11 September 2005

Salvation vs. Sanctification

“Familiarity breeds contempt. How accurate that is. The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it.” --Mark Twain

The following outline / notes are my thoughts on paper of what I learned in church today. I’m a tactile learner, so I learn the best (remain focused and absorb best) by writing what I hear. Since I’ve been taking notes in church during the sermons, I get 90% more out of the worship service than before when my mind was set to wander or I’d just try to stay awake from sitting so long. After listening to / note-taking for Dr. Sproul’s and Rev. Burk Parsons’ teachings, I wonder how many gems of knowledge and truth just sifted through my latent brain over the past year. My goal is to not forsake any more Sunday morning opportunities for spiritual growth and development.

I’m also taking a different approach to my Bible-reading since Steve provided me with a cool new Spirit of the Reformation study Bible. The majority of my Bible reading over the past 10 years has been exegetical notes or commentaries, so it’s rather refreshing to get a more historic and cultural perspective of the old testament. So, I aim to read the Bible chronologically (currently in Exodus 35) with each chapter immediately followed by its corresponding study notes. I’m also following Dr. Sproul’s example of praying daily through the Psalms. I also read through Philippians since that’s what we’re presently covering in church. All in all, I find my time in the Word to be more fulfilling and refreshing.

Today’s verse:
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” –Philippians 2”12b-13

Sanctification is the process of growing more holy through the workings of the Holy Ghost. Sanctification occurs after justification.

Reformation perspective on works:
You do not work for your salvation, rather you work out what has already been worked in you by the grace of God. (James Montgomery Boyce)

  • You don’t work for your salvation, but you do work for your sanctification.
Greek Lesson:

Energy is a single unit of work
Monergistc
is from the Greek word monergy which means work often performed by a single worker. Monergistic is a work of God: salvation is due to the sovereign grace of God

Being born again is due to the work of God alone.
Synergy is working together of two or more in a joint or cooperative venture. Synergistic is the rest of the Christian life. We are called to work with God in order to grow as Christians; it is a constant renewal process.

Dr. R.C. Sproul considers sanctification “the most daunting and awe-inspiring mission that you have as a Christian. . . to work for that prize at the end.”

MEANS OF GRACE

    1. Study the Word of God:
    • it is necessary for Christian growth.Don’t confuse childlike faith with childish faith.
    • “In evil, be babes.In understanding, be adults.” (Bible)
    • “My greatest weakness is a lack of knowledge of the depths contained in the Bible.” –Dr. R.C. Sproul
    OK, if this is how Dr. Sproul feels, then I’m weaker than dirt, and I feel like an ignorant fool. This is a man who’s devoted his adult life (ordained for 40+ years) to studying the Bible, and he feels his lack of knowledge his weakness. I’ve only been studying the Bible since God’s faithful transformation of my life to salvation 10 years ago.

    1. Prayer
    2. Worship
    • “It puts muscle on your soul.” –Dr. R.C. Sproul
    • Never neglect the gathering of the saints (unless you’re in the hospital or out of town).
      1. Tithing
      • “Just do it!” – Dr. Sproul
      • Start at 10% and grow from there
      • Can’t afford not to tithe
      1. Service
      • Gifts and empowering of the Holy Ghost for ministry

        2 HERESIES

        1. “Let go and let God” / Quietism”
        • One considers that she doesn’t have to do anything, but God does it all
        • Entitlement program

        2. Activism / bootstrap myth

        • Sanctify myself by myself
        • Sorry Charlie, sanctification requires both self work and God’s work

        “There is a divinity which shapes our ends, rough hew them as we might.” {Hamlet} -- Shakespeare

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