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Sometimes it takes a dictionary to speak “Christian-ese.” There are a lot of words that Christians throw around that no one in the world ever uses. “Fellowship,” “quiet time,” “anointed,” “communion,” “advent,” and “life group” are all phrases long time Christians probably understand, but new believers or non-Christians likely don’t. “Sanctification” is also one of those terms. John Murray (1898-1975) was the first theologian to define sanctification with two different parts, definitive sanctification and progressive sanctification. We will spend one week on each of these because it is important to know how the Bible talks about sanctification as already been accomplished and at the same time an ongoing process.

When Christians use sanctification in Christian-ese, we are often talking about progressive sanctification or God at work in our lives this very moment making us more like Himself. Throughout the Bible however, sanctification is referred to as a once and for all act. For example, Paul addresses the believers at Corinth as the church of God “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (I Cor. 1:2) and later in the same letter reminds them that they were washed, sanctified, and justified (I Cor. 6:11). He coordinated their sanctification with their effectual calling, identity as saints, regeneration, and justification. This does not mean that sanctification is only an act already completed, but something that is both once and for all and progressively a part of the Christian life. Like a sick person being given a “wonder drug” for their disease. They have been made better of their sickness, but still have residual effects and will slowly need to regain their strength and wellness. As Christians, we are no longer under the power of sin, but still have the effects of our sinful nature. Definitive sanctification is God freeing us from the power of sin. Progressive sanctification is the Holy Spirit giving our new nature more victory over our indwelling sin. Sanctification is happening in our lives right now, but because it is in God’s hands we have His guarantee for the results of holiness and can already count it as accomplished.


Scripture: Romans 6:1-14
Sermon: Definitive Sanctification: God Frees Us From the Power of Sin


Christ is Risen (Matt Maher)
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The Power of the Cross (arr. Getty Music)
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Satisfied (Karl Digerness)
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Song of Preparation:  All I Have Is Christ (Jordan Kauflin)
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Song of Response: All I Have Is Christ (Jordan Kauflin)
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Written by : uptowndemo


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