Faculty Lecture Series—Biblical Sanctification, Days 2 and 3



Tuesday, Feb 9
Justification & Sanctification: A Unity of Distinctions

Tuesday, Feb 9, Dr. Andy Snider spoke on the relationship between justification and sanctification.

Snider opens by noting how many errors come from our misunderstanding of these two terms, specifically, the confusing of the two.

He spent a great deal of time focusing on justification, making certain that our understanding of this concept is clear. Helpful were two quotes from Reformers on justification:
  • Luther—it is “the article of the standing or falling of the church.”
  • Calvin—it is “the main hinge on which religion turns.”
Snider also notes the importance of seeing everything as flowing from God, both by His attributes and His Spirit. Justification is required because God is holy, and it is a loving act because God is love.

He also noted an important distinctive about justification: it is not a change within the believer. It is simply a declaration. It is the imputed righteousness of Christ put on the believer—His holy life and obedient death put into a sinner’s account. We have peace with God because of justification.

Snider does not spend a great deal of time on sanctification because of Mayhue’s introduction to the concept. He does call to mind that sanctification means set apart and has both positional and progressive aspects. That is, God sets a believer apart (sanctifies) when He justifies, and God begins the process of cleansing the believer from the moment of salvation.

He shares the following table for the distinction between justification and sanctification:
JustificationSanctification
ObjectiveSubjective
InstantaneousProgressive
Imputed righteousnessExperiential righteousness
IndicativeImperative
MonergisticSynergistic
God’s acceptance of usOur imitation of him

Knowing this distinction is important: our sanctification does not bring about our justification (the Catholic view), nor does justification mean we are completely sanctified (while there are tangible benefits, such as reconciliation to God, there is no natural flow from the one to the other).

Yet, there is a danger between separating the two. Primarily, it creates a two-tier Christian: one who can be justified or sanctified but not both. This has given rise to the false idea of the so-called “carnal Christian,” a saved person who does not grow in sanctification. Rather, both concepts are united in the cross (Rom 6:1–11).

He provides the following summary:
  • Both enabled by Christ’s substitution
  • Both rooted in union with Christ
  • Both empowered by the Holy Spirit
  • Both appropriated by faith
  • Both testify to the character of God
  • Both for the glory of God
  • Both assured for every believer

___________________________________________________

Wednesday, Feb 11
Sanctification: The Work of the Holy Spirit and Scripture

Dr. Barrick provides the following helpful definition of sanctification: it "refers to that which is totally other, that which one dedicates completely to God aloneGod is both incomparable to others and incompatible with sin."

He provides a biblical demonstration of God’s holiness, which includes 1) God’s uniqueness, 2) God’s hatred of sin, 3) God’s judgment on sin and sinners, and 4) God’s love for righteousness.
Sanctification is the idea of being set apart—not that of perfection. It is consecration, separation, and purification. So, the question becomes, How do we secure it?

Synergistic—The Holy Spirit’s Role.
All three persons of the Godhead perform in the act of sanctification. The Father is the one providing ultimate sanctification, and the Son secures our initial/positional sanctification. The Spirit provides this sanctification to us. Even in the Old Testament, the HS provides the solution to the impurity of the sinful human spirit (Ps 51:10–12; cp. Isa 32:15–17). Barrick notes how the HS moves through time positionally, and note that the fruit of the HS (Gal 5:22–23 is = to the Savior’s character. God gives us the ability to do what He says.

Synergistic—The Scripture’s Role.
We must not confuse law and gospel. However, we cannot see them as so separate as to have no connection. We need Scripture in our sanctification.

We are not under law as a guide for our lives. However, we are under law as it is part of Scripture that is profitable to us. In his notes, he writes, “While the Mosaic Law does not provide the Christian’s primary authority for living a godly life (cp. Gal 3:13, 23–25), God has assigned a role for all Scripture, including Mosaic Law (2 Tim 3:15–17; cp. Matt 7:21; Mark 3:35).” Compare 2 Timothy here to Psalm 19:7–13.

Thus, we can be sanctified in the Word of truth (John 17:17), as it corrects our misunderstandings and behavior and teaches us what living in holiness looks like.

Synergistic—The Saint’s Role
We cannot be so passive in our sanctification process that we neglect the commands of Scripture to “work out” our sanctification (Phil 2:12–13; cp. Rom 4:15; 7:8, 17, 20; 15:18).

He shares from Moises Silva (in “Sanctification,” Baker Encylopedia of the Bible, 2:1900) :
Yet perhaps the real ‘secret’ of holiness consist precisely in learning to keep that balance: relying thoroughly on God as the true agent in sanctification while faithfully discharging one’s personal responsibility.”

How can we be holy?
  • 1 Cor 6:11—the initial sanctification
  • 2 Cor 7:1—the exhortation to sanctification
  • Heb 12:14—the imperative for sanctification
  • 2 Cor 3:18—the process of sanctification
We belong to God, so our fashion should demonstrate a difference. We must avoid and hate sin, displaying the character of God in our behavior.

Barrick winds down by addressing a few problem passages on sanctification:
  • Eph 5:26—the word cleanses the Church in salvation and prepares her for position sanctification serving the purpose for progressive sanctification.
  • 1 The 5:23 = ultimate sanctification
  • 2 The 2:13 = initial sanctification
  • Heb 9:13–14 = initial sanctification
  • 1 Pet 1:2 = initial sanctification. In the following context, however, Peter makes it clear that this sanctification must be expressed outwardly (vv. 15–16).
Concluding statement:
Where one stands depends on where one sits. We are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph 2:6). Our position consists of Christ’s holiness; therefore, we ought to walk in that holiness and be transformed by degree into His glorious image.”

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