CONFESSIONS OF A STREET PREACHER: The quest for the holy grail of sanctification

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Peter 1:2 KJV — Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Is sanctification the holy grail of the Christian life?
1. In uncommon virtues faith hope charity
2. In holy passion for the things of God. That first love
3. In turning from every sin and deliverance from evil
4. It should be mentioned sanctification is denied to the casual mind, the lovers of this world, and the unfaithful
If sanctification is commanded and enjoined to the life that is pleasing to God it ought to be preached and sought.
The LORD is ever Jehovah M’Kaddesh
How can the minister of Christ encourage and facilitate such a quest? Without being too dramatic “the quest for the holy grail. ” The quest for holiness purity and the conscrated life. Usefulness faithfulness, soldiering for Jesus Christ his Cross and crown!

9 Comments

  • Reply November 18, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    still going on and going on for RichardAnna Boyce

    • Reply November 18, 2019

      RichardAnna Boyce

      One of the motivations or accountability I use in the sanctification process, is the EXCHANGE of flesh rewards now for Spirit rewards in the Millennium.

      I am assuming a personal belief of rapture at any time,
      followed by Judgment Seat of Christ for believers
      Followed by 7 years Marriage Feast of the Lamb,
      At the same time as the Great Tribulation here on earth,
      Followed by the Great White Throne judgment of unbelievers,
      Followed by 1000 years Millennium rule of God’s Kingdom on earth,
      Where faithful believers rule with Christ as His co-heirs,
      And unfaithful believers (in this life), apostates, are ruled over,
      But still go into the Millennium as sons of God,
      And then after 1000 years I imagine all believers
      will be equal with no more tears for eternity.

    • Reply November 18, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      RichardAnna Boyce there MUST be sanctification without which NO one will see GOD – Paul says it

  • Reply November 18, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    Hebrews 12:14-17
    Each believer needs to pursue holiness (or “sanctification,” hagiasmos). This normally denotes progressive sanctification (e.g., Rom 6:19), and the preceding context confirms that meaning here (note “partakers of His holiness” in Heb 12:10). This is essential for one to see the Lord.

    In light of the epistle’s eschatological concerns (Christ’s return was referred to in both 9:28 and 10:37), “seeing the Lord” probably looks forward to that future moment that completes the sanctification process when each believer will see the Lord face to face and be like Him (cf. 1 John 3:2). Though none of us will become completely like Christ in this life, yet because this is our ultimate destiny, we ought to pursue sanctification now (cooperating with God in His discipline of us).

    Just as all true sons partake of God’s discipline (Heb 12:8), so also all enter the sanctification process, progress to some degree, and ultimately see the Lord. The text is not saying that people will be saved in the final analysis because they attain to a certain level of holiness. Simple faith in Christ and His atoning work is the sole basis by which people go to heaven, not the extent of their sanctification.

    12:15. The same communal spiritual concern includes being on the lookout for anyone who might fall short of the grace of God. The stress on progressive sanctification suggests this does not mean a failure to believe the gospel. In light of the context of Hebrews (especially the weak and failing ones mentioned in vv 12-13), this probably looks at the failure to appropriate God’s grace for successfully completing one’s Christian pilgrimage (cf. 4:16). This can lead to a root of bitterness in the believer’s life (cf. Deut 29:18-21), that furthers a hardened unbelieving heart and eventually leads to withdrawal from the community into apostasy. Like a bad disease, this can spread to others and defile them.

    12:16-17. Immaturity (and spurning the grace of God) can degenerate to an immoral lifestyle that further hardens a believer’s heart. In Esau’s case he was the firstborn son and therefore entitled to the firstborn’s inheritance rights. Later on he wanted that privilege back, but found it was too late. Hence, he found no place for repentance, that is, Isaac, his father, would not change his mind. Not even tears could change his father’s mind and restore what he, Esau, had forfeited (Gen 27:34,38). One must be careful not to follow in Esau’s footsteps in light of the future eschatological “rest” (and inheritance) at stake.

    • Reply November 18, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Sanctification as a Biblical Word
      To assess competing claims about sanctification we must first attend to the biblical language of sanctification. Then, the biblical terminology for sanctification must also be related to ways of articulating a doctrine of sanctification, which we will examine in the next major section.

