Monday, April 09, 2007

Theology 101 - Sanctification

I've already addressed justification and how it is a once and for all act of God declaring us "justified". Today we'll look at sanctification and consider how God has ordained this facet of our salvation as a process to mold and refine us into the image of His Son! No matter how you look at it, it is to His glory alone--not ours.

"Sanctification may be defined as that gracious and continuous operation of the Holy Spirit by which He purifies the sinner from the pollution of sin, renews his whole nature in the image of God, and enables him to perform good works.

The Characteristics of Sanctification

1. God and not man is the author of sanctification. This does not mean, however, that man is entirely passive in the process. He can and should co-operate with God in the work of sanctification by a diligent use of the means which God has placed at his disposal.

2. Sanctification is not, like justification, a legal act of God, but a moral and re-creative activity, by which the sinner is renewed in his inner being and made to conform ever-increasingly to the image of God.

3. It is usually a lengthy process and never reaches perfection in this life. In cases in which regeneration and conversion are soon followed by death, the process may, of course, be very short.

4. The process of sanctification is either completed at death or immediately after it as far as the soul is concerned, and at the resurrection in so far as it pertains to the body."

(My unending debt and appreciation to Louis Berkhof!)

2 comments:

From Terri said...

Connie, your thoughts on sanctification are exactly correct! Sanctification should give personal reality to the redemptive role of God and the Holy Spirit in us. If it (sanctification) is allowed (co-operation) to permeate the whole person, mind, emotions, and body. “May the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” I Thess. 5:23. Then the sanctification process, albeit difficult at times, brings greater maturity and holiness to us. The more Like our Beloved Savior we become, the more we will experience personal joy and peace. Because of this our obedience, the practicing of theology is motivated. We serve a Wonderful God!

Connie said...

terri: Amen, sister! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! BTW, I'm enjoying watching your blog take shape and come alive!!