle


3 Responses to “On J.C. Ryle’s view of Justification and Sanctification”

  1. May 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    In our 1689 LBC class for prospective members, my elder (who was teaching as I was helping him) pressed the point that sanctification was of grace. Though we work and strive to honor the Lord in our post-salvation works, it is the Spirit of God within that gives us that desire and empowers that work which is good. Those who define themselves as Anti-NewCalvinists make a living of driving a wedge between the work we do and the on-going work the Lord does as He sanctifies us.

    Excellent work, my brother.

    • May 19, 2012 at 3:20 am

      You are exactly right my brother. There will be no sanctification apart from the grace of God. Of course, believers are involved in the process, but that does not negate the fact that the entireity of our salvation is by God’s sovereign grace.

  2. July 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

    Sent from my iPad

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