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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Would you agree?

Our righteousness, sanctification and glorification are all accomplished by the grace of God through our faith in Jesus Christ alone, regardless of what else we may or may not have been led to believe.

33 Comments:

Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

I'd agree that our righteousness and sanctification are accomplished by the grace of God through our faith in Jesus Christ alone, however, I don't exactly know what glorification means to us? I believe that all glory should be given to God, not to ourselves.

1/11/2008 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Sis thanks for being bold enough to reply! ;-)

I'm glad you agree on the first two and maybe you will on glorification. I think these scriptures indicate that we who are Christ' shall be glorified in Him. (Romans 8:17,8:30,2Th 1:12) What do you think?

1/11/2008 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

I'm surprised that no one has objected concerning sanctification. ;-)

1/11/2008 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Hi KC,
Yes, sanctification is one of the tricky aspects of our salvation. We can actually participate, but again... by His grace are we sanctified. I do believe it's an area that reveal more fruit, the more we sow in it. But nonetheless, we WILL be sanctified.
Blessings

1/11/2008 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor thanks. I would love to discuss this but I have to run at the moment. Could I ask your understanding of the biblical meaning of the term "sanctification"?

1/11/2008 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

I have no idea what any of you are saying so I am off to chew gum and try to walk :P

Be loved you are

1/11/2008 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

"...all accomplished by the grace of God through our faith in Jesus Christ alone,"

I'm so glad it's His work. I would, and do, mess it up!!!!!

My life verse is Philippians 1:6
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

HE is faithful.....we are not always.
Susan

1/12/2008 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Hi KC,
Just off the top of my head, there is that aspect that we are made holy. This comes in two ways. First, we are set apart for God own private use, and purposes, i.e., the ministry. Secondly, we are cleansed of our sin, as in Christ cleansing of the church found in Ephesians 5.

Justification is much easier to explain: declared righteous. But sanctification is a bit more difficult because we are sanctified and being sanctified. It's more of an ongoing process and is complete once we are glorified.

That's just off the top of my head. I do try to deal with it regularly because of the breadth of the subject.
Blessings

1/12/2008 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Gordon Cloud said...

I would say that sanctification is a two-way street whereas justification and glorification are entirely by the grace of God.

There is the aspect of sanctification by which God has predestined us to be to the praise of the glory of His grace. Then there is the aspect by which we are to separate ourselves from the world and walk circumspectly, demonstrating the work of grace to the world.

1/12/2008 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Lady Z your true character and humilty always shows through. Most would have simply said, "Kc, you don't know what you're talking about!" ;-) We love you Sis.

1/13/2008 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Amen Ms. Susan! That's exactly where I'm headed with this. If we trust in or depend on our own works or understanding to accomplish God's will in our life then we will fail to walk by faith and the Spirit.

1/13/2008 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Timothy thanks for your understanding on this. Aside from our ongoing contention concerning Determinism (hehe) it seems you and Gordon share the similar perception that sanctification is a progressive effort that we share in with God. I’ll try to offer my understanding on this and as always I would really appreciate your critique.

Gordon I would really appreciate your critique as well.

It seems we would agree that to be sanctified, in the biblical sense, is to be made holy or “sacred”. As I understand it we are holy when we are set apart for service to God. For me this raises the question, “are we holy or are we being made holy?” Timothy I would understand you to say it is both and Gordon you might agree as well. I think most today see it this way and I consider this a consequence of the Roman error. I’ll have more to say on that later. ;-)

I find the scripture to teach that we are created holy in Christ Jesus being set apart for the good works that are in Him. This creation is the spirit birth and I know we all agree that it is accomplished by grace through faith. I find we must first be made holy, or sanctified, before we can even hope to do these good works. If we then are created holy by God what holiness could we seek to attain and by what means could we hope to attain it? If we become profane through sin then we are reestablished only by grace through faith. Given that even our righteousness is as filthy rags before the Lord how could we ever hope to be sacred if not by His grace alone?

I do consider that our life is progressively redeemed through the good works that we do in Christ. I understand this to be the consequence of walking in the Spirit and a reflection of His power and glory, not our own. We are found holy only in Christ and we are only in Christ by the grace of God through our faith in Him.

1/13/2008 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Zeke said...

My Dearest KC, I really don't understand the question so I really don't know how to respond but I am sure you know what your talking about!

And I know you know I don't know what you know that others know.

Be loved

1/13/2008 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Gordon Cloud said...

KC, I think the key to this point is distinguishing between the three parts of man: body, soul, and spirit.

The part of man that is saved is sanctified by God. I tend to believe that this is the soul. Others say it is the spirit and that is not something over which I will part hairs with them. The part of man that is saved is set apart by God and sealed by His Spirit until the day of redemption. This is entirely by His grace and for His glory.

The remaining parts of man still contend with the pull of the world and the sin nature. We must make the choice to submit these areas of our life to God, thus, sanctifying ourselves from the world for God's glory. We do this because He has first saved us, so I guess in a sense we could still say that grace is the cause of this progressive sanctification, but the fact remains that it is our choice whether we walk in the light or in darkness, in the spirit or in the flesh (or any biblical analogy that you prefer).

I do not believe that this aspect of sanctification is an attempt on our part to seek sanctification, but is rather a measure of crucifying the flesh so that the holiness of God may be seen in our life.

1/13/2008 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

We can't do anything without his grace, and if we interact with God at all it is by faith.

At least, that's one way to slice it! ;)

Hey, KC. Just wanted to stop by and say hi...

1/14/2008 04:47:00 AM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

God is the author and finisher of our faith from beginning to end. Hebrews 12:2.

1/14/2008 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

KC - Just wanted to tell you how very much I enjoy the discussions you generate here!!! It is so encouraging to me to see and "hear" what others have to say. We can all be so different in our understanding on some points and yet as long as we KNOW HIM!!!!!
Susan

1/15/2008 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

I would politely disagree with Gordon on his last point. I believe we are body and soul (spirit and soul as the same), and both are being sanctified, while the flesh is still as war, God is still working on us. The flesh will die, and the final act of sanctification is the resurrection of the body, reunited with the soul/spirit of man at the Second Coming. Part of sanctification is the mortification of this flesh, dying to sin and living more and more in the Spirit. Jesus came to redeem the complete man, not just the spirit/soul of man.

Gordon, I may just be misunderstanding your view here.
Blessings

1/15/2008 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

BTW KC have you noticed that the Protestant Pub is completely down?

1/15/2008 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

KC has a new avatar!
Hey KC, Yes, I would agree.

1/16/2008 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Friends thank so much. I’m so sorry to be so slow responding.

Lady Z it’s just a blessing for me to see your comments no matter what. I may not be able to go into much detail on here but if ever you would like I will be happy to give a better explanation, maybe on the phone. I think it’s about time that we catch up anyway! ;-)

Preacher thanks for sticking this one out. I’ll reply in my next comment. ;-)

Amen Bill and it’s great to see you out and about! I’m really grateful you dropped in!

Ryan I can tell we’re tracking together on this. ;-) There are many prayers here for you brother.

Ms. Susan you’re such an encouragement! I’ve found these discussions such a blessing and I so much appreciate everyone who takes the time and makes the effort to share in their understanding. I’ve “inter-met” some of the most wonderful people in the world through this. ;-)

Pastor Timothy I’ll respond on the discussion in my next comment. I am hoping the Pub will reopen soon but I have no knowledge of that at present. I had a short but sweet note form the owner over the holidays that hinted I might hear more from him soon. I’m hoping and praying regardless. ;-)

Rose has a new avatar too! I thought it was so funny when I saw you had gone to an image and I went to a photo! Thanks for your thoughts on this one sis. ;-)

1/16/2008 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Preacher (Gordon), I too suspect that man is primarily a three part being though I think the terms spirit and soul, as used today, are ambiguous. These are two more terms that I think have been corrupted by the Roman error persisting through the Reformation along with such terms as regeneration and sanctification (more on that below).

You wrote:

“The remaining parts of man still contend with the pull of the world and the sin nature. We must make the choice to submit these areas of our life to God, thus, sanctifying ourselves from the world for God's glory. We do this because He has first saved us, so I guess in a sense we could still say that grace is the cause of this progressive sanctification, but the fact remains that it is our choice whether we walk in the light or in darkness, in the spirit or in the flesh (or any biblical analogy that you prefer).”

I think most of our contention over sanctification is semantic and while that may not prove an obstacle to us in finding an agreement in understanding it most surely is an obstacle to understanding the scriptures that use this term. You used the phrase, “sanctifying ourselves from the world”. If we apply the scriptural meaning of sanctify to that phrase it would read, “setting ourselves apart from the world for God’s use”. When we understand that we are sanctified only in Christ then we can know that can only occur by grace through faith. That is the only way to be found in Christ. Even the unbeliever can “clean his house” but unless a man is sanctified in Christ he is not holy and cannot be used by God. If once we are sanctified in Christ we should become profane by sin then again our only remedy is grace. There is no penance and we cannot earn forgiveness. Is the Roman error starting to take shape? ;-)

It is certainly true that we must remain holy through submission to His word by walking in the Spirit but this is not sanctification and is only possible for those who are sanctified in Christ. I hope I can fully illustrate my understanding of the extent of the Roman error in this in future post.

Pastor Timothy I would understand the things you refer to as pertaining to redemption and not to sanctification. I do find we must participate in redemption but as Gordon pointed out this is only by submission and even this is not accomplished by our own power but through the power of the Holy Spirit.

As an aside I do find a distinction between soul and spirit in the scripture. I think that distinction is most prevalent in 1st Corinthians 15:45. Here again I place the responsibility for blurring this distinction on the Roman error. I think you will find that all men have/are a living soul but only believers are made alive in spirit. This has great implication on the scriptures that use these two terms.

I really look forward to both yours and Gordons thoughts on this. I do hope we can all come to a common understanding at least on the meaning of these terms. ;-)

1/16/2008 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Jon Lee said...

kc -

I agree. I do see three distinct aspects to sanctification - past, present and future. Past - when we come to believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God when we are set apart as children of God and born of His imperishable seed. Present - as we walk, fellowship with, grow and mature in Christ. However, we can remain as infants in Christ depending on a number of factors. Future - when we will be glorified. I see the past and future aspects of sanctification objective and universal to all believers while the present is more subjective and individual in nature. It's all about His grace. Good post!

JL

1/16/2008 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Gordon Cloud said...

Timothy, thanks for your gracious comment. I would be interested to hear your take on I Cor. 14:45 as KC mentioned as well as Heb. 4:12.

KC, as you said, I think our difference here is largely semantical. If one sees sanctification as a process of earning holiness or righteousness, then yes, I would say you are exactly right.

On the other hand, one could say that we are sanctified positionally before God in Christ, entirely by grace, of course and thus our holiness is defined by His righteousness which is imputed unto believers.

From a practical standpoint, it is my choice to take that which is common (flesh) and consecrate it as being dedicated to God's glory. This is consistent in an analogous sense with the OT definition and pattern of sanctification.

We may just be looking at a fine line between our understandings of sanctification/separation.

1/16/2008 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jon thanks so much for joining in. Do you think you could you be referring to redemption rather than sanctification?

Preacher, you wrote:

From a practical standpoint, it is my choice to take that which is common (flesh) and consecrate it as being dedicated to God's glory. This is consistent in an analogous sense with the OT definition and pattern of sanctification.”

This may well be the key for you and I to find agreement on the meaning of sanctification to the believer. Do you think that if we consider how that the practice of the law typifies God’s work we might reach agreement that we are sanctified by God and not by our works? For example under the law men sanctified the offering but under the NT God sanctified Jesus, our sacrifice.

I think it may also help to distinguish between our being set apart by God (sanctification) for good works and our remaining in that position.

1/16/2008 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Gordon Cloud said...

KC, I would indeed agree that the law typifies the work of God. And to underscore a key point upon which I am sure we agree, one can only be declared holy before God by God Himself and that only through Jesus Christ.

I think the difference between us is this: I see sanctification as positional (performed by God) and practical (performed by the believer). You are placing all of the sanctificational eggs in the one basket of positional sanctification, and calling separation what I call practical sanctification.

Thus, it is as you said, a matter of semantics.

1/16/2008 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Preacher we do agree on that key point (and most everything else most times hehe). I have to admit I prefer the term “practical sanctification” to “progressive sanctification” but I would still insist that this is actually keeping our selves holy through submission whereas, from a biblical perspective, sanctification is our position in Christ. I agree this is semantic but I find this semantic difference critical when approaching the scriptures that use this term.

If we understand “sanctified” as meaning “holy” and sanctification as “being made holy” then any form of sanctification that requires our effort necessarily implies that we “make our selves holy” and this is a large part of the Roman error. Under this concept holiness is achieved and maintained through righteous living. It is a short step from this point to the point (I hope to detail this step soon) where the Church determines who is and who is not holy, which again is based solely on the determination of who is and who is not righteous. Salvation is then a determination of the Church with the power, authority and glory of Christ being usurped by the Church.

If on the other hand we can understand sanctification as our position in Christ then we can understand righteous living as a reflection of His holiness to His glory rather than a reflection of our effort to our glory. Under this concept holiness is achieved and maintained by grace through faith and the Church only serves Christ in facilitating the faith of its members.

1/17/2008 05:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Gordon Cloud said...

I think I understand where you are coming from on this. I will reserve further comment until I read the rest of what you have to say about it. God bless.

1/17/2008 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

an echo through the land...

"holiness is achieved and maintained by grace through faith and the Church only serves Christ in facilitating the faith of its members"

I agree.

1/17/2008 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Preacher thanks so much for your critique, oversight and patience in this. I had hoped to have an article for this morning but I’m going to have to be more concise or break it up into a series. I hope I can be concise.

Missy! It’s so good to see your comments again. We’re still praying for your sister and family and I hope things are getting better.

1/18/2008 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Gordon and KC,
I will try to respond when I have more time next week. Please remind me. :)

Not ducking, just need to think on that a bit.
Blessings

1/18/2008 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Actually, I am ducking out on it... in order to think about it for a bit. :)

1/18/2008 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

hahaha ! Who couldn't love a man like that??? rolling here

Pastor this blog is always open to you and we can bring anything back up whenever you find time to discuss it. ;-)

As I told Gordon I really appreciate your critique and oversight and especially the fellowship we enjoy on here.

1/18/2008 12:28:00 PM  

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