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The Mystery of Sanctification

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by TCGreek, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek New Member

    Sep 12, 2006
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    Recently I was thinking about Phil. 12, 13: "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

    1. It is clear from these two verses that the working out of our salvation is synergistic, involving both man and God.

    2. If God is at work in the believer "both to will and to work for His good pleasure," why does a Christian still fall away radically?

    3. And if God is at work in the believer "both to will and to work for His good pleasure," why are some Christians more mature than others?
  2. christianyouth

    christianyouth New Member

    Oct 7, 2005
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    In the most practical sense, I will answer #3. God chooses to sanctify his children through the truth. Jesus said this succinctly 'Sanctify them with the truth, thy word is truth.' Some Christians are more mature than others, because they have more exposure to God's truth, both preached and teached.

    Also, In Eph. it says that God has gave some pastor-teachers, evangelists, and prophets, for the edification of the body of Christ. If one is not exposed to good biblical preaching, their sanctification will suffer.
  3. skypair

    skypair New Member

    Jun 25, 2006
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    You're right in your interptretation, TC. Phil 1:6 says Paul is "confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" That presumes that He has begun that good work. And it always presumes that the "good work" comes through study and obedience of the scriptures as even 2Pet 1 notices.

    So yes, the work is synergistic and begins from the time that one was lost and hears and believes the gospel. Believing is the beginning of the whole process of sanctification, TC, which begins with regeneration so that we can understand the hidden wisdom of God, 1Cor 2:6.

    2Pet 1 explains why our growth is erradic --- because we are not growing in our spiritual life by adding "to faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,..." Such "cannot see afar off and have forgotten that their sins were forgiven."

    The work then is a process of continually, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, changing your mind and attitude, something you learned to do when you heard the gospel and were regnerated. Sadly, there is also a disparity in growth because some in option #3 above are trying to sanctify a life that is not saved/regenerated. The Pharisees knew how to do this to perfection.