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Variant positions concerning sanctification

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  • Variant positions concerning sanctification

    Variant positions concerning sanctification

    Because Christians are often not very Christ like, writers, preachers, and theologians have sought to explain why. What is it that has failed in the saving of the sinner that allows Christians to be such sinners? Also, they have addressed how to remedy this issue. These are the variant positions concerning sanctification.

    In the most basic terms it is about what happens spiritually if the believer is to live a holy life. The solution has historically been limited to one of two general categories separated either as an event at salvation or a second blessing. In either belief the purpose is to obtain holy living. Here are the main contending positions about sanctification.

    Lordship Position: Being genuinely saved includes making the Lord Jesus your Lord, submitting to Him as owner and master of ones life. Unless a person is willing to acknowledge and accept the Lordship of Christ over their life, they cannot be a Christian. Only with the Lord Jesus in control of the believer is the Christian life is affected by the Lord Jesus. Lordship claims that the righteousness of Christís is inputted to the believer (the believer is made righteous) rather than imputed (credited to the believers account). This is known as Lordship salvation and has been part of the Christian message from its earliest days. Reformed theology adopted Lordship as the solution for living the holy life. John MacArthur* provides the Lordship Salvation Series:
    Sermon 1 - "The Lordship Of Christ"
    Sermon 2 - "The Nature Of Saving Faith"
    Sermon 3 - "The Call To Repentance"
    Sermon 4 - "The Cost Of Discipleship"

    Second Blessing Position: A second blessing from Christ in addition to the grace sufficient to be saved is needed to provide the power to live the faithful Christian life. The second blessing may occur at the time one is saved or at any time thereafter. The second blessing view includes two variants.

    Two variants of the second blessing

    Complete sanctification: Here sanctification means sinless, therefore completely without sin. Sanctification is progressive in that it is appropriated by faith, but is available when one is saved. This was taught by John Wesley and is the position held by those of the holiness movement including Holiness Pentecostals and Church of the Nazarene. Some view complete sanctification differently than John Wesley in that sanctification is a separate event from being saved. Sometimes this second blessing is accompanied by speaking in tongues.

    Baptism in the Holy Ghost: From the earliest days of the Jerusalem Church, Luke recorded in the Book of Acts incidents that have provided support for being baptized in the Holy Ghost. There are recorded events in much of Church history describing what is understood to be this second blessing. Today, Pentecostals and charismatics seek the baptism in the Holy Ghost. It gains much support from those who become empowered by their faith and read the Book of Acts in the New Testament. Speaking in tongues is most often seen as confirmation of the baptism in the Holy Ghost.

    All three of these views are about holy living. Baptism in the Holy Ghost, complete sanctification, and Lordship salvation are doctrines based on biblical interpretations to provide the doctrines to explain how the Christian life is empowered so it may be successfully lived.

    If you donít know which of these to believe, donít be confused just be undecided. There is not enough information provided herein to make a decision to believe one or the other. This is not a Bible study or a prayer meeting. The information is provided to allow those who struggle with living the Christian life to better understand their struggle and that of the Church, and that the struggle to be Christ like has been going on since the commencement of the new covenant.

    Also be aware there are additional views of sanctification besides the Reformed View (Lordship Salvation), the Wesleyan View (Complete Sanctification), and the Pentecostal View (Baptism in the Holy Spirit). For instance, there are other second blessing views as the Keswick View (Higher Life) and the Augustinian-Dispensational View (Chaferian).

    An adequate presentation of five views of sanctification can be read at this site:

    * John MacArthur is a dispensationalist but seems to present Lordship Salvation.