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Progress or no progress

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by agedman, May 26, 2012.

  1. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2011
    In recent thread(s), the view that the Scriptures teach "progressive sanctification" has been posted.

    I would like to see this thread engage either a defense or a refutation of that view.

    To establish my own view, I will state that I have not to this date found a single Scripture that teaches that sanctification, sanctify, sanctified, or any other form of the use of the word is a mater of progress - especially of any human generated effort.

    As I have stated in more than one post, the word is not "to set apart" as if some move takes place. The Scripture does not use the word some would enjoin as meaning "set apart" as some prepositional geographical move and it be applied accurately to sanctification.

    Rather, it is a declaration, title of ownership, ... a positional statement in which the word is used, not a moving of elements prepositional statement.

    I have used the following in recent thread(s) as illustrative.

    The temple/tabernacle and all that pertain were sanctified. In that declaration there was no modifications, modulations, upgrades... rather a statement (and anointment by the oil of the apothecary signifying place of healing) that the temple/tabernacle were sanctified.

    One distinguishes their car from all other vehicles in the world by a single document. The title.

    Both of these show exactly the "set apart" that sanctification, sanctify... means.

    There is no prepositional movement in which one is removed from one place and set to another, or movement of progress from worldly to more Christlike. Such is NOT sanctification, but is the glorification of the believer and the maturing as a believer.

    So, the genesis of this thread assumes that there is NO progressive sanctification that is Scriptural, but a misapplication of terms to that which indicates a maturing growth through the leadership of the Holy Spirit and understanding of the Word.

    This thread will hopefully allow those who do contend for a progressive sanctification to prove BY Scripture in context the validity of their view.

    If I am wrong, I will humbly admit it and recant. But it must be shown by Scriptures and the words sanctify, sanctified, sanctifies,... must appear somewhere in the Scriptural text and not just be "assumed."
  2. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    The Holy Spirit continues to sanctify those whom He has regenerated and finally prepares them fully for the service and enjoyment of life in the presence of God [John Dagg, Manual of Theology, page 285]. Sanctification has two aspects, positional and progressive. In each case the Holy Spirit is the instrument of sanctification. ‘Positional’ sanctification, being ‘set apart for God’, occurs with regeneration. ‘Progressive’ sanctification occurs as the believer grows in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ [2 Peter 3:18]. Both positional sanctification and progressive sanctification are indicated in the prayer of Jesus Christ for His Church:

    John 17:15-17, KJV)
    15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
    16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
    17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

    Progressive sanctification can only occur when the believer is obedient. Just as the life of Abraham shows that obedience flows from faith so the New Testament teaches that obedience is a corollary or outgrowth of faith. We most frequently quote Ephesians 2:8,9 that deal with conversion. Unfortunately verse 10 that deals with obedience is often neglected:

    Ephesians 2:10, KJV
    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    The Apostle Paul defines the believers responsibility in sanctification as follows:

    Romans 12:1-2, KJV
    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.
    2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    The beloved Apostle John is very blunt concerning the believers responsibility:

    1 John 2:4, KJV
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

    Finally we turn once again to the Apostle Paul, who most clearly taught justification by faith alone, as he writes to the Hebrews:

    Hebrews 5:8,9, KJV
    8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
    9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    Is our obedience perfect? Most definitely not! Paul again tells us in Hebrews:

    Hebrews 2:16-18, KJV
    16 For verily he took not on [him the nature of] angels; but he took on [him] the seed of Abraham.
    17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
    18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

    And the Apostle John reminds us in similar fashion:

    1 John 2:1, KJV
    1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
  3. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2011

    I am not in disagreement with any of the Scriptures you posted.

    EACH shows the the believer is to mature in Christ, and I have no disagreement.

    However, NONE of them has anything to do with actual sanctification.

    For instance, how did the temple/tabernacle become more Christlike after the parts and things pertaining to them were sanctified?

    How is the believer more saved than saved? Can one be partially saved?

    Does God partially title the believer as his own?

    Is there anyplace in Scriptures that teach a partial sanctification?
  4. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Some Christians are more obedient than others but there are no partial Christians.

    Romans 8:17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
  5. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2011
    What a great verse that is for sure and for certain! It shows most certainly there is no half way salvation, and by extrapolation, no half way declaration of God of the believer's total sanctification. That the sufferings are not an indication of progressive sanctification but of the believer bearing the very marks of the suffering Christ and ultimate glorification.

    I truly enjoy Romans 8:10 - 18
    "10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
    11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.
    12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
    13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
    14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
    15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
    18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.​
  6. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31 New Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    John 15

    The Vine and the Branches

    15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[The Greek for he prunes also means he cleans.] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

    5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

    Luke 8 :
    11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

    1 John 2:
    19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

    20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.[Some manuscripts and you know all things] 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

    24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.

    Hebrews 3 :
    12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.

    We are all going to have trials and test in our lives that in these times we think we have little or no faith, but we must be assured that Christ is faithful when we are not and to continue to remain in Christ for He will not lose one He has been given.

    John 6:45
    It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.

    John 14:24
    Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

    Matthew 11:29
    Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

    Jeremiah 6 :
    16 This is what the Lord says:

    “Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,
    ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest for your souls.
    But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
    #6 psalms109:31, May 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2012
  7. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    A wonderful passage. Thanks for posting it.:godisgood:
  8. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    May 14, 2001
    While the phrase "sactify, sanctification" is not used in these passages (except for "holy", which shares the same basic root - hagi) they are IMV the dynamic of progressive sanctification:

    Romans 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.
    2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.​

    Transformed:Root:metamorphoo - an outwardly preceptible change of form, Friberg Greek Lexicon (00039).​

    2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.​

    Changed:metamorphoo (Ibid.)

    glory to glory Indicating a progression:​

    NIV 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.​

    While the sanctification is there from the onset of the new birth and the infilling of the Spirit, it is revealed over time in our behavior and countenance through our cooperation with the leading of the Spirit and the cleansing/growth of the water/milk of the word.​

    1 Peter 1:13
    13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
    14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
    15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
    16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.​

  9. 12strings

    12strings Active Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    This is an interesting topic. The OP has some good points, and I think no one has disproved him yet...IF he is saying that there certainly is progressive growth and maturity and growth in godliness, but that sanctification is not the scriptural word to use to describe that.

    There was one scripture quoted above that might be the exception:

    To uphold the OP, you would have to say that Jesus here is speaking about a future action that would apply to all post-pentacost believers, but that was not yet applied to his disciples. This would be hard to argue, since it seems Jesus had already put his stamp of ownership on them, dedicated them to his service, and set them apart. So unless this "sanctify" means something different than that, I don't see how the OP can stand.
  10. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2011
    Are you assuming the disciples were "saved" in the same manner before they were sealed by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost?

    What is the work of the Holy Spirit to the believer?

    Does it not seem that Christ indicated that while He was physically on earth, that He was their protector and for them to wait upon the application of the Holy Spirit who would guide, teach, ... into all things that He has taught them, that the Holy Spirit would not come unless He left?

    Jesus is stating the sanctification is yet to happen according as the Scriptures (the Word of truth), not that it has happened.

    If one is to accept that the believer is endowed by the Holy Spirit, and that is presented to the believer as part of salvation, then it would follow that, the OP statement on sanctification and Jesus as recorded in John would not be in disagreement.