It encompasses the whole spectrum of our salvation from its conception in the mind of God to its consummation in the new heavens and the new earth. Our experience of death to sin and resurrection to new life is in light of our union with Christ in his death and resurrection. The doctrine of justification is crucial to a proper view of the gospel and is not simply a doctrine developed in the heat of the battle in Galatians.
Second , it is a once-for-all decision to declare not make us righteous in his sight so that there remains no longer any legal recourse or accusation against us. God is the One who justifies. Our standing has been forever changed and we are no longer guilty; the law no longer has recourse against us. Fifth , justification comes through faith and not by works as Paul makes clear in Romans ; We do not earn this standing, but rather it is credited to our account through faith in Christ.
While justification is related inextricably to sanctification, they are not the same reality and should not be confused. Justification does not mean that God infuses righteousness into us in order to prepare us to receive his grace which is really not NT grace at all. Seventh , there is an eschatology to justification. In many different texts—many more than one finds in the Old Testament—the New Testament claims that God is our special Father through the gospel and that we are his children.
It is in the context of this new relationship that we receive many, great blessings. First , God is our Father , the one who cares for us and all our needs. Second , He forgives us when we confess our sin, for he is both a Father who is holy but who also understands our weaknesses and draws alongside to help in time of need Matt Third , He disciplines us and chastens us for our sin so that we might share in his holiness Heb He loves us so much that he will not let us wander forever, but will draw us back to his side.
Perspective Digest : God’s Judgment as Salvation
Indeed, by His Spirit he leads us into greater experiences of his holiness and this is essentially what it means to be a son or daughter of God Rom Finally , it is through our sonship that we become heirs of Christ, and of God, and of all that eternal life has in store for us, including suffering in the present life Gal ; Rom We are to love others according to the example he set for us Eph ; 1 Pet Through regeneration we are transformed morally and spiritually so that we can live like sons of God and not like slaves who do not know their masters.
The doctrine of sanctification can be spoken of in three tenses. With respect to the past , we have been set apart, both to belong to God, positionally speaking, and to serve him, practically speaking.
We were sanctified at the moment of conversion and were declared legally holy and belonging to the Lord 1 Cor With respect to the future , we will be totally sanctified someday in our glorified bodies. At that time our practice will completely match our position or standing before God. At the present time we are being sanctified, that is, increasingly being transformed into the image of the Lord 2 Cor Thus the nature of sanctification is transformation; we are being progressively conformed into the image of the Son who died for us.
Sanctification in the present time, then, is the process of transformation into the image of Christ and the efficient cause of this glorious change is the Spirit living in us 2 Cor He mediates the presence of Christ to us and unfolds the moral will of God to us John ; 1 Cor ; Therefore, the purpose for which the Spirit is aiming in our lives is Christlikeness and the degree to which we are conformed to him is the degree to which we are sanctified.
The fruit that should characterize our lives, then, ought to be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control Gal The root of this transformation lies in our co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with Christ Rom , and the process is never completed in this life Phil Nonetheless, we shoot for perfection 1 Peter , knowing that such will not be the case until the Savior comes from heaven to transform our lowly bodies Phil Until then, the process is colored by struggle against the world 1 John , the flesh Rom ; Gal , and the devil Eph Our role in the process of sanctification relates directly only to the present time.
It involves mortifying the deeds of the body, that is, putting to death those things that belong to our earthly carnal natures Col and conversely, putting on Christ Rom If, by the Spirit, we put to death the misdeeds of the body, we will certainly enjoy all the power, comforts, and joys of the spiritual life cf.
We must remember in our struggle against sin and, for righteousness , however, that we live in relationship with God on the solid foundation of justification. Though we strive to please him, it is not so that he will become our Father and take us in, rather it is because he has already declared his Fatherhood over us and because he is the One who works in us to this end. If God is the author of their salvation, he is also the finisher of it.
As Paul says, he will bring to completion the good work he has begun in Christ Phil Since faith itself is a gift of God Eph , God enables believers by the power of the Spirit to persevere in their trust and to continually move toward Christlikeness, even if for a long while they err in sin.
God does not revoke his call, nor annul the justification he has put in place Rom Those whom he has called…he also glorified Rom He will never let his own perish John Passages such as Hebrews have often been used to deny the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. But these passages do not teach that people can lose their salvation cf. Heb Rather, the writer is drawing inferences based on the evidence i.
