1 Jan 2003

Justification vs Sanctification?

Submitted by theshovel
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In addition, his problem is not really with the soteriological argument (i.e., mixing works with grace for justification - which I believe is truly "another Gospel"). His problem lies with how all of this works with sanctification.

There really is no difference!! No, WE'VE made up those systematic distinctions in order to be able to preach "grace" for one, and "law" for the other. Our perception of this so-called "soteriological argument" is that of PROJECTION. What I mean by this is that our concept of "Justification" cannot be imagined off into the future as if we can somehow be declared "righteous" for the purpose of "going to heaven", but is merely the projection of our PRESENT sense of "unrighteousness" and inadequacy. We think we NEED a doctrine to tell us that our place in "heaven" will be secured because we are convinced that any "sanctification"-type of righteousness is severely lacking.

Don't misunderstand me here, for I'm not denying any future staying power of our deliverance in Christ. The fact is that our teachings about "heaven" far over-compensate for the relatively small quantity of material written in the Bible concerning it. This is because WE have a problem with knowing that our life in Christ is entirely sufficient. We think we need this security documented in a heaven vs. hell scenario, and to have it written down in our doctrines to convince us that we will still be with Him when our physical presence on this earth is ended. If I have a problem with what is called "sanctification" then I have a problem with Christ's sufficiency. Period. I have a problem with the lack of concrete evidence of a life that is so contrary with what I can see and understand.

Can you expound on your paragraph that reads: "If I have a problem with what is called 'sanctification' then I have a problem with Christ's sufficiency. Period. I have a problem with the lack of concrete evidence of a life that is so contrary with what I can see and understand."

As I read this again I see that I separated my thoughts in the two sentences and it comes across as me saying that I, personally, have a problem with the lack of concrete evidence. And that is not what I meant to say. Duh! It was the "if" contingency I was getting at as in the first sentence that was to be carried over into the last sentence. In other words, "And ALSO if I have a problem with what is called sanctification I have a problem with the lack of concrete evidence ..." Now, that may help clear up the obvious lack of connection, but I'm sure you're still wondering what the heck I'm getting at, huh? :)

I think we have devised our neat and clean systematic ways of viewing "salvation" because we misunderstand what it really is that we're saved FROM. We learn the "plan of salvation" that teaches us that our real problem has to do with destiny. The end result of most evangelism deals with "getting the eternal question settled", which actually teaches us that salvation is more technical in nature, and far-removed from anything "real". We can argue and make meticulous points about "grace vs. works" regarding the heaven vs. hell kind of salvation, and can even come to the "theological" conclusion that we hold to a "Christ plus nothing" belief. But do all our so-called "beliefs" have anything to do with the miraculous reality of faith? Aren't they often closer to being intellectual viewpoints that have little connection with true life in Christ?

The "tense" of salvation we have termed "sanctification" is placed in such a way that we can have a "faith-based" salvation concerning our destiny, and a "flesh-based" salvation concerning the actual real thoughts and "beliefs" of our everyday life. Anybody who reads the Bible KNOWS they cannot get around the "faith" consideration, so it must SOMEHOW figure in. So we create various technical ways we can hold to a form of "faith" and still be able to keep our fleshly-logic perceptions in place.

Honestly, I'm not too impressed by the statements of most who claim to be "defending the faith", I want to know what they think about the real, everyday stuff of life ... and how Christ fits into that!! After all, true salvation is not theological. If I hold to a "sanctification" - which is supposedly the present-reality salvation - and it is based on my performance then my REAL view of "salvation" is based on performance. Have you ever considered how logical it is to hold to an eternal destiny based on performance? You see, theology allows us to be "technically correct" about entering God's presence at the end, while holding to a basis of performance for REALLY entering God's presence.

That's why the doctrines about the Judgment Seat of Christ give a better picture of what we REALLY think salvation is. Oh, we might claim that our PLACE in heaven is secured "by grace through faith", but we really hold to a STATUS in the eternal that is determined by our works here on earth. Eternal life is not a place or a destiny. It is not "out there, somewhere in the future". It is the eternal NOW of God's life.

The fact that we DO find ourselves having problems with the everyday reality of God's salvation - or deliverance - reveals that we go through our day often questioning His sufficiency in Christ in every eternal sense. God is not concerned with our "statements" about His salvation because He is working it in us, and He KNOWS the issues we have with it. We may talk about being "assured" of our salvation in the sweet bye and bye, but the confidence He is working in us touches on this internal reality by which we discover that we know CHRIST.

Anyhow, it's late and I'm rambling and probably rephrasing the same thing over and over here. :) Tell me if I got anywhere near close to answering your question, okay? hahaha!

Oh, by the way, I can't believe you would not know how sinful it is to watch Saturday Night Live without telling me some of the funny stuff you were laughing at. :) And when you refer to the "the Shovel's high moral standards" just remember that a shovel is often found in the dirt. :)

Jim

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