Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Works of Sanctification...

We should keep in mind that we no more “do” sanctification that we “do” justification or glorification. Good works are a result or outworking of our sanctification.
Q. 35. What is sanctification? 
A. Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
I do think that definition needs unpacking but it does indicate that it is sanctification which enables a practical walk in a godly direction, i.e. mortifying sin and living unto righteousness – not our good works which enable sanctification.  And...
Of Saving Faith
1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word, by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.
2. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein; and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come. But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.
3. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong; may be often and many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory: growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance, through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.
When in doubt, read what the confessional standards say.  No one chapter in the WCF or Q&A in the larger or shorter catechisms should be read in isolation.

1 comment:

  1. Turretin, Twentieth topic, question six.

    II. Further, if it is asked here whether the sins of the pious equally as well as of the wicked will be revealed, we answer that the negative seems more probable to us. (1) On account of the judge, who since he has been most fully satisfied for us and now intercedes for us in heaven, will then come as their Redeemer and Savior, not to reproach them for their sins, but to fulfill his promises in them and to manifest the wonders of his grace. (2) The process of the judgment is such that mention may indeed be made of good works, but not of their evil works (Matt 25:31–40). The pious will not hear the publication of their sins, but the reward of their love and benevolence. (3) The gratuitous mercy of Christ does not wish our sins to be remembered anymore, but casts them behind it’s back. Now what God has once wish to be covered in this life, he will not reveal in the other. (4) If their sins were to be made known, it would lead to the disgrace and confusion of the pious, from which they ought to be free. For Christ will return for this end—that he may be glorious in his saints and be admired in all believers.

    — Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology,