Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 29, 2008

Calvin Quote on Sanctification

“Why, then, are we justified by faith?  Because by faith we grasp Christ’s righteousness, by which alone we are reconciled to God.  Yet you could not grasp this without at the same time grasping sanctification also.  For he “is given unto us for righteousness, wisdom, sanctification, and redemption” [I Cor. 1:30]. Therefore Christ justifies no one whom he does not at the same time sanctify. These benefits are joined together by an everlasting and indissoluble bond, so that those whom he illumines by his wisdom, he redeems; those whom he redeems, he justifies; those whom he justifies, he sanctifies.”  John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, 16.1

It is important for us to be reminded of this fact that God is the One who sanctifies.  We are more ready to accept God’s role in justifying us, but we want to assume at least partial responsibility for what we call “the sanctification process”.  I do not think it is helpful to think of sanctification as a process;  such a “process thinking” leads us to take control.  

We need to be reminded of Galatians 3:2-5:  “This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?  Are you so foolish?  Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?  Did you suffer so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain?  So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”

We must approach sanctification as we do justification – by faith!  We must believe the golden chain of salvation – the God who justifies us will certainly sanctify us.   


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