Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Justification and Sanctification

"Are we paying so much attention to justification that we ignore sanctification?"

What IS the relationship between justification and sanctification? Should we prefer a 50%-50% ratio or a 30% - 70% or 60%-40% in an attempt to keep things "balanced" between justification and sanctification? If we paid attention only to justification, would not sanctification follow? Is it possible to have justification and not sanctification?

Luther: "You ask, how shall we begin to be godly and what shall we do that God may begin His work in us? Answer: Do you not understand? It is not for you to work or to begin to be godly, AS LITTLE AS IT IS TO FURTHER AND COMPLETE IT. Everything that you begin is in and remains in sin, though it shines ever so brightly; you cannot do anything but sin, do what you will." Lenker, Sermons of Martin Luther, 1:25-27

Koeberle: "Sanctification must also be understood as an exclusive act of God. Just as forgiveness is exclusively God's work and every cooperation or conditioning activity on man's part is completely excluded, so regeneration is an energy that comes simply out of Christ's victory and does not require our supplementary efforts. It is not fitting to teach justification evangelically and then in the doctrine of sanctification to turn synergistic. . . . the unity of justification and sanctification given in the act of faith becomes mingled in a confused promiscuity, instead of keeping justification in a place of clear logical per-eminence over the sanctification that is given with it. As we have seen, neither can be separated from the other." The Quest for Hoiness, 95-96.

Sasse: "For the church does not live by morals, by the knowledge and observance of God's law nor does it live by religion, by lofty experiences of the divine and an awareness of the mysteries of God. It lives solely by the forgiveness of sins. Hence the reformation does not consist as the later Middle Ages believed, and has even been believed in wide circles of the Protestant world, of an ethico-religious correction, of a moral quickening and a spiritual deepening throughout the church. In consists, rather, according to its own peculiar nature, of the revival of the preaching fo the Gospel of forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake." Here We Stand, 60.

Scaer: "The desire to see the church as a congregation of the virtuous rather than an assembly of sinners is characteristic of Calvinism and Protestantism, not Lutheranism. The reformations under Zwingli and Calvin were so committed to making good works, at least as they understood them, a part of society, that they placed the government under the moral direction of the church." "Sanctification in the Lutheran Confessions," CTQ 53:3, 167.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Mucho gracias - I really needed that today!