Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Someone Else's Final Thoughts on Sanctification

"For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified."  Hebrews 10:14

6 comments:

Nathan said...

Eric,

Is anyone debating this?

+Nathan

Carl Vehse said...

It depends on which way "sanctification" is being used. According to An Explanation of The Small Catechism (CPH, 1991, p. 68):

"Note: The word sanctification is used in two ways:

"1. The wide sense-the whole work of the Holy spirit by which He brings us to faith and also enables us to lead a godly life.

"2. The narrow sense-that part of the Holy Spirit's work by which He directs and empowers the believer to lead a godly life."

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Well, Carl apparently thinks Jesus doesn't really bring about sanctification in the narrow sense, so I guess, Nathan, some do debate this.

Steve Martin said...

I am so grateful, and give great thanks to God that I have learned (as a Lutheran) that the Lord has done all that is needful for me.

And that He will complete in me that which He has started.

That's freedom. Freedom from religion...and freedom for the neighbor.

Carl Vehse said...

Contrary to what you claim I apparently think, my April 24, 11:59 AM comment and excerpt was a response to the preceding question by Nathan. The excerpt comes from the answer to Question 156: "What is the special work of the Holy Spirit?"

"The Holy Spirit sanctifies me (makes me holy) by bringing me to faith in Christ, so that I might have the blessings of redemption and lead a godly life (sanctification in the wide sense)."

For Question 162, "Besides faith, what else does the Holy Spirit create in you by the Gospel?"

"The Holy Spirit sanctifies me in the true faith, that is, by faith He works a renewal of my whole life-in spirit, will, attitude, and desires-so that I now strive to overcome sin and do good works (sanctification in the narrow sense)."

It is this narrow sense of sanctification about which some are debating, particularly on the relevance of the doctrine of the third use of the Law.

As John Warwick Montgomery stated: "[T]he doctrine of the Third Use is an essential preservative for the entire doctrine of sanctification... A man in Christ has received a new spirit — the Spirit of the living God — and therefore his relation to the Law is changed. True, in this life he will always remain a sinner (I John 1:8), and therefore the Law will always accuse him, but now he sees the biblical Law in another light — as the manifestation of God's loving will... Only by taking the Third Use of the Law — the 'law of Christ' (Gal. 6:2) — seriously do we take regeneration seriously; and only when we come to love God's revealed Law has sanctification become a reality in our lives."

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

As Christ has perfected my sanctification, I will end up loving the Law and seeing it's beauty, even as it accuses my flesh.

And that's something that He does. I "come to love God's revealed law" because He has come to me by the Spirit using the Gospel.