21 For to this you have been called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in His steps, 22 WHO DID NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 who being reviled, was not reviling in return; while suffering, He was uttering no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. 24 Who Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that having died to sin, we might live to righteousness; by His WOUNDS YOU WERE HEALED. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:21-25 (LSB)
The Lord gave the Church a wonderful gift when He knocked Saul of Tarsus off his horse and effectually called Him to be His Apostle. His Epistle to the Romans is a huge piece of the doctrinal foundation of the Church. In Romans 3:20-5:21 he covered the doctrine of justification. This is God’s declaring the believing sinner righteous. In Romans 6:1-8:39 he covers the practical ramifications of this justification. This is the doctrine of sanctification, which is God’s producing actual righteousness in the believer. Many take missteps in their theology by confusing these two aspects of our salvation. Justification is a legal term referring to a judge declaring a person charged with a crime to be not guilty. When a sinner believes the Gospel by God’s grace through faith, He justifies them. This is His monergistic work, His alone. On the other hand, sanctification is the synergistic work of God and the believer in “working out the believer’s salvation with fear and trembling.” This is the work of transforming the believer into one who bears Christ’s very character.