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Showing posts with the label Sanctification

Reformed Stupidity?

By Wes Bredenhof I saw this question on Reddit recently: Do Reformed preachers not see the stupidity of telling people not to rely on their works while also saying genuine faith produces good works? It just seems like double-speak to avoid being labeled Catholic or Arminian. I reply: this Reformed preacher fails to see the stupidity in this at all. I’ll explain. There is an important distinction being missed here by the questioner. In Reformed theology, we distinguish between the basis of your salvation and the outcome/response to your salvation. Drawing on the Bible, Reformed theology teaches that the basis or ground of our salvation is only in the finished work of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24). His perfect obedience and his perfect sacrifice on the cross constitute my righteousness before God. I can be justified – declared righteous – only because of Christ. Therefore, I rely on him and what he has done, rather than on me and what I have done. Having been saved by God’s free grace in Ch

WCF 13: Of Sanctification

By William Boekestein - Posted at Place for Truth: The purpose of your life is to be holy as God is holy. God is “majestic in holiness” ( Ex. 15:11 ). His holiness—his complete lack of character flaws—is the theme of angelic praise ( Isa. 6:3 ). And God aims to manifest his holiness among his people ( Ez. 28:22 ). This will surely happen. Those whom God justified by a declaration of righteousness, he will one day glorify by perfecting in them actual righteousness ( Rom. 8:30 ). But believers must begin to reflect God’s perfection now. The entire Christian journey from justification and glorification is called sanctification. In this process God renews us after his image and enables us more and more to die to sin and live righteously. [i] “Holiness … is the purpose of our justification.” [ii] God delivers his people from the hand of the enemy that they “might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness” ( Luke 1:74–75 ). Hymn-writer Augustus Toplady gets to the point: “We ar

The Cross’s Double Cure

 By Nathan Eshelman - Posted at Place for Truth : That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:4 Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure…. As Christ’s secured salvation for sinners, he freed us from the wrath of God; freed us from sin and death; condemned sin; and after the Spirit, fulfilled the righteousness of the law in us . What does Romans 8:4 mean by fulfilled in us? Thomas Manton in his exposition of Romans 8 raises the question concerning the words, “in us.” He asks, “How is this to be understood? Of justification or of sanctification?” ( Manton’s Works, 11.430.) Through the grammar of “for” versus “in,” Manton begins with demonstrating that the words are unable to be understood as related to justification. He says, “The words will not bear it [as justification],

Two Distinct, Yet Inseparable Blessings

 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: Good Morning, Our Westminster Divines had a problem. It wasn’t a new problem, and it is a problem that is still with us today. Many people, including whole branches of Christendom, confuse justification and sanctification. Either they get the cart before the horse or they introduce elements of both into each other, like peanut butter and chocolate in a Reece’s. It may be delicious in that context, but it is damnable heresy in our context. There is not only a functional difference between justification and sanctification, but getting each of them right is the warp and woof of the gospel of grace offered in Jesus Christ. So today for our catechism lesson we are going to listen as the writers of the WLC help us to understand not only why this matters, but how we can use this distinction to grow in faith both in this life and in the life to come. Here are the Q/A’s: Q. 77: Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?

Loving Sin More Than Christ

By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: How a Desire to Be Sanctified Testifies to Our Justification Good Morning, While it may seem odd to take all three of these at once after giving so much space to justification there is a sense in which it is helpful to see the way the fruits of regeneration brought about by the application of the righteousness of Jesus Christ to the believer work themselves out in time. Each benefit aids us to better understand not only why effectually calling is effectual , but to know that those who claim Christ as their own are by necessity moved in a way that if there is no real change of mind and body it proves their confession to be one of Judas or Alexander the Coppersmith. To quote Matthew 5:14, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” . Part of the work of the keys of the kingdom possessed by elde

Spiritual Growth by A. W. Pink, Part 2

By Rev. Brian Schwertley - Posted at Sermon Audio :

Spiritual Growth by A. W. Pink, Part 1

  By Rev. Brian Schwertley - Posted at Sermon Audio :

Believer, You Are Being Graciously Sanctified

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : An HB reader writes to ask “in what senses are we under the covenant of works?” I reply Christians are in no sense under the covenant of works for our standing with God or for our salvation. Our justification and our sanctification are by grace alone ( sola gratia ), through faith alone ( sola fide ). It is not as some seem to be suggesting that our salvation is begun by grace but is ultimately completed by works. This is a false gospel that Paul himself repudiated in Galatians 3:1–6: O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so

