[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Quote from a Visitor

by Rose

Tim, a very nice commenter, left a comment on this post .

Tim: 100% practical sanctification will occur for everyone who puts their faith in Christ.

What do you make of that statement? Do you agree with it? If you do, in what sense? If you do not, why is it wrong? Maybe Tim can also expound on how this looks.

16 Comments:

  • I would say that 100% practical sanctification will occur for every believer... but we'll have to wait until we go to heaven before that happens.

    By Blogger Andrew McNeill, at Wednesday, June 13, 2007 9:00:00 AM  

  • If santicfication and the words "set apart" have the same meaning, then I would agree with Tim.

    When we believe in the Christ of God, Jesus, then we ARE "set apart" or sanctified unto God for everlasting life the moment we believe. Believers in Christ for everlasting life are completely saved from the lake of fire, our name are written in the book of life.

    I think the reformed confuse growing in the grace and knowledge of God with being "set apart" or sanctified. Therefore they have to come up with an unbiblical doctrine such as "perseverance of the saints" instead of preservation of those set apart unto everlasting life.

    I would state it like this:
    100% sanctification DOES occur for every believer in Jesus for everlasting life.

    We ARE sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

    By Blogger Kris, at Wednesday, June 13, 2007 9:28:00 AM  

  • I agree with Kris in regard to the new creature. It is then the responsibility of the new creature to set apart his life for service.

    I think the terminology and categories of Systematic Theology cause great confusion in this.

    By Blogger Kc, at Wednesday, June 13, 2007 2:22:00 PM  

  • Exactly, KC.

    By Blogger Kris, at Wednesday, June 13, 2007 6:31:00 PM  

  • But, gentlemen, it appears to me that Tim is referring, not to positional sanctification which every believer DOES have at the MOMENT of faith, but practical sanctification, or growing in grace & knowledge. So, I would have to agree with bro. McNeill in his excellent 1st post. Of course, Kris & KC are exactly right about what they say, but this is not what Tim was talking about, unless I misunderstood him. God Bless.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Wednesday, June 13, 2007 7:55:00 PM  

  • Thank you, David. You are absolutely correct.

    Being quoted in isolation gives me a taste of how God must feel when we take individual verses out of context, even (especially!) if we use them in "support" of the truth.

    Kris, a minor linguistic clarification:
    "Set apart" is a state. "Sanctification" is a process: it is the process of entering the state of being "set apart", but they can only mean the same thing when the process is spoken of in its completeness: "sanctified" means "set apart".

    Kris,

    Can you explain to me the difference between "growing in the grace and knowledge of God" and the process of "sanctification"? I must be one of those confused "reformed" people you speak of.

    (Although I must admit to genuine ignorance as to what you mean by "reformed". Is that a denomination? Is it a label applied to a particular set of doctrine? In this case, your short-hand has led to confusion.)

    I miss the old meaning of "reformation".

    By Blogger Tim, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 12:13:00 AM  

  • I agree with Andrew McNeil.
    Thanks for visiting, Andrew.

    I also think KC has a great point about the terms causing confusion.

    Kris,
    Thank you for visiting and for your thoughts. They were great to read this morning.

    David,
    Thanks for getting the terms straightened out for us.

    Tim,
    I hope I didn't offend you by quoting you in isolation. I answered your other comment on the post that sparked this. Can you expound on this 100% sanctification - what does it look like? How about doing it here instead of there since this is a more current post? Thanks, Tim!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 6:30:00 AM  

  • Hello Tim,
    I think Reformed are those who identify themselves with Protestant churches that follow the teachings of John Calvin and/or Ulrich Zwingli.

    I think these teachings confuse the possessors of everlasting life, those set apart and sealed with the Holy Spirit with a "system" of theology that insist that a person has to or will persevere unto good works to truly know or prove they possess the gift of everlasting life.

    Tim, do you believe that we have been sanctified the moment we believed?

    I believe we were set apart by the Holy Spirit the moment we believed.

    I have a hard time agreeing that sanctification is any process. Because if we say it is a process then it seems we are implying and can be confused with the idea that it is a part of salvation that keeps us from the lake of fire.

    I think sancification is Gods will that we set ourselves apart in life here on earth. Be Holy as I am Holy.

    Growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord is learning to become or in reality knowing that we are totally dependent on Him for our life. But this process cannot be looked upon to prove my faith or any other persons, if we are faithless He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself.

    Sorry this is so long, I need to work on being more concise. :)

    But one more thing:
    In my mind these theological "systems" associated with "Reformed" have an inherit tendency to cause those who adhere to it look unto their good works to prove to themselves or assure themselves that God has saved them.

