We have spent the past two months carefully examining evangelism. We have discussed how to guide a person from self-righteousness or self-abasement to Christ. We have shared how conviction leads to repentance and looking to Christ.
The next stop on our path of evangelism is sanctification. Why is that part of evangelism? John and Matthew share how the two are not separate, but different sides of one coin.
John and Matthew get the point from Walker who draws from the Apostle Paul in Romans 6. However, by the time we got 20 minutes into the podcast, we realized we were not getting to anything Samuel Walker actually says. So let this serve as an introduction to the concept of sanctification that we will discuss in further detail next week.
One important question to ask about sanctification is whether it is monergistic or synergistic. It is true that Christ is our sanctification. It is also true that we are commanded to add to our faith diligence, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, and godliness. So the short answer is...yes.
Further helps, explanations, links, and an outline of this week’s podcast are available under Show Notes.
0:00 Reminder of our discussion concerning a legal and evangelical sight of God. Last week John and Matthew discussed how an evangelical sight of God leads a person to repentance. It also, as they talk about this week, leads to sanctification. Samuel Walker, the friend we have walked alongside during this series, defines sanctification as “a progressive work that contains the daily renewal of the graces and the daily mortification of the body of sin.”
4:00 Walker is using the same language Paul uses in Romans 6. In that chapter, Paul speaks of the new and old man. Today that is often misinterpreted to say that Christians have two natures in them, the old man and the new. It is up to the individual believer to decide which nature he will follow and strengthen. That is not what Paul, nor Walker, nor John and Matthew are teaching.
8:00 Good men and women have been very confused when it comes to the doctrine of sanctification. Misunderstanding this truth can lead to a pursuit of experience rather than Christ. According to the Bible, it isn’t another experience we need, but the means of grace from which we are constantly receiving to strengthen those things God has already begun in us. We are to present ourselves as slaves of righteousness. But how does that help us when we are tempted with those same sins we found so attractive before we became Christians?
14:00 Why are we talking about sanctification in a conversation about evangelism? Many evangelistic efforts teach that we should get someone to commit to Christ and then move on. Where does sanctification fall in the Ordo Salutis?
17:00 We talk a great deal about experiential religion. But there are spiritual changes that happen to us that we may not feel. We don’t feel adoption, but we are adopted. We won’t feel glorification until after death. The only reason we even know any of these things exist is because God has stooped down and revealed them in the Scriptures. And we bank our eternity upon His trustworthiness.
20:00 There is a sense in which Christ is our sanctification and therefore, we are already sanctified monergistically. But there is another sense in which we are told to add to our faith diligence, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, and godliness. Scripture doesn’t say Christ will add those to our faith, but commands us to. That is synergistic. Therefore, sanctification is both monergistic and synergistic.
21:00 Matthew realizes we have spent an entire episode discussing Walker’s emphasis on sanctification without actually discussing Walker’s emphasis on sanctification. But it is important that we establish the reality of sanctification because teaching justification without sanctification leads to a cultural religion that is not biblical Christianity.
24:00 What happens when we get justification and sanctification out of order? It leads a person to bitter obedience, always attempting to earn God’s favor by keeping the law. There is no resting in Christ. There is no love for the Law. Sanctification must always work from a place of justification. It comes from a place of love. It goes back to last week’s focus of having an evangelical sight of God.
Other Episodes in this series:
Confessional definitions of sanctification:
1 Peter 1:5
Supporter Appreciation Episode Resources:
The Person and Work of Christ by B.B. Warfield
Knowing Christ by Mark Jones
Looking Unto Jesus by Isaac Ambrose
Christ All in All by Philip Henry
Christ All and In All by Ralph Robinson
The Public Ministry of Christ by William Blaikie
Jesus Power Without Measure by Douglas MacMillian
Who is Jesus Christ? by John Michael Strevel
The True Christians Love to the Unseen Christ by Thomas Vincent