Thus the writer warns them of the eternal consequences of life apart from Christ. The important point that these so-called warning passages demonstrate is that one of the means God uses to protect his saints and enable them to persevere is powerful preaching and his word of rebuke. Finally, this doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, or as it is commonly called, the eternal security of believers not exactly the same thing , does not lead to sluggish behavior or a lack of zeal in the Christian life. First of all, it includes severe warnings in this regard; we saw this above.
Second, perseverance means that the Spirit is persevering with us in order to bring about the fruit of the Spirit in us. He has been doing this from the beginning since we were at one time dead in sin when he breathed regenerating life into us. We are no more sinful now, than we were then. Third, our election is unto holiness and glorification and the Trinitarian plan cannot be thwarted Eph ; Rom Fourth, to argue that believers can lose their salvation is to misunderstand many Biblical passages and to position the work of sanctification ultimately in the human will.
This is unscriptural and contrary chiefly to the principle of grace. On the contrary, however, the Bible emphatically teaches the eternal security of the believer Rom We must also note that not every one who claims to be a believer is a believer, and therefore to be saved. Thus the warnings by several scriptural writers. Therefore, just because a person claims to believe in Jesus does not mean that they do. The doctrine of eternal security refers only to those who are truly born-again and who therefore persevere to the end. Glorification is the moment at which the life of God is strikingly manifested is us when we receive our resurrected bodies and are perfectly fitted for existence in the eternal state.
There will be some similarity between our mortal bodies and our glorified bodies, as the example of Jesus after his resurrection demonstrates e. It will be a body similar to its predecessor, as a seed is to the plant into which it grows. But it will not be marked by dishonor, decay, weakness, and the absence of spiritual life.
On the contrary, it will be a material body, specially fitted for spiritual existence and clothed with dignity, power, and glory. In these glorified bodies there will be perfect concord between desire and fulfillment in terms of our obedience and service to our great King. Our experience of God will be one of complete fulfillment as well. But this is wrong. That includes all creeds, confessions of faith, catechisms and church constitutions. Men can and do err, but God cannot err. The Bible is therefore over the authority even the delegated authority of people who exercise some degree of influence and authority.
While Scripture tells us to obey parents, preachers and politicians, we must obey God and not them if they ever go against the Bible Acts The words and books of theologians must be weighed by Scripture, as well as all sermons and Sunday School lessons. Any preacher, priest, pope or rabbi who sets himself up as an equal authority to God is automatically a false prophet, for the true prophets themselves were under the authority of the Word of God.
No exceptions. Thus, all philosophy, psychology, logic, reason, science and opinion are subject to the truth and authority of the Bible. Because of common grace, Man may learn and teach some truths. But if they contradict Scripture — whether implicitly or explicitly, whether in doctrine or in method — then they thereby condemn themselves as false.
This applies to our own thoughts as well. Even Adam before the Fall was subject to the spoken Word of God.
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He fell into sin when he rebelled against that authority. We dare not trust our fallen minds, which are prone to err. The Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit. He never contradicts Himself, for that would be contrary to His nature as the Spirit of Truth.
Some groups need to remember this in their zeal for the work of the Spirit. All spiritual feelings, impressions and intuitions must be subject to the Word. We dare not invent exceptions because we feel that the Spirit is leading us — otherwise we are no different from the fanatic who murders his neighbor with an axe because he said that God told him to. The Holy Spirit never contradicts what He says in the Bible. The Bible alone is our source of all spiritual authority. We must trust in God and His Word, even when we do not understand it.
We must not lean on our own understanding or inclinations Pro.
We ought to read it, study it, believe it and obey it. Our attitude to the Bible is to be the same as our attitude to God, for it is His Word. This means we are to love it, even as we love God.
James M. Hamilton
Love God, love His Word. We Should Study the Bible. God gave us the Bible to read and study. It is a textbook to study, not a picture-book to browse through. There is a big difference between simply reading a book and seriously studying it. One is leisure, the other is work. God wants us to study our Bibles, not use them for pressing flowers. To study the Bible is to research it to discover its meaning.
Eisegesis is twisting the Scriptures to suit our preconceived notions 2 Pet. When we study the Bible, we should set aside wrong presuppositions and preconceived ideas.
Understanding All the Biblical Descriptors of Salvation
We need to be teachable. We should pray before and during Bible study, and rely on the Holy Spirit in us to teach us what He says in the Bible.
Faith comes to us by the Word of God Rom.