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3.18.2012

Sanctification made easy

This thread:

http://www.puritanboard.com/f48/timothy-kauffmans-recent-critique-brown-tchividjian-keller-73282/

shows how confused the church set is on the subject of sanctification. Here it is simplified:

Justification is monergistic.

Definitive sanctification is monergistic.

Progressive sanctification is synergistic.

Glorification is monergistic.

So, why is progressive sanctification synergistic? Because once regenerated you have *ability* to make efforts; and not only that, but your efforts are emanating from a new heart, so they have worth that your efforts as an unregenerate person didn't have. You are in effect an apple tree that is producing apples (only the quality of the apples you produce varies, so your effort is to produce high quality apples). What that metaphor means is you are doing what a regenerated individual does, producing good works, the fruit of your salvation not the cause; yet at the same time there is degree in the quality not only of our good works but in our level of being overall, i.e. we still struggle with our sinful nature, and to mortify our sinful nature, even after regeneration. We also struggle to bring to life within us features of our new nature.

One person in that thread speaks of 'reliant-on-God' effort. I think it was J. I. Packer who coined the term God-reliant effort to describe progressive sanctification. Maybe he got it somewhere else, it's a pretty simple phrase. I recall reading it in his Concise Theology, which in the chapter on sanctification is a good place to start to understand sanctification.

Remember: once regenerated you are able to sin and *able to not sin.* Prior to regeneration you are able to sin and unable to not sin. And to fill that out, Adam in the Garden was able to sin, able to not sin; and in the state of glorification we are simply unable to sin, which is a new state.

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