The Difference Between Our Sanctification and Our Glorification

from Jul 06, 2016 Category: Ligonier Resources

In this excerpt from a session at our 2010 National Conference, R.C. Sproul illustrates the difference between our sanctification and our glorification.


I used to do a little illustration in the classroom at the seminary and I would have three actors on my stage in the front of the room. I would select one student to represent Jesus. Come on up here Campbell. Come on run up the stairs. Or you can come right here if you can jump? I know you can jump.

I have at least two grandsons that I know will be able to jump. You be Jesus. This is your finest hour, man. This is my grandson R.C. Sproul. Robert Campbell, right?

Hey, Guy, come on up and help me out, will you? Come up over the steps over here. You can just come on up here. I don’t know why I chose you for this role but Mr. Rizzo here is going to play the part of Hitler. Good role, huh? You stand over here.

This is Hitler and this is Jesus. Steve, come on help me out. A student is not above his master. Now I called Steve up because he’s such a holy guy. He’s such a righteous man. He has such a passion for God that his sanctification is in an advanced state. But I’m not going to let him represent himself, I’m going to let him represent the Apostle Paul. Because I believe that apart from Jesus, the most godly man who ever walked on the earth was Paul.

Now we have a continuum here, a spectrum between Jesus on this side and Hitler over here and we have to imagine this continuum. And on the continuum, where do we put Paul?

Paul, the most sanctified man, being conformed to the image of Christ by the Holy Ghost, coming into maturity, getting closer to his Lord, in the fullness of his sanctification. Over here buster. Right there. Now stay here for a second.

What I want you to visualize here is the gap, the chasm that separates the righteousness of Christ from the most righteous person, or the most wicked person. All the advances in sanctification that our Apostle Paul here has experienced, makes his difference between himself and Jesus, and himself and Hitler, that difference comparatively is negligible.

There is still this huge cavern, this huge abyss of difference between sinless Jesus and unglorified Paul. Right? Now when you have your glorification—when you’re justified, God counts you as being over here. Right? And when you’re glorified, the real separation takes place and you are conformed without sin to your Savior.