Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

September 6, 2005

After a weekend hiatus during which the first meet…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 4:44 am

After a weekend hiatus
during which the first meeting of my Ministry of the Word class was held and attending two fantasy football drafts, I am ready to toss out for your edification a description of one of eight, or so,views of sanctification.

Since this is the first one, I ask you to bear with me a bit. I am not sure this will work. The bullets approach is probably okay if I write the right bullets. The danger I face is giving a false representation of any specific view. Here goes with view #1.

+ Sanctification is not our work, it is the work of the Holy Spirit.

+ It is not something added to justification.

+ Equating sanctification with living a moral life is a mistake.

+ Trying to live a moral life according to some scheme is what we are delivered from as we are brought out of the Adamic nature into justification life.

+ It makes no sense to believe we are justified by faith alone without the deeds of the law and at the same time to hold on to a conditional scheme that proposes “if only I could live morally perfectly, then I could be sanctified”.

+ When this approach is pushed, justification becomes a theory, and sanctification becomes your task to achieve.

+ It is impossible to put God’s unconditional act of justifying sinners for Jesus’ sake alone together with our ideas of progress via conditional sanctification. It doesn’t work logically or in practice.

+ We need to see that we are simultaneously justified and sinners (simul justus et peccator)

+ This means that seeing our justification is an antidote to our sin, and failures. But it also means that if we see ourselves as becoming morally perfect we will assuredly begin to think we don’t require unconditional justification.

+ This means that it is safer to be unaware of your own sanctification. It is God’s secret work or transformation in you that you will be largely unaware of. (When you give to the needy, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Then your father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.)

Verse support:
Mt 6:3,4. 1 Cor 1:28-31. 2 Thess 2:13. Heb 10:10. Rom 6:1-11. Mt 23:27. Gal 6:15

This view has a very high view of the new creation. It is God’s work. He finished off the old man and puts to death all our efforts to make ourselves acceptable in His sight. It sees the danger in allowing ourselves any wiggle room for self credit as we stand before God.

Note: I plan to withhold which view this (and all others) is until the end, so don’t let the cats out of the bag. They are hard to round up and put back in.



  1. I see sanctification definitely as a work of God. Even though I have been a Christian for ten years the only good things in me are the direct result of God working in me. My flesh works against me just like everyone else. Thanks for your blog.

    Comment by B.J. Price — September 6, 2005 @ 6:17 am

  2. Thanks b.j. for your comment. Stick around and see other views. There certainly will be a lot of overlap but there will also be distinctives that will cause you to think further about your walk.

    Comment by Bruce S — September 6, 2005 @ 2:47 pm

  3. Although you may be trying to keep cats in the bag, some of your pejorative language gives away that this view is not the “right” answer.

    “When this approach is pushed, justification becomes a theory”, and the impossibility of reconciling justification with sanctification, “logically or in practice”.

    My reaction to this makes me think that the typical reformed view holds Justification in much higher esteem than Sanctification.

    And yet Presbyterians seem to err more on the side of legalism than liberty. What’s up with that?

    Comment by son1 — September 6, 2005 @ 3:50 pm

  4. It’s a tricky deal writing this overview. The bullet to which you refered is not my comment, but the comment of the person holding this view. He was saying that justification becomes just a theory if one holds to the idea that we must strive for sanctification.

    A not insignificant portion of what the writer of this view wrote was a reaction against a works based sanctification. And that made its way into my report.

    So, I was not being pejorative. Perhaps that didn’t come out well in the bulletized method of review. I will work on being more clear.

    Your comment about the Reformed view seems to indicate you think the one presented here is not that, eh?

    As for Presbys and legalism, I don’t have a comment there. Although it seems they can drink beer with the best of ’em.

    Comment by Bruce S — September 6, 2005 @ 5:08 pm

  5. And smoke cigars

    Comment by son1 — September 6, 2005 @ 6:51 pm

  6. Simultaneously justifed and sinner gave it away.

    Comment by mike s — September 9, 2005 @ 1:46 am

  7. I think you can find that teaching in multiple traditions, eh? But I knew it was a bit of a tip off.

    Comment by Bruce S — September 9, 2005 @ 5:18 am

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