How to Live the Victorious Life
Justification and sanctification are psychologically related. We may expect that He who made and understands man's nature will work to save him in a way best suited to his deepest psychological needs.
A life of sanctification (fellowship with God) is not possible unless we are first persuaded that we are acceptable and pleasing to God. This persuasion cannot be grounded on our past, present or future performance. God wants us first to know that He is fully satisfied with Jesus. He has found Him righteous, and with Him He is well pleased. What is that to us? Christ is our Representative. He bears our humanity in the presence of God, and God wants us to know that He accepts our humanity in the Person of His Son. In this matter of acceptance, therefore, it is sufficient for us to know that Jesus is accepted. It is this faith which enables us to serve God freely, gladly, and out of spontaneous love. If a believer tries to live the Christian life to either secure or consolidate his acceptance with God, immediately the springs of free, grateful and spontaneous obedience are dried up. God is more interested in the motive of service than the actual performance. When justification by faith is lost, we can only work in the Father's vineyard like the "elder son" in the parable of the prodigal. God's authority is on our backs instead of in our hearts. We keep a careful check on the years of "faithful" service. And we are more in the pigpen than the younger son who is away in the "far country."
Since love is the essence of sanctification (Rom. 13:10), we should remember the teaching of Jesus that he who is forgiven much (justification), the same loves much (sanctification) (see Luke 7:40-47). He who hears the word of justification ("Neither do I condemn thee . . .") is the only one psychologically qualified to obey the command of sanctification (". . . go, and sin no more") (see John 8:3-11).
Says W.G.T. Shedd: