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Grace for Today
Devotional: May 28th
1 Corinthians 1:30
Three common errors about sanctification
Read Romans 7:14-25
Even those who are well instructed in the gospel doctrines of election, redemption, justification and regeneration commonly embrace seriously erroneous views of sanctification. They teach that salvation is altogether by grace, and they realize that sanctification is an essential part of salvation, but they insist that sanctification is partly a work of God and partly a work of man. Such mixing of grace and works in this aspect of salvation leads many to embrace a perverted doctrine of sanctification.
Pentecostalism teaches that sanctification is a second work of grace, whereby the believer is made totally free from sin, and the old nature of sin is eradicated from his being. Such a proud doctrine is directly contrary to the plain statement of Holy Scripture: ‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth us not in us’ (1 John 1:8). And the notion of ‘sinless perfection’ is contrary to the experience of every believer. Believers confess their sin. They do not hide it. Honesty compels us to acknowledge that, though we are no longer under the dominion of sin, we do have a continual struggle with sin. Sin is mixed with everything we think or do. Any man who says he is without sin is a liar.
The self-righteous legalist makes sanctification nothing more than outward, legal morality. He thinks that sanctification is accomplished by his separation from the world, his obedience to religious customs and traditions and his abstinence from the use of things he considers evil. ‘Touch not, taste not, handle not’ is his creed.
And among most of those whom we recognize as orthodox, evangelical Christians, sanctification is thought to be the progressive increase of the believer’s ‘personal holiness’. We are told that the children of God attain higher degrees of holiness by their own works in sanctification, until at last they are ripe for heaven, and that sanctification buds forth into ultimate glorification. Usually, this ‘progressive sanctification’ is made to be the basis of the believer’s assurance on earth and the basis of his eternal reward in heaven.
the Sixth Week after Easter
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