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A Doctrine of Sanctification

A Summary Doctrine of Sanctification

(from the book:  Pardoned or Paroled?)

1]            God Alone is Righteous and God alone is Good:

Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed, all who were incensed against him, (Isaiah 45:24, RSV).

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone,” (Luke 18:19, RSV).

2]            We are not to look to ourselves for any good or righteousness, for none exists in us:

For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh, (Romans 7:18, RSV).

For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness, (Romans 10:3, RSV).

Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; (Philippians 3:8-9, RSV).

3]            The only righteousness we have is Jesus Christ in us:

He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord,” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31, RSV).

4]            We are saved, not because of any good deeds on our part, but through faith:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God-not because of works, lest any man should boast, (Ephesians 2:8-9, RSV).

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, (2 Timothy 1:8-9, NIV).

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin, (Romans 3:19-20, NIV).

For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law, (Romans 3:28, RSV).

5]            We are sanctified, made holy, not by good works, but also by that same faith, for Christ is not only God’s righteousness in us-he is also the One who is perfect in us:

“ …delivering you [Paul] from the people and from the Gentiles-to whom I send you to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me,” (Acts 26:17-18, RSV).

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes 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 with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so many things in vain? – if it really is in vain. Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? (Galatians 3:1-5, RSV)

…Christ Jesus, whom God made our …sanctification, (1 Corinthians 1:30-31, RSV).

…in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit,  (Romans 8:4, RSV).

But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him, (Romans 8:9, RSV).

6]            Sanctification then is not something we achieve, it is something that we receive. Sanctification is God’s work, for he is the One who makes us Holy:

Do not profane my holy name. I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who makes you holy, (Leviticus 22:32, NIV).

You shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel: I am the LORD; I sanctify you, (Leviticus 22:32, NRSV).

7]            We grow in Christ’s likeness, not through good works, but through growing in our trust in Jesus and his all sufficient work for us. As we trust his work for us more completely and trust him in all things, we rest in him. As we rest in him by faith, he pours his nature into us:

Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee, (Isaiah 26:3, RSV).

So then, there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God; for whoever enters God’s rest also ceases from his labors as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience, (Hebrews 4:9-11, RSV).

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit, (2 Corinthians 3:18, RSV).

8]            As we grow in trust in him, our character becomes more like his, and good works are produced naturally, as an expression of our relationship to him. They are the byproduct of relationship, not the cause of it nor the means to gain relationship:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing, (John 15:4-5, RSV).

I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification, (Romans 6:19, RSV).

9]            As we walk in the knowledge of our own transgression and of our lack of worthiness based upon our good deeds, we will know that we have been saved only by God’s goodness, His mercy, and His Grace. Because of that knowledge of our unworthiness, we will be much less likely to judge others and much more likely to extend mercy, grace, and compassion, and in so doing, we will begin to express more completely the character of Christ and so become more like Jesus:

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven … (Luke 6:35-37, RSV).

Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins, (1 Peter 4:8, RSV).

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy; yet mercy triumphs over judgment, (James 2:13, RSV).

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy, (Matthew 5:7, RSV).

10]            Righteousness and sanctification come through relationship to the Father; not through our efforts. We are established in relationship by faith and trust in Jesus’ finished work on the Cross.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, (Romans 5:1-2, NIV).

However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness, (Romans 4:5, NIV).

11]            Therefore, we can continually confess and face our actual sin, because we are free of the need to have any righteousness in ourselves.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us, (1 John 1:8-10, RSV).

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects, (James 5:16, RSV).

12]             Our righteousness is Christ and He alone. He is our Sanctification, our Sanctifier! He is the Holy One who lives inside us. It is He that is holy within us, not our flesh. Our righteousness is not something we have independently from God, as if it were our character. Our righteousness is the Holy God who lives within us by His Spirit.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are, (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, RSV).

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body, (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, RSV).

Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, (2 Timothy 1:13-14, RSV).

Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed, all who were incensed against him, (Isaiah 45:24, RSV).

For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh, (Romans 7:18, RSV).

For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness, (Romans 10:3, RSV).

Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; (Philippians 3:8-9, RSV).

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