      1.1. Old Testament Background
      Before examining NT usage, a brief statement of OT sanctification terminology will be useful. In this section I am simply summarizing Peterson’s own work since it nicely captures the main thrust of OT teaching.15

      The central reality in any discussion of sanctification is the holiness of God himself. One of the most common epithets for God in the OT is “the Holy One.”16 God is holy, which means that he is morally pure, separate from all sin and defilement, but also separate (transcendent) from all created things in his “majesty, sovereignty and awesome power.”17

      Because God is holy, all that is unholy must be cast out his presence. “Nevertheless, many Old Testament passages indicate that holiness can be attributed or imparted to people or objects because they are cleansed and consecrated to the Lord and his service.”18 When one is sanctified one is set apart for God’s special use. However (and just as importantly), the consecration of God’s people is rooted in God’s election and work of redemption. Sinful people cannot be consecrated for service to God unless they are first purified and cleansed of their sinful defilements. God is the one who takes the initiative in sanctifying his people. Israel is specifically set apart by God as his “possession” (סְגֻלָּה), a “holy nation” (גוֹי קָדוֹשׁ). This consecration, however, is only possible because of the mediation and atonement that is worked by God in and through the priestly system, encapsulated above all in the Day of Atonement (Lev 16). In other words, Israel is called to be holy, but must first be cleansed by God and thereby granted a holy status.19 If it were not for this latter fact, God’s awesome holiness would have annihilated Israel (see e.g., Exod 19:22–24).20

      Finally, because God is holy and has set his people apart as holy, He “demand[s] holiness of living as a response,” which is best summed up in the first half of Leviticus 11:44: “For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.”21 Peterson summarizes OT teaching about the sanctification of God’s people like this: “holiness means being set apart for a relationship with the Holy One, to display his character in every sphere of life.”22

      http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/biblical-words-and-theological-meanings-sanctification-as-consecration-for-transformation/

  • Reply November 18, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    Summary and Conclusions of the article Troy Day quoted:-
    The biblical word “sanctification” does not mean transformation, but it is clearly connected to transformation. The claim that linking sanctification with renewal and spiritual growth “obscures the distinctive meaning and value of the terminology in the New Testament” needs to be modified.73 The NT pattern can be summarized like this: at conversion believers are definitively set apart (sanctified) for God’s own special use. Also, at conversion believers die with Christ and are raised up with him to newness of life (the doctrine of definitive sanctification). Finally, believers must strive, in reliance on the Holy Spirit, to preserve, and live in light of, their holy status until the end of their lives (the doctrine of progressive sanctification).74 While neither the doctrines of definitive sanctification nor progressive sanctification are based narrowly on the meaning of sanctification words, both doctrines are integrally connected to the once-for-all setting apart of believers that is denoted by the biblical terminology of sanctification. Sanctification is consecration for the purpose of transformation. Thus, the argument that we should not speak (even doctrinally) of sanctification as transformation needs nuancing. Is there really a significant difference in arguing, as Peterson does, that “sanctification means having a new identity, with the obligation to live according to that identity,” rather than arguing that sanctification is a process?75

    As we have seen, one could argue (like Peterson) that other terminology corresponds more closely with biblical usage. For example one could (as John Calvin does) use the word regeneration rather than sanctification.76 This could be said to have the benefit of simplicity: believers are regenerated by God at conversion, and God continues to regenerate (renew) them until the end of their lives. This, however, would simply be using different words to convey the same theological reality that is conveyed in the doctrines of definitive and progressive sanctification. And it is very doubtful whether the lexicographical meaning of any single biblical word (including regeneration) can capture the entire picture of Christian development from conversion to final glorification.77 What is of primary importance is the substance of the concept being described, not the specific word used as the doctrinal heading (sanctification, regeneration, etc.). Using the word sanctification to depict Spirit-wrought transformation of believers seems to have become so entrenched in theological discussion that employing a different term would probably introduce more confusion than clarity. And more significantly, we have seen that sanctification terminology does indeed have a close and vital link with transformation. Most importantly, the substance of the doctrines of definitive and progressive sanctification is indeed biblical.

    • Reply November 19, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Finally, the use of ἁγιασμός is Hebrews 12:14 should also be understood in the same way: if people do not “pursue” (διώκω) “holiness” (ἁγιασμός) throughout their lives they will not see the Lord (i.e., be saved) in the end. Even though ἁγιασμός means separateness from defilement and sin, this separateness must be continually manifest throughout the Christian life. Believers are set apart as holy, and they must strive to preserve that holy status until the final judgment. As Anthony Thiselton puts it, believers must be “holy in life, as a habituated pattern which has become reflected in settled character.”70 Thus, even in Hebrews, where the definitiveness of sanctification is the most pronounced in the whole NT, it is seen that sanctification/holiness must be maintained over the entirety of a believer’s life.

  • Reply November 19, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    Hebrews 12:14-21
    If the readers viewed their hardships as part of God’s beneficial discipline, this would help them endure and finish their Christian pilgrimage well. For those tempted to respond negatively, the author issues a final “warning passage.”

    1. A word of caution for the disobedient (12:14-17)
    Just as believers should help the “weaker” ones (vv 12-13), so the whole community has a responsibility to look out for any who might drift away from the Lord.
    12:14. He exhorts them to pursue peace with all people. By “all people,” he means all in the community of faith, since both the preceding and following contexts have these in view. By peace, the author may have in mind the Hebrew concept of “shalom”–not merely peace but one’s whole welfare. To pursue peace with everyone in God’s family would be to seek for their total welfare, especially their spiritual well-being. The words translated “pursue” and “peace” are also found in combination in Rom 14:19, in a context calling for mutual concern and edification among believers (cf. Ps 34:14).
    Each believer also needs to pursue holiness (or “sanctification,” hagiasmos). This normally denotes progressive sanctification (e.g., Rom 6:19), and the preceding context confirms that meaning here (note “partakers of His holiness” in Heb 12:10). This is essential for one to see the Lord.
    In light of the epistle’s eschatological concerns (Christ’s return was referred to in both 9:28 and 10:37), “seeing the Lord” probably looks forward to that future moment that completes the sanctification process when each believer will see the Lord face to face and be like Him (cf. 1 John 3:2). Though none of us will become completely like Christ in this life, yet because this is our ultimate destiny, we ought to pursue sanctification now (cooperating with God in His discipline of us).
    Just as all true sons partake of God’s discipline (Heb 12:8), so also all enter the sanctification process, progress to some degree, and ultimately see the Lord. The text is not saying that people will be saved in the final analysis because they attain to a certain level of holiness. Simple faith in Christ and His atoning work is the sole basis by which people go to heaven, not the extent of their sanctification.
    12:15. The same communal spiritual concern includes being on the lookout for anyone who might fall short of the grace of God. The stress on progressive sanctification suggests this does not mean a failure to believe the gospel. In light of the context of Hebrews (especially the weak and failing ones mentioned in vv 12-13), this probably looks at the failure to appropriate God’s grace for successfully completing one’s Christian pilgrimage (cf. 4:16). This can lead to a root of bitterness in the believer’s life (cf. Deut 29:18-21), that furthers a hardened unbelieving heart and eventually leads to withdrawal from the community into apostasy. Like a bad disease, this can spread to others and defile them.
    12:16-17. Immaturity (and spurning the grace of God) can degenerate to an immoral lifestyle that further hardens a believer’s heart. In Esau’s case he was the firstborn son and therefore entitled to the firstborn’s inheritance rights. Later on he wanted that privilege back, but found it was too late. Hence, he found no place for repentance, that is, Isaac, his father, would not change his mind. Not even tears could change his father’s mind and restore what he, Esau, had forfeited (Gen 27:34,38). One must be careful not to follow in Esau’s footsteps in light of the future eschatological “rest” (and inheritance) at stake.

    2. The contrast of two covenants (12:18-24)
    The thought of Esau forfeiting his inheritance is analogous to any who might jeopardize his future by turning back to the Old Covenant.

    • Reply November 19, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      the use of ἁγιασμός is Hebrews 12:14 should also be understood in the same way: if people do not “pursue” (διώκω) “holiness” (ἁγιασμός) throughout their lives they will not see the Lord (i.e., be saved) in the end. Even though ἁγιασμός means separateness from defilement and sin, this separateness must be continually manifest throughout the Christian life. Believers are set apart as holy, and they must strive to preserve that holy status until the final judgment. As Anthony Thiselton puts it, believers must be “holy in life, as a habituated pattern which has become reflected in settled character.”70 Thus, even in Hebrews, where the definitiveness of sanctification is the most pronounced in the whole NT, it is seen that sanctification/holiness must be maintained over the entirety of a believer’s life.

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