Sanctification is an event
Sanctification is a process
It took this individual 6 years to realize the fruit of 'the ways of death' (progressive sanctification). Took me 5 years.
episkopos' answer is 'misery loves company'
"The answer is to be surrounded by others with this same life"
Not at all what Jesus gave us.
Eyelog, on the other hand is more on the ball.
"At some point, Dani, I feel the fruit of tree metaphor breaks down, especially if we act as if the tree is supposed to be as slow at producing fruit as a real tree might be. Paul uses metaphors that speak of instant results. Would you agree? For that matter, Aaron's staff budded overnite, and grew ripe almonds. Yum."
I have been reading the thread and I think you do have a grasp on a very important truth. We are crucified with Christ. This is a reality.There is nothing that our personal virtue or righteousness can add to the cleansing force of the blood of Jesus.This is where we begin and end or end and begin according to what perspective you view it from. For not only am I crucified with Christ,I am also resurrected with him.However,the grasping and the externalization of this reality into a constant walk in the Spirit is a process. We can call this process "maturity" or "sanctification" or as I prefer "The wilderness experience" but how ever we label it,the goal is the breaking of my will to conform to His will.The process is detailed quite clearly in Israel's wilderness journey. The Lord delivers us all from bondage but he then takes us through a time of testing,a time of purging and purifying of our faith.This faith we have is flawed with dross and impurities because of our desire for other things. We undergo a process much like gold is tried...in a furnace of fire where the impurities rise to the surface and are removed. Let's look at the examples given us in the word concerning the process and see if you agree with this take:
Ja 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
We are told here that the "trying" of our faith produces a fruit that by it's very nature cannot be instantaneous:
1) to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals
2) to recognise as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy
Abraham was given the promise but the process was a long one to achieve. In this process he learned patience.
1Pt 1:6 . Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Here once again we are told that sometimes it is necessary for us to be in many temptations so that our faith can be proven and tested. This is not an instantaneous process. What we see here is not that our righteousness or personal holiness is being improved but....that the faith that requires us to partake of Christ's righteousness is being perfected. This is a BIG difference and I thing that some of the adversarial comments about the process were just due to a misunderstanding.We are as holy when we accept Christ as we will ever be but the externalization of this virtue is a painful process that can,as Peter pointed out,cause "heaviness". The proper word is "sorrow" and shows the pain of the process.
it is interesting that after the faith chapter,where faith is defined and where it's fruit is shown,we are left with this exhortation:
Hb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons
This scourging and chastening isn't to make us more holy...that was done at calvery,it is done so that our faith might be purified to partake of His holiness:
Hb 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
We can call the process "testing" "sanctification" "chastening" but I still prefer "the wilderness experience"
When we come to Yeshua we have all kinds of expectations,goals,desires and painful situations. Our expectation is that God will fulfill them all and deliver us from all turmoil. His desire is that we might come to love him more than anything else. The peaceful resolution of these two contrary goals involve a process of pain AND joy. Pain when we lose those idols that we hold up to God and demand that he fulfill them and JOY when we find that He is all we need. That is all I mean by "breaking" or sanctification. In a certain sense I am completely justified and sanctified(set apart) the moment I receive the indwelling Christ.( as he receives me) However,how much of my life have I set apart(sanctified) for him when I first come to him? He gave me all of his life...shall I give him less than all of mine? Shall I still run with the girls or sit around and watch TV like I used to and rob him of some of my life? When I say "sanctification" I am using it in a way that defines how much I have sacrificed to spend time with him...not as if I am adding to his finished work by my personal holiness.
I was first saved at age 20. I am now 50. In the years that have transpired I have seen many ups and downs. there were times when I was so angry at God that I hated him because of the pain he allowed(not caused). There were times when my passion and love for him were so intense I thought I would explode. I noticed that most of my pain was due to God not fulfilling one of the goals I had set for him. I mean,didn't he understand that he had to bow to me?(sarcasm) Once I got this revelation the hatred fled and only the passion and love remained:
Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
HE is my reward! I need nothing else!
It can sometimes take some of us many years to learn this. We will wander in the wilderness until we do:
Ro 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience(patience,by it's very nature cannot be instantaneous) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Lord,one thing I ask...use me for your glory.
That thrills me Saved7! That's why I said early on I think it's one of, if not the most important issue facing the Church. Whether we agree or disagree to certain points we all need wisdom and understanding on this topic and as with so many topics, a lot of information out there is just not accurate.
It could be that initial sanctification is the planting of the seed, and the outworking that we have been calling progressive sanctification is the growth and fruit of that seed that was planted once for all.
Moving from fruitfulness, ( positive holiness) to our death to sin: Sin is also like a tree with roots and fruits. I've noticed that when God deals with sin, He wants to deal with it at it's roots. Man wants to take a big axe and chop the tree down, but the root is still there. God wants to cut the tree of sin down and remove it's roots. Now if I have roots of pride, lust, wrong motives, bitterness, etc. is it because God didnt remove those in my conversion or initial sanctification or is it because I let satan plant some tares in my heart post conversion. I still find myself struggling at times with a bad attitude, a hesitancy to admit when I'm wrong, sometimes I do things from a wrong motive. Now I believe that these things are sin. I do not practice these things, but they do come out from time to time. Why? Because the flesh is still lusting and warring against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. Yet I am progressively overcoming these things. I was set free from their power at conversion by initial sanctification, but the uprooting of them and exercising that dominion seems to take time.
It's kind of like when a war is already won, but there are still pockets of resistance from the losing side.
1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
2 Corinthians 7:1- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
The goal of Christianity is one simple thing. That the Father's will might be "done on earth as it is in heaven"
Lord,one thing I ask...use me for your glory.
I have not read all the threads but I believe the following is also a very good passage on what we do with what God has given us.
And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this [man] to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
He gave the Spirit to set us apart and now we should grown in that Spirit and produce the good works of faith. I think that is what James was speaking of.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Only I can do this. If Jesus had already done this for me then I would not be commanded to do it..it is only my reasonable service.
1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour
Here we see our part in sanctification. To abstain from fleshly lusts and yield to the will of God. This is what sets up apart from the world.
1Pt 1:2 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
Sanctification into OBEDIENCE by the Spirit...once again this invokes a progressive process. Spinning obedience through the Spirit( by a walk IN the Spirit) as legalism is something other than biblical Christianity. The goal is still obedience to the will of God. What the law could not do was empower men to fulfill it....the gospel of grace solves this problem by empowering us to be able to obey through the Spirit. That is how grace is properly defined "God's enabling power"
Lord,one thing I ask...use me for your glory.
"You WERE washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Jesus and in the Spirit." 1Cor6:11
It is a "done-deal", accomplished in completion by Jesus on the Cross. Yet --- it must be abided-in, as we abide in Jesus; so it functions as a process, in that it must be walked-in each day; but we are fully washed/regenerated, fully justified, and fully sanctified.Originally Posted by John8:32
If "sanctification" was an increasing process, then we would be making ourselves holy by our own righteousness. I don't think anyone here would be willing to assert that. It's all His righteousness, through our faith.
Romans1:17 is properly translated "The righteousness of God is revealed from BEGINNING faith to ENDING faith; the just shall live BY faith."
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