How We Grow In Spiritual Maturity Theology Religion Essay Essay
The philosophy of sanctification considers how Christians grow more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. As in physical life so in the religious, new born babes are expected to turn into maturity over clip. In the religious life, newborn babes in Christ are besides expected to turn into adulthood in their character modeled on their Savior.
Different systems of divinity agree on this but where they differ is in the manner of operation or how this growing happens. In this paper, hence, the assorted ways in which sanctification is explained by different schools of divinity will be explored. This will be done in relation to Wayne Grudem ‘s analysis of sanctification. In add-on, this writer ‘s penchant will besides be stated and the grounds for the same given. In this manner, an grasp of the other schools of idea will be acquired and hopefully the truth of the Scriptures refering this of import philosophy established.
A Summary of Grudem ‘s Position
Grudem ( 2000 ) defines sanctification as “ a progressive work of God and adult male that makes us more and more free from wickedness and like Christ in our existent lives ” ( Grudem, 2000, p. 746 ) . Even this definition of sanctification takes one position over others.
Grudem ( 2000, p. 747 ) explained that sanctification has three phases get downing with the minute a individual is born once more. He farther wrote that this consequences in alteration in a individual ‘s moral fundamental law. It is this phase of sanctification that the Bible refers to as a finished work of sanctification. This is the truster ‘s initial rescue from wickedness which nullifies bondage to transgress. However, the truster still has the ability to transgress.
Harmonizing to Grudem ( 2000, p. 748 ) sanctification is besides a work in advancement which continues throughout the life of the truster. True trusters do non stay dead throughout their earthly life. They grow in character as they change into the similitude of Jesus. Some do so more than others but all do alteration. This phase of sanctification ne’er comes to an terminal in this life as that would intend that we become perfect. The last phase of sanctification harmonizing to Grudem ( 2000, p. 749 ) is at decease and becomes complete at Jesus ‘ return when our resurrected organic structures are reunited with our liquors. This means that sanctification becomes complete in the following life.
Grudem ( 2000, p. 753 ) described sanctification as a concerted work between God and adult male. Both have their several functions in this work. Even in the Godhead they besides have their several functions. God the Father subjects us, God the Son earned it for us and besides modeled His life for us to follow after while God the Holy Spirit works in us to do us holy. Our responsibility as God ‘s animals in this work of sanctification is both to swear God and to actively prosecute sanctity through obeisance to His bids. But even this active obeisance is non done apart from God ‘s aid. There are agencies approved by Scriptures which may be used to turn in sanctification. Grudem ( 2000 ) mentioned some of them, “ Bible reading and speculation ( Ps. 1:2 ; Matt. 4:4 ; John 17:17 ) , supplication ( Eph. 6:18 ; Phil. 4:6 ) , worship ( Eph. 5:18-20 ) , witnessing ( Matt. 28:19-20 ) , Christian family ( Heb. 10:24-25 ) , and self-discipline or self-denial ( Gal. 5:23 ; Titus 1:8 ) ” ( Grudem, 2000, p. 753 ) .
Grudem ( 2000, p. 756 ) besides explained that sanctification is a work that encompasses the whole life of a truster. This means the mind, the emotions, the will, and the spirit. He besides described scriptural motivations for obeisance ( 2000, p. 757 ) . Some of these are love for God, for the glorification of God, to hold peace and joy in our lives and besides because it is right to obey God. Grudem ( 2000, p. 758 ) concluded his chapter on sanctification by observing that the more we change into Christlikeness the greater peace and joy consequence in our lives.
An Overview of the Leading and Alternative Views of Sanctification
There are about five major positions or theories on sanctification held by trusters in assorted traditions. The first 1 is the Wesleyan position on sanctification. Harmonizing to House ( 1992, pp.111-113 ) the truster attains the province known as full sanctification in which he does non wilfully sin any longer. All that remains are unknown errors, and these will be removed at Christ ‘s appearance. Another of import thing to observe about this position is that the truster does non see any more battles with immorality in his life. Besides harmonizing to this position sanctification merely occurs after one wholly surrenders to Christ. Then after that he lives in a province of complete sanctification.
Some of the jobs with this position include the fact that Scripture points to a go oning battle with wickedness and provides for forgiveness throughout a truster ‘s life on Earth. Hodge ( 1940 ) commented on this battle, “ The philosophy of Lutherans and Reformed, the two great subdivisions of the Protestant Church, is, that sanctification is ne’er perfected in this life ; that wickedness is non in any instance wholly subdued ; so that the most advanced truster has need every bit long as he continues in the flesh, daily to pray for the forgiveness of wickednesss ( Hodge, 1940, p. 231 ) . In the Lord ‘s Prayer Jesus teaches trusters to pray for the forgiveness of their wickednesss ( Matthew 6:12 ) . Therefore, full sanctification is a deceptive position of sanctification and may ensue in unneeded grief to trusters who try to accomplish that.