The Sanctification of Sinners

Belgic Confession Article 24: The Sanctification of Sinners We believe that this true faith, produced in man by the hearing of God's Word and by the work of the Holy Spirit, regenerates him and makes him a "new man,"^57 causing him to live the "new life"^58 and freeing him from the slavery of sin. Therefore, far from making people cold toward living in a pious and holy way, this justifying faith, quite to the contrary, so works within them that apart from it they will never do a thing out of love for God but only out of love for themselves and fear of being condemned. So then, it is impossible for this holy faith to be unfruitful in a human being, seeing that we do not speak of an empty faith but of what Scripture calls "faith working through love,"^59 which leads a man to do by himself the works that God has commanded in his Word. These works, proceeding from the good root of faith, are good and acceptable to God, since they are all sanctified by h

The fruit-bearing Christian

By Dr. Iain Campbell - Posted at Sermon Audio : Scripture Text: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Galatians 5:22 KJV) Link:

Sanctification Is A Work Of God’s Grace: Resources On Sanctification

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : It is held by some who think of themselves as evangelical and Reformed that justification is by grace alone ( sola gratia ) but sanctification is by grace and works, i.e., that it is synergistic . To my great shame, I remember once answering a student’s question by affirming this error. I did so because I feared that denying sanctification by grace and works was antinomian. Nevertheless, it is not true. The Reformed confession is that sanctification, just like justification, is by grace alone . On this we should all agree with the Westminster Assembly, whom no one could ever consider antinomian. Q. 35. What is sanctification?  A. Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness ( Shorter Catechism ). Read more... 

Sanctification Is… (Watson)

Westminster Bookstore Link Posted at The Reformed Reader : “Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin and live unto righteousness.” (WSC Q/A 35). This definition of sanctification is a good summary of Scripture’s teaching (Ezek. 36:37, Phil. 2:13, 2 Thes. 2:13, Eph 4>23-24, Rom 6:4-14, etc.). Thomas Watson does a nice job giving some more detail: Sanctification is a supernatural thing. It is divinely infused. We are naturally polluted, and to cleanse, God takes it to be his gracious prerogative. “I am the Lord which sanctify you” (Lev. 21:8). Sanctification is a flower of the Spirit’s planting, therefore it is called, ‘The sanctification of the Spirit’ (1 Pet. 1:2). Sanctification is an intrinsic thing. It lies chiefly in the heart. It is called “the adorning the hidden man of the heart” (1 Pet. 3:4). The dew wets the leaf, the sap is hid in the roo

Cool Calvinists Cuss?

WTS Posted at The Reformed Reader : (This is a slightly edited repost from May, 2012) One recent trend in some calvinistic circles is the use of vulgar and crass language. It is not uncommon to hear cussing among younger males who are coming to embrace the doctrines of grace. Popular Calvinist pastors use coarse language in sermons, in tweets, on blogs, and in books (some say this is OK because it’s satire or irony). Sexual terms are used without prudence. Some calvinistic seminarians even cuss between classes like army privates in the barracks. In fact, it is “cool” nowadays to be a cussing Calvinist. (Emergents and evangelicals aren’t the only trendy Christians!) Carl Trueman interacts with cool Calvinists cussing (or cool cussing Calvinists). This is very much worth reading: “Why is it that language that would offend most of my non-Christian friends, and that they would regard as a sign of seriously limited vocabulary and deep childishness, is deemed by some

Spurgeon and Places of Entertainment

Posted at WE HAVE GREAT reason to bless God for the rich mercies we have enjoyed as a church and people for many years, in the unity of the brotherhood, the zeal of the workers, the number of conversions, the success of all our enterprises, and the growth of the whole body. It is on my heart to say a word upon another subject—a subject which presses heavily upon my heart. I beseech you, by the mercies of God, and by the love of Christ Jesus your Lord, that as members of this church you do nothing which would grieve the Spirit of God, and cause Him to depart from among us. Remember how Israel suffered defeat because of Achan. One man only, and one family only, had broken the Divine rule, but that sufficed to trouble the whole camp. Achan had taken of the accursed thing and hidden it in his tent, and so all Israel had to suffer defeat. Churches, too, will suffer if sin becomes general among them and is allowed to go unrebuked. At this time many a church is

Of Sanctification

Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter XIII I. They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection , [1] by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them : [2] the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, [3] and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified; [4] and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, [5] to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. [6] II. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man; [7] yet imperfect in this life , there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part; [8] whence arises a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. [9] III. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much prevail; [10

We Attain Heaven Through Faith Alone

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : Recently an influential evangelical writer (no names please, this is about truth not personalities) wrote “right with God by faith alone, not attain heaven by faith alone.” The claim is that Christians should believe that we “attain heaven” by more than faith, i.e., by our cooperation with grace. This proposition fits with a claim made by others that we are justified by grace alone ( sola gratia ), through faith alone ( sola fide ) but that salvation, because it is a broader category, because it includes sanctification, is partly through obedience, faithfulness, or works. The Argument Here is the argument in the form of a syllogism: Salvation involves justification and sanctification. Sanctification is by grace and cooperation with grace (works) Therefore salvation is partly by works. In this discussion there have also been claims about the history of Reformed theology, that the orthodox Reformed theologians of the sevent