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 Issues | Five Fundamentals | Sanctification

Five Fundamentals of the Faith

by the Rev J.W.Hayes.

The Church Book Room 1924

Sanctification

The Second Fundamental of the Faith is Sanctification.
What saith the Scripture ?

  • 1. Cor 1.30 “Who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification. and redemption."
  • John 17.17 “Sanctify them through thy Truth. Thy Word is Truth.”
  • 1 Thes. 4.3. “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.”
  • 2 Thes. 2.13 “Chosen you to salvation through Sanctification of the Spirit.”
  • 1 Pet. 1.2. “Through Sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.”

Both in the Old and New Testament it means holiness and purity of life. A life lived under the direct guidance of the Holy Ghost, after being justified by faith through the atonement. It must never be confounded with its fore-runner, justification.

While Justification is the remission of sins through the imputation of Christ's righteousness, the absolution of a sinner from the guilt of sin, and its consequences; Sanctification is quite a different thing, viz. : the alteration of heart and affection from the desire of sin to holiness, the gradual renovation of our nature by the abiding influence of the Holy Spirit if we submit; and, it must be remembered that God only sanctifies those that are already justified. In other words, “There is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus “ (Rom. 8.1). That is Justification. " Who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." That is Sanctification. It is then only that we bring forth the “fruits of the Spirit.” St. Paul, speaking of such Christians, says: “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). It also means to separate or set apart for God's service.

The Prayer Book supports this view. For instance, we read in the Office for Public Baptism, the words: “To sanctify him with the Holy Ghost” ; and again, in the Catechism: “The Holy Ghost Who sanctifieth me and all the elect people of God.” Although there is no special Article on Sanctification, yet it is plainly implied in the 16th Homily, and in the XVII. Article, where we read of God's Spirit “working in due season” in those who “through Grace obey the calling,” having been previously “justified freely” and made “sons of God by adoption.” That this grace to live a holy life springs out of the atonement is evident, for we read in Heb. 10.10, “By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Further: “By one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” The Biblical order then, is first Justification ; next Sanctification; next Glorification; finally Perfection. The Reformers were well aware of this difference, but it seems about to be lost in our day.

Once more. The Church of Rome asserts - quite contrary to the Reformation doctrine - that Justification is not only remission of sins, but Sanctification also (Harold Browne on The Articles. p. 286), and has many causes, viz.: The final, the efficient, the meritorious, etc. Hooker, the great divine (in Vol. III., Part II., p. 60) opposes this erroneous doctrine of infusion, and distinguishes the righteousness of Justification as external to us, the righteousness of Sanctification as internal, a gradual process of renovation by the ever-living Holy Spirit on the submissive soul. See also Articles XVI. and XXVII. (Of Baptism).

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