    I don't know about you but every time I look unto my good works for any assurance I am left in miserable doubt. And I am prone to do this to myself alot for one big reason...I had been exposed to this systematic teaching early in my Christian life and its hard to get it out of my mind and its influence on my ability to "grow in the GRACE and knowledge of God" has greatly hindered my growing in GRACE.

    Of course just as much a hindrance to me is my pride in thinking I can do anything to make myself more acceptable to God apart from being in Christ.

    grace & peace

    Simply put, I think growing in the grace and knowledge of God is walking by the Spirit.

    By Blogger Kris, at Thursday, June 14, 2007 10:19:00 PM  

  • Kris, as an aside, I credit the RC with the development of Systematic Theology. It seems to me the Reformers only followed suit. I also suspect that while the FG camp is presently more open to theological discourse, this will soon pass and those who remain FG will become as dogmatic as the RC and the Reformers.

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, June 15, 2007 12:45:00 AM  

  • Kc, what is so bad about being dogmatic?

    How can one not be dogmatic about what we hold to be the truth?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, June 15, 2007 1:34:00 AM  

  • Matthew to answer your second question I would say humility. To answer the first I can only point to those who, through pride in their own understanding, cause great division in the body of Christ by attempting to establish their own system of theology as canon.

    We may all have full confidence in the scripture but should any of us believe that our understanding is full or that our interpretation is perfect?

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, June 15, 2007 2:34:00 AM  

  • If one believes that a thing is a fact, one is dogmatic about it.

    I am quite dogmatic about the fact that Queen Victoria was married to prince Albert, for I know that to be a fact.

    There is no lack of humility in my being confident about the truth of this.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, June 15, 2007 5:52:00 AM  

  • KC,
    I agree that reformed has its roots in RC. But in really it is in us, man, since God has given us the Law.

    Somewhere it written that 'you search the scriptures thinking that in them you have life, but these scriptures point to Me.'

    I have been quilty of this more times than I would like to admit.

    I suspect what you suspect is true.:)

    By Blogger Kris, at Friday, June 15, 2007 7:28:00 AM  

  • I should have said "but in reality it is in us, man."

    Could we say that systematic theology has its roots in searching the scriptures thinking that in them we have life?

    Have a great weekend!

    By Blogger Kris, at Friday, June 15, 2007 7:33:00 AM  

  • Matthew should anyone believe it a fact that their understanding is full and their interpretation perfect?

    Kris I agree. I suspect it is pride.

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, June 15, 2007 12:43:00 PM  

  • Kris,

    Tim, do you believe that we have been sanctified the moment we believed?

    We have been credited with righteousness on the basis of our faith, just like Abram was.

    I believe we were set apart by the Holy Spirit the moment we believed.

    As do I.

    I have a hard time agreeing that sanctification is any process. Because if we say it is a process then it seems we are implying and can be confused with the idea that it is a part of salvation that keeps us from the lake of fire.

    I acknowledge that there is a danger of confusion, and the responsibility lies with those who would make disciples for Christ (not just evangelists, but pastors and teachers, and all who obey the great commission) to communicate the gospel in a way that does not leave room for this confusion.

    When we put our faith in Christ, not only are we instantly saved from God's ultimate wrath against our sin, but we are also equally guaranteed to be saved from sin itself.

    The process (and yes, it is a process) of being saved from sin itself is called sanctification. It is a process which God is only able to do in us by His Spirit. If it were not for the Spirit, we could not be sanctified, just as if it were not for the Son, we could not be redeemed (Revelation 5:3).

    I think the major hang-up that people have is that they cannot fathom how God could guarantee something which requires there to be a human will "in the loop" without Him violating our free will.

    I will now turn to an analogy I gave in the comments of the previous post, which seems to have been helpful:

    You or I could lead a proverbial horse to water, but we could not make him drink. God is so good at his proverbial horse-whispering, that He gives a guarantee that any horse that He leads to Water will never thirst again: not because He drowns the horse (makes it drink against its will), but because He intimately knows and loves the horse, and will do whatever it takes to get that horse to be willing to drink, and He knows what it takes, because He designed us each and formed every fiber of our being.

    The Lord will do whatever it takes to get us to be willing to do His will: He will work with us and in us, and He will succeed because the first thing that He did was give us His Spirit as a pledge.


    God is able to make a guarantee about our will and actions, not because He forces the actions or violates the will, but because He is willing to invest His entire being in getting us to that point, and that's exactly what it takes, both in our redemption, when He sent His Son, and in our sanctification, when He sent His Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit is often thought of as a "pledge" or guarantee of our salvation, and this is scriptural, and very appropriate. However, let us not assume that He is merely a "get out of hell free" card, dispensed by the Father in order to force Himself later on into letting us into His presence (He cannot deny Himself, after all).

    By Blogger Tim, at Friday, June 15, 2007 4:42:00 PM  

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