Sanctification, Part 1

Sanctification, Part 1

If God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world ‘to be holy and blamesless before him in love’ (Eph. 1:4), he accomplished that goal through the redemption he won for us in Christ.  The benefit of his saving work is actually conveyed to us through the gospel, which declares that we are sanctified and cleansed.  We stand before him already ‘holy and blameless’ in his sight until we meet him as the glorified church.  To that end, he ‘nourishes’ and ‘tenderly cares’ for us, ‘because we are members of his body’ (5:29-20).[1]

The means of living the sanctified Christian life has been a subject of debate since the first century.  Scholars have argued the significance of various Scripture passages seeking to determine the desire of God for His people’s lifestyle and calling.  There are some aspects of the Christian life however, which God determines to remain behind the darkened glass.  He seems to shed enough light on the subject matter for believers to strive with Him, yet keeps it hidden just enough to cause the conclusion to be elusive.  So it seems with the doctrine of sanctification.  God has offered enough information in Scripture to determine how one should live, but the methodology whereby one may experience sanctification and remain sanctified seems much less clear.  God requires believers nonetheless, to seek His divine purposes and will with regards to their lives; thus we must wrestle with the Scriptures for personal illumination in this area.

My hope is to share a series of blog posts on this topic that will examine a few historical thoughts on sanctification and then articulate my own views from the Scriptures.  I am looking forward to this journey and pray it is a blessing to you as well.

[1] Peterson, David. Possessed By God: A New Testament Theology of Sanctification and Holiness Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1995) 54.

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