Another position is the Pentecostal theory of sanctification. In this position, two types of trusters exist. There are those who are positionally consecrated and those who are to boot personally sanctified. A truster becomes personally sanctified after a period of seeking God in which he receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit and is able to talk in linguas. Entire sanctification becomes a end they seek after and involves making one ‘s best in obeying God ‘s will instead than a province of flawlessness. This position besides considers the positionally consecrated Christian as a defeated Christian while the personally consecrated Christian is a winning Christian ( House, 1992, pp. 111-113 ) . It hence ends up with two categories of Christians: those who are Spirit-baptized and everybody else. This is contrary to the instruction of the Bible which is that every truster in Christ has been baptized by the Spirit, “ For in Spirit we were all baptized into one body-Jews, Greeks, slaves or free-and all were made to imbibe of one Spirit ” ( 1 Corinthians 12:13, ESV ) .
The 3rd theory of sanctification is the Keswick theory. This position maintains that sanctification is achieved by the Christian ‘s exerting religion in God in a crisis minute after being frustrated by the downward pull of wickedness. In this minute, he realizes that he needs the power of God and so he lets travel of any battle with wickedness and allows God to take over. Then he is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and wickedness ceases to be an issue. It becomes a life of remainder and peace. There is no demand to endeavor any longer. In this manner, the Keswick theory of sanctification is a inactive manner of accomplishing sanctification. There is no attempt on the truster ‘s portion except to swear in God. One difference with the Wesleyan position is that Keswick position still considers the iniquitous nature present although overcome by the power of the Spirit ( Boone, n.d. , pp. 3-12 )
The 4th position on sanctification is the Augustinian-Dispensational. Harmonizing to House ( 1992, pp. 111-113 ) Regeneration is viewed as the readying of the truster for sanctification but there must be a willingness to obey Christ ‘s bids for sanctification to take topographic point. This means there must be a point at which the truster outputs to Christ ‘s Lordship. This is a passage from animal to religious truster. The 5th position which is the Reformed theory of sanctification is what has been explained under Grudem ‘s position of sanctification.
A Summary of this Student ‘s Own Positions
After analysing all the five positions of sanctification it is noted that they all have their good purposes and have produced some noteworthy work forces and adult females of God. However, they either do non to the full reflect the instruction of Bible or are even contrary to what Scripture teaches no affair what good consequence may be perceived to hold resulted from them. We can non afford to be useful about truth. Just because something appears to bring forth good consequences for a clip does non intend it is right. Doctrinal truth is to reflect the instruction of the Bible.
This pupil strongly feels that the Reformed position of sanctification is the right position of how Christians really turn in Christlikeness as taught in Scripture. That is, when a individual hears the Gospel, repents and believes in God through Christ at that minute he is sanctified, “ But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God ” ( 1 Corinthians 6:11, ESV ) . This is the moral transmutation that Grudem ( 2000, p.747 ) wrote approximately. This is a done trade. However, the truster must be increasingly sanctified throughout his life through both swearing in God and endeavoring to populate a life that is delighting to God. He continues to make this until the twenty-four hours he dies. Nevertheless, through this he is changed more and more into the similitude of Christ. In other words, he grows increasingly holy in his life and behavior. When he dies so his psyche is made perfect in sanctification while his organic structure will besides be made perfect at the Resurrection. This is what Grudem ( 2000, pp. 746-758 ) Teachs and this pupil subscribes to that position because it is brooding of the Scripture. As already stated before the other positions may do for a clip but stop up conveying defeat and grief to sincere souls yearning for complete triumph over sin as promised in those positions which ne’er happens in this life!
The philosophy of sanctification is a really of import one for it explains how trusters may travel on to adulthood which is a bid of Scripture. As such, it is important that Christians hold to the right position of this philosophy. Failure to make this will ensue in defeat and perchance disenchantment with any efforts to achieve greater Christlikeness. This has happened to other people who gave up seeking when their unscriptural instructions did non present all it promised.
This survey has been eye-opening for this pupil. It has brought a clearer apprehension of this philosophy and the positions that assorted organic structures of Christians hold. Although he knew about motions such as the Keswick Convention, Wesleyans, Pentecostals, he did non cognize that this is how they believe God sanctifies His people. This is helpful in learning others in so that they can appreciate their ain beliefs and understand where some of the positions they hold may be coming from. It is besides good in his ain walk with Christ because it has been a learning procedure sing how he is to go on turning in sanctity. It besides puts to rest some concerns when there does look to be some seasons of intense battle with wickedness which the enemy sometimes uses to whisper prevarications denying what Christ has already accomplished in his life.