Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

September 8, 2005

I thought I would knock out a quick sanctification…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 3:27 am

I thought I would
knock out a quick sanctification view. I am coming back early with this report simply because this view is easy to relate to my readers. Note the added feature of the scripture verses now being links. Here goes:

o Sanctification = spiritual growth and development
o Emphasizes personal experience over theological precision
o Obedience to God is central concern
o Concerned with the radical transformation of persons through a gradual process requiring a step by step surrender and abandonment to God
o We may see God or be united with God, albeit fleetingly, while we are still earthbound
o The secret to achieving this is purity of heart
o Purity of heart is obtained by surrender, abandonment of self, submitting, yielding, humbling of self
o We cannot transform the impure into the pure. God alone can do that. If we surrender, love will come in and cleanse, purify and transform
o Three planks to achieve this purification
1) Suffering – suffering uproots ingratitude and opens us to God
2) Love – God loves you, love God back.
3) Prayer – which itself has four steps
a Use of the cognitive faculties i.e. your mind to know God – including study of scripture
b Meditation by which your imagination is used to acquire the mind of Christ
c Letting yourself go, meaning your cognitive faculites begin to recede as if nearly asleep
dThe mind is stolen from itself and is rapt, remaining out of itself there to enjoy the Word

“The message is that whether you understand or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you, and offers you an understanding and light which are nothing you ever found in books or heard in sermons.”

These hymns among many others express the common sentiments of this view:

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.

Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize will be;
Jesus be Thou our glory now,
And through eternity.

And this one:

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessèd Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

Key verses:
Mt 5:8 Mt 7:18; Acts 17:28; Ps 42:1,2; Mk 8:34; 2 Cor 12:1-10

The claim is that you can have these experiences if God gives you the grace to perform the works listed. Notice that the key word is found in this teaching: purification. This is a method of achieving purification that occurs not by trying hard to be sinless, but by exercising discplines the result of which is a purification that is verified by the internal witness of spiritual rapture.



  1. !eeeeh! (losing buzzer sound)

    A lot of this sounds good, but it is all predicated on point 2: personal experience over theological precision.

    Without theological precision, how can one be sure what is really Obedience to God?

    Denial of self is incredibly important, but self will be replaced by what? Buddhists are excellent at denying self, and God loves them; does their surrender lead to “love will come in and cleanse, purify and transform”?

    This approach seems to me to allow for people to all just wander into their own personalized Christianity — just whatever gives the best personal experience, which is not really denial of self after all! (Look, I can make links too!: Eph 4:14)

    Except for that Suffering plank, which doesn’t seem to fit in. How does that work? What if you don’t have enough suffering in your life? Do you go out and seek more?

    Comment by son1 — September 8, 2005 @ 3:14 pm

  2. This sounds very Romish or monastic…can we interpret Matt 5:8 as being applicable to us? I was under the impression that this verse only applied to Christ. Since He is the only one who maintained a pure heart and now His purity is imputed to us. Thus, we do not need to meet conditions in order to obtain purity of the heart.

    “The mind is stolen from itself,” sounds Gnostic.

    As it relates to gaining more suffering we can always resort to the medieval practice of self induced suffering.

    Comment by mike s — September 9, 2005 @ 2:11 am

  3. No guessing, now! Don’t want to spoil the game. The idea is to avoid labels which turn other’s minds off instantly. However, critiquing is perfectly welcome! Although, you should remember that everything you read is coming through this human filter, which may have a few flaws in it!

    I will be adding some material to this view after the game is over, so check the original post, which I will edit.

    Comment by Bruce S — September 9, 2005 @ 2:50 am

  4. This sounds a lot like what our pastor is preaching at the moment in his series (excellent, btw, best of his five years with us) on renewing our passion through understanding the hope that Christ provides (through his incarnation, death, resurrection and coming again). When we were talking about this just recently he said that an old curmudgeon in the church, dyed in the wool CMA, resisting any kind of transformation in the church even if it means ultimately death to the church, told him that in this series his preaching had “turned the corner!!” He is always giving him A.B. Simpson and Tozer books to read. Pastor said that reallly what he had been preaching is sanctification, but if he had called it that, everyone (except maybe said elderly so-and-so) would have ho-hummed and turned him off.

    Comment by Sisterhttp://writingonreading.blogspot.com — September 11, 2005 @ 12:34 am

  5. Really?! Which part of this view of s. do you recognize in your pastor’s preaching? I find it hard to believe that he would be pushing this whole approach.

    Comment by Bruce S — September 11, 2005 @ 1:43 am

  6. Just the first three or four points and the hymns. He wants (in this instance) to sweep away theological distinctions and light a fire of passion for Jesus under our congregation.

    Comment by Sister — September 11, 2005 @ 9:45 pm

  7. FYI,

    a book I came across as I looked for Eugene Peterson titles….


    Possessed by God–a view of sanctification….by David Peterson. Relatively new from IVP, it seems.

    Comment by Sister — September 15, 2005 @ 6:24 pm

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