"My heart I give Thee, Lord, eagerly and earnestly." - John Calvin
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
The Trinitarian Process of Sanctification
It is common to think of the process of sanctification (I'm not referring to the instantaneous forensic sanctification that happens at conversion) as the the work of the Holy Spirit in us. And it certainly is that. The problem is that Scripture does not credit it to the Holy Spirit alone. Rather, it is a cooperative effort of all three Persons of the Godhead working in the heart of a believer.
First, it is true that we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Scripture does, indeed, say so: "According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification
of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his
blood" (I Peter 1:2). I find it interesting that, even asserting this role for the Holy Spirit, Peter does not allow us to neglect that our salvation is a Trinitarian affair.
Next, the Apostle Paul credits our sanctification to God the Son: "Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word" (Ephesians 5:25-26). See also Romans 15:16. And Moses repeatedly shows the role of the Father in sanctifying His people: "Keep My statutes and do them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you" (Leviticus 20:8).
We have such an impoverished view of the spiritual life, being unaware of the level of divine involvement that, not only has saved us, but continues to work in us to bring us more and more into conformity with the nature of our God (Romans 8:29).
My name is Chris Cole. I have lived in the Charlotte, NC, area for over thirty years, and have been an active Presbyterian during most of that time. I love the Westminster Confession of Faith as a beautiful expression of my own personal beliefs.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I prefer the English Standard Version of the Bible, and all quotations are from the ESV, unless otherwise stated.
I have a number of reviews of Reformed books on Amazon. There is a link to them in the Reformed links below.
"Seeing [that] the Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus, is so ready (never was there king so ready to hear a subject as Jesus is), [even] if thou wert the vilest body that goes, a thief, a harlot, etc., yet if thou wilt say this, 'Lord, remember on me, and give me a part of thy kingdom'; - if thou prayest to him from a penitent heart, with confidence and assurance, I promise unto thee, heaven and earth shall go [fall] together ere thou wantest [lack] thine asking. Seeing [that] our Lord Jesus is so liberal [free-giving], then seek more than enough, more than a kingdom, and thou shalt get more. The only cause why we want [lack] is in us: we have no hearts to seek it." - Rev. Robert Rollock, Scottish Presbyterian minister, about 1590, in a commentary on Luke 23:42-43