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Becoming holy is the process that theologians calls sanctification. When we accept Jesus, we repent, confess and believe. When we do that God takes away our sins and we are counted as just. This is done instantly; It happens when we confess, repent and believe the promise of God. That's justification. The second part of the spiritual journey is called sanctification or to became holy. Is the process that make us what Peter calls it "a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation" (1 Peter 2:9). To sanctify means to set it apart for a sacred use. The sanctification and justification are part of the same package, you can't have one without the other. God not only forgives a man for lying or adultery, He offers victory over sin and stops a man from lying, or adultery. In Romans 6, Paul explain the process of becoming holy: "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." (Romans 6:22). In Romans 7:21-24, Paul explain the struggle of a justified person, but not yet sanctified. In the final verses he is telling us how he can escape his sinful carnal body: "Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:25). Here Paul is showing the battle that is taking place in his life after being convicted by God's law; he wanted to do good, but his sinful nature kept pulling him to sin. But then he became holy, and received a spiritual mind, through Jesus he was set free from the captivity of sin. He was delivered from the power of his fallen nature and sanctified by power of the Holy Spirit.
There is positional righteousness, Romans 4:6. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness apart from works. Then there is practical righteousness for rewards in heaven. First Corinthians 3:11-21. When we trust Jesus as the only way of salvation plus nothing, He imputes His perfect righteousness to us, and will no more impute sin to our account. John 3:18. John 6:47. Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit in whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. When we sin, and we all do, First John 1:8, it grieves the Spirit in us. We know we are not to steal, lie, commit fornication. But we all still have our old sin nature, When we do those things it grieves His Spirit that lives in all believers. We can not lose eternal life, but we can be chastened by the Lord. We can go so far as to lose our life, and our rewards in heaven, but not eternal life. That would make God a liar. John 6:47. John 6:40 and John 6:29. And those that are trusting in their own works are not saved. Matthew 7:21-23. Only those that have done the will of His Father in heaven. John 6:40 and John 6:29. Eternal life is a free gift from God. How we live after we have received the free gift, is how we will be rewarded in heaven. No works can save sinners. First Corinthians 3:15 If all of our works are burned up, we are still saved so as by fire. Only our works are burned up. The thief on the cross did nothing but believe Jesus was the Son of God. PLUS NOTHING. We are saved the second we believe on Jesus alone for the free gift of eternal life. Our rewards in heaven are based on how we live after we have received the gift.
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