This article is going to present some very good news to you my friend. My heart is to help people all that I can, and this topic is very high in my list of priorities. Because the false doctrine of progressive sanctification is probably the most prolific, most spiritually-crippling, and the most subtle attack on the gospel that exists today. And one of the problems is, this doctrine is everywhere.
But if the indwelling Holy Spirit is your Teacher, and your reference is the Authorized King James bible, you will be able to discern false teaching.
Allow me please, to also make it clear that it is always God’s will for His children to walk by the leading of His Spirit. Which is walking in faith & love, and turning away from sin.
Now on to the topic…
How someone views this topic is a clear indicator of whether or not they’re genuinely resting in Christ’s finished work. You don’t need to look any further than this topic, to know what a person believes about the work of Christ. Just ask them, “Are you being sanctified?”
And this bad tree only produces three kinds of fruit: Pride, hypocrisy, and depression. And anyone who has ever partaken of it, knows exactly what I’m talking about. It produces holier than thous among fully-equal peers, it puts believers on an impossible treadmill, and it robs credit from God.
And corrupt bible versions, (because of misleading wording), is a huge reason for this doctrine’s existence.
First understand what “sanctification” means. Simply put, it means holy or put another way, it means that which belongs to God, and is set apart by God from that which is common.
Consider this: (In Romans 7.15-25), the apostle Paul bemoaned the fact that he was constantly sinning & unable to stop it. That’s not the big deal; the big deal is: Do you believe that Paul’s sanctification/holiness was affected by his ongoing sins? Of course it wasn’t; he was just being honest about the reality of living in fallen flesh. (We should all be that honest). Why would this be any different with us? We sin all the time, just like Paul did.
If you’re thinking…”I’m getting holier because I’m repenting of my sins and I’m acting better,” you’re only fooling yourself. Because we all have countless sins that we don’t show to other people, and we have a million more that are going on in our thoughts every day. And those hidden sins of our mind is just as sinful as our behavioral sins.
The truth is, the drug addict who just got saved yesterday, is just as holy & sanctified as a Christian that’s been saved for 50 years. And only a self-righteous, “holier than thou” prideful heart could possibly resent this truth…For a Christian to believe in progressive sanctification, he necessarily must believe that he is “holier” than another of God’s children. So can you see how messed up this doctrine is?
Our holiness is fully a gift from God, (lest anyone become prideful in self). God fully imputes Jesus’ sanctification unto the believer, just as He fully imputes His righteousness.
We grow in the knowledge of God’s grace, and we mature in our faith…but none of us are getting any holier, and none of us are any holier than any other of God’s children.
Rest in Christ’s finished work, and lets acknowledge that all of the credit belongs to God.
“…that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26.18
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1.30,31
“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor 6.11
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” Hebrews 3.1
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10.10
“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10.14
That says it all, and it’s fantastic news! Breathe in the freedom, and celebrate that God has taken the yoke of religious bondage off of you. 😃
All glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ.