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Progressive Sanctification

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progressive sanctification-Act of God and Man-Heb 10:14

How does the believer withstand the trials of the day and maintain the desire and practice to glorify God in his/her every day life? How is the believer made ready or perfected for heaven?

Divine     Divine             Divine &          Divine                Divine &                Divine Act

Act           Acts                Human            Acts                    Human Acts

-----------  -----------------   ------------------- ------------------    --------------------- ---------------------


Election  Effectual           Faith              Positional          Progressive

                 Calling                                     Sanc.                  Sanc.


                Regeneration                          Justification      Perseverance   Glorification


----------- -----------------------------------------------------------    ---------------------  --------------------

Eternity    Moment of Salvation                                        The Rest of Life   Second

Past                                                                                       on Earth              Coming

First there is definitive or positional sanctification:

1 Corinthians 1:2 ¶ To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:

Hebrews 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Accomplished at the atonement.

Glorifying God and being made ready for heaven is done by Progressive Sanctification.

The means of this Sanctification or Biblical change: by means of the truth= evn

John 17:17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.


God uses means, it is unbiblical to teach that God acts upon our souls without our effort:


I. examples of this unbiblical teaching: see (DTS)Wayne house's charts on theology


  1. Wesleyan-perfectionism-Methodism-Pentecostal churches-crisis moment sanctification. receives sanctification just like salvation.

b. Keswick- hana smith, Ian Thomas, Andrew Murray, watchmen nee.

let go and let God-defeated Christian must stop trying in sanctification. inward rest and outward victory-victorious life, victorious living.

its deadly to spiritual life because it has you chasing down some lost/mystical hope by short cutting the process

c. carnal man perspective-ls chafer, Ryrie, walvoord, couch



1 cor. 3 carnal man(supposedly a category of believers instead of the Corinthian believers acting in an carnal way)- lives life as carnal man without the Lordship of Christ.

according to this view there can be deadness for years or life.

some lack of power.

Not having power contradicts:

Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

 the issue is not power but our relationship to the Truth, either ignorance or disobedience.

Jc Ryle(book, holiness) quote(in a nutshell)- growing souls grow because they use the means God supplies- His Truth.

"Many admire growth in grace in others, and wish that they themselves were like them. But they seem to suppose that those who grow are what they are by some special gift or grant from God, as  this gift is not bestow on them they must content to be still......but, Growth in grace is bound up in the use of means within the reach of all believers a general rule growing souls grow because they use these means."

Truly spiritual growth is a process like physical growth. It is important to understand that just as light cannot cause the blind man to see the Bible cannot cause the person to understand unless the Holy Spirit works.

The question on how is answered in the 2nd part of vs. 17,by means of the truth= evn John 17:17 , God uses means!

all these views assume a lack of power and that something happens that sends me to victory.

*see book 5 views  of sanctification for more.

God normally uses means in this world to bring change, even in the physical world, such as in the medical world such as Doctors. or uses a farmer for crops instead of immediately causes a crop of corn to appear.

II. Groups of people teach God uses means but mislead about what means God uses.

examples of means this unbiblical view espouses are:

Isolationism- remove yourself from the influence of the world-withdraw-monasticism. martin Luther before salvation as a monk. modern form-staying away from unbelievers.

we will be around of unbelievers

John 17:15 ,John 17:18 1Co 5:9 1Co 5:10 1Co 5:11

John 17:15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.

John 17:18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.

Asceticism- depriving yourselves, extreme version that brings pain to themselves. common form believes that Christians should not have a good time.

Col 2:20 Col 2:21 Col 2:23

SO then what is the primary means God uses?


John 17:17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.



frequently misunderstood

Cotton Mather- Angel of Bethesda-medical treatments in colonial America- wild remedies. wild treatments for sin=gross sanctification.



What True Biblical change is not:

1. participating in spiritual activities

Isa 1.10-15 (metaphorically calling Israel Sodom and Gomorrah

Isaiah 1:11 "What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.

2. having an emotional experience

ex 19.16-20- then, less than 40 days later in ch 32.1-they made an idol.

3. not keeping a set of rules and regulations-

three problems,

(a)it tends to focus on the least important issues(straining on a Nat),

(b) the law does not control the flesh, it awakens it, Rom 7:8  Rom 7:9  Rom 7:10  Rom 7:11  

(c)the flesh has no power to control itself.

Gal 3:3  Rom 6:19  Rom 8:3

Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

4. not avoiding overtly sinful actions,

Luke 18:9  Luke 18:11

5. not performing the right actions,

6. not accumulating Biblical knowledge

1Co 8:1  1Co 8:7

What True Biblical change is:

John 17:17  complete summary of True Biblical change

the nature of -sanctify-set apart-to make holy-for God's service-things, Christ, Christians in general. also to make pure in a moral sense,

Eph 5:25  Eph 5:26 , a work God does within us.


cf- Louis Berkof

sanctification removes our sinful tendencies gradually changing us into the image of Christ.

"The NT quite clearly refuses to endorse a carnal Christian experience as a legitimate status quo. It envisions the Christian life as simultaneously one of dying and one of living- of dying more and more unto sin and of living more and more unto righteousness." RR pg 770.

Actually make holy-throughout our lives

9 basic propositions-

1. Sanc. made possible only by the work of Christ vs.19, Heb 10:10  bought every blessing we ever receive. 1 co1wisdom,sanc.,redemption

2. sanctification is entirely a work of Triune God.

Heb 2:11 ,Heb 13:12 ,1Co 6:11 -,Gal 3:3 -gifts of God

1 thess 5:23 cf Hodge, we cannot produce the change.

3. sanc. involves maximum human effort.

rom 6. , 1Ti 4:7  discipline-word for gymastics-strained effort.

gymnaÃzoÒ. The literal sense is “to exercise naked.” it is used only figuratively in the NT, e.g., for concentration on godliness (as distinct from dualistic asceticism) in 1 Tim. 4:7 (cf. 1 Cor. 9:24ff.; Phil. 2:12); for training in discernment in Heb. 5:24 and in righteousness in Heb. 12:11; for training in greed (perhaps sarcastically) in 2 Pet. 2:14.

NAU 1 Corinthians 9:24 ¶ Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

ESV Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for athe mature, for those who have their powers bof discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

we expend the effort and God produces the change Phi 2:12 - work out your own salvation.

4. sanctification is a process, it doesn't happen suddenly-

Eph 4:15 , 2Pe 3:18 , John's picture of 1Jo 2:13 , 1Jo 2:14 ,

Children-focus on forgiveness, Young men-focus on knowledge of the Word, Fathers-focus on knowing God Himself.

sanctification is a process just like physical growth and it cannot be short circuited.

5.  sanctification is a constant war within-

this does not mean there is something wrong with you, even though you may become frustrated with yourself- there is only a problem if you throw in the white flag- believers won't

Gal 5:17 ,  Rom 7:14 ,  Rom 7:15 , Rom 7:23

6. sanctification is only complete when you die or when Christ comes,

Phi 3:12 ,Phi 3:13 , Phi 3:14 ,

7.  sanctification is a means to an end- to live for the glory of and in the fellowship with God

1Pe 1:14 ,1Pe 1:15, 1Pe 1:16 be like your Father

8. sanctification is a renovation of the heart- renovation of the inner man. a clean heart not clean clothes, in the heart on external .

Mat 12:33 , Mat 12:34 ,Mat 12:35

9. our sanctification is guaranteed- the goal of our salvation.

Eph 5:27 , part of Christ' mission

Rom 8:29 ,Rom 8:30 ,

the Father always hears His Son-  John 11:41 ,John 11:42

Therefore what does sanctification look like?

God uses means, it is unbiblical to teach that God acts upon our souls without our effort

=ordo salutis

Trials etc,, are only useful as their taken with the Word of God;

such as the death of a loved one. instead of bitterness, we see God's view of death especially regarding His own. the tragedy in of itself is not necessasarily sanctifying ,without God's Word.

The Truth=the Bible, not some hidden secret teaching.

Your Word is Truth: all of Scripture. The Bible is not a magic book. It must be studied and applied it is not a cause just like light will not cause a blind person to see.

What is the process? Explained in Eph 4.17-5.1

This is how we cooperate with the Holy Spirit -

Don't live like the lost-

17-19 the reality of life before Christ,

20-21- salvation

3 infinitives following vs. 21* This indicates what they have been taught

lay aside, renewed in your mind, put on new self.

The  process of True Biblical Change:

overview of process of biblical change-how God takes His word in our hearts and changes us.

lay aside, renewed in your mind, put on new self.

1. Lay aside-avpoqe,sqai old man Eph 4:22

 Rom 6:1 Rom 6:2 Rom 6:3 Rom 6:4 Rom 6:5 Rom 6:6 Tit 3:5

lay aside all that remains of the old life. like a piece of clothing.

2. Renewed in your mind- avnaneou/sqai Eph 4:23

go on being renewed. its passive- the Holy Spirit renews us as we promote it by not hindering Him thru consistent study and meditation of the Scripture.

Charles Hodge- Sanctification-state of the soul

Tom Pennington- "if you do no more than putt off the old life and never engage in the renewing process your doing no more that an unregenerate person does when they reform themselves".

Renewing of the mind is the hinge on which Sanctification turns.

The grid of your thinking must change.

Renewing of the mind is the hinge on which Sanctification turns.


be being renewed-don't get in the way-do things that cultivate & encourage it.

Rom 12:2 metamorfou/sqe be metamorphisized- at the deepest level of your mind.

Col 3:8 Col 3:9 Col 3:10 true knowledge in your heart, affections.

1Pe 1:22 2Pe 1:3 2Pe 1:4 Col 3:16

Lord change my distorted thinking of myself.

3. Put on Eph 4:24

What does it mean to put on?

start acting like Christ-obedience to Scripture. pursue obedience.

Practice contentment is an example. DMLD book "sanctified thru the Truth".

Quote-" The whole matter of putting on the new man is in essence the application of Truth to ourselves. It is the most important thing that one can ever discover in the Christian life.....We must talk to ourselves, preach to ourselves and we must take truth and apply it to ourselves, and keep on doing so".

* lay aside- falsehood

* Be renewed- let the Bible speak

*Put on- speak the truth each one to his neighbor

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