Obadiah Sedgwick (c. 1600-1658) was a noted puritan preacher and a member of the Westminster Assembly from 1643 to 1649. Some of his works have been recently reprinted, including The Anatomy of Secret Sins and The Doubting Believer. His work on covenant theology entitled, The Bowels of Tender Mercy Sealed in the Everlasting Covenant, hasn’t seen the light of day, although it is now available on Google Books. In this rather lengthy book, Sedgwick tackles the relationship between justification and sanctification (see pp. 488-493). My goal is to present some of what he says on this topic in three articles.
In expounding the stated doctrine that God promises to sanctify and justify his people, Sedgwick first lists six differences between these “two distinct or several gifts [see also WLC 77].”
- Justification is a change of the state—the person transitions from a state of “death and wrath” to a state of “life and love”—whereas sanctification is a change of heart—he who was unholy is now made holy.
- Justification is concerned with the guilt of sin and delivers us from condemnation, whereas sanctification deals with the “filth of sin” and delivers us from the dominion of sin.