The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from Henry Drummond. He said: “Salvation is a definite process. If a man refuse to submit himself to that process, clearly he cannot have the benefits of it. ‘As many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God.’ He does not avail himself of this power. It may be mere carelessness or apathy. Nevertheless the neglect is fatal. He cannot escape because he will not.”
Our topic today is titled Bringing Many Sons to Glory (Part 5) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.
MEANS FOR PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATION
Who and what are the agencies involved in progressive sanctification? Our Father is one. Our Lord Jesus is another. The Holy Spirit is another. The believer’s efforts are not optional. God’s part in sanctification must never lead to a quietism that fails to involve the believer’s activity. Indeed, every command to the believer implies the necessity of his involvement as part of the process. Some verses combine the believer’s part and God’s part in the process of sanctification.
In addition, certain means or things can be used both by God and by the believer to help this growth in holiness. Surely the Word of God stands in the first rank of importance. Certainly prayer will aid the process, if praying is done truly in the name of Christ. That simply means praying so that the Lord could endorse those prayers, or praying in His will. It means underscoring all our prayers with, as Jesus’ own model prayer instructs us, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
The Bible says in Hebrews 12:5-8: “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”
Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from F.F. Bruce. He said: “Those who have been justified are now being sanctified; those who have no experience of present sanctification have no reason to suppose they have been justified.”
Our topic today is titled Bringing Many Sons to Glory (Part 4) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.
JUSTIFICATION AND SANCTIFICATION
What is the relationship between justification and sanctification? Both Reformed and dispensational theologians believe that both positional sanctification and justification occur simultaneously at the time of salvation. John Murray, a Reformed theologian, states clearly that “the virtue accruing from the death and resurrection of Christ affects no phase of salvation more directly than that of insuring definitive sanctification.”‘ He also clearly distinguishes positional (or definitive) sanctification and progressive sanctification. “It might appear that the emphasis placed upon definitive sanctification leaves no place for what is progressive. Any such inference would contradict an equally important aspect of biblical teaching.”
THE PEOPLE DISCIPLINED
In His Grand Plan to bring many sons to glory written in Hebrews 12, the Father will discipline His children. Four reasons are stated by the writer of Hebrews that tell why God does this:
1. Discipline is a part of the total educational process by which a believer is fitted to share God’s holiness.
2. Discipline is a proof of a genuine love relationship between our heavenly Father and us.
3. Discipline helps train us to be obedient.
4. Discipline produces the fruit of righteousness in our lives.
The Bible says in Romans 8:29-30: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from Tom Wells. He said: “It is not right to credit salvation to good works. It is right and necessary, however, to expect good works to follow salvation. Salvation is not the result of good works, but good works are the result of salvation.”
Our topic today is titled Bringing Many Sons to Glory (Part 3) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.
— THE FACETS OF SANCTIFICATION
But what of sanctification? Nowhere does it appear in Paul’s list in Romans 8:29-30. Only predestination, calling, justification, and glorification. Why is sanctification not included? Could it be that Paul did not want to base our guarantee of ultimate glorification on our personal sanctification Assuredly it does not rest on that, for the many sons who will be glorified will have exhibited varying degrees of personal holiness during their lifetimes. Yet all, from the carnal to the most mature, will be glorified.
Some of the confusion may arise from a failure to distinguish the facets of sanctification. The word sanctify basically means “to set apart.” It has the same root as the words holy and saint. Every believer has been sanctified, for all have been set apart to God and adopted into His family. That is why all believers are saints. Even of the carnal Christians at Corinth, Paul dared to say that they were washed, they were sanctified, and they were justified. The same tense (indicating an accomplished fact, not something to be attained) is used for all three verbs. This aspect of sanctification separates all believers to their new position as belonging to God. Paul had already addressed these Corinthians as those who had been sanctified. Positional sanctification is an actual position that is not dependent on the state of one’s spiritual growth and maturity. The one-time offering of our Lord Jesus has sanctified us and perfected us in perpetuity—forever.