Gospel Sanctification

Jay Adams

There are many more people who have been affected by the latest Gospel Sanctification propaganda than you—or even they—might realize (if you don’t know about it, it’s time to find out!).

You hear it in little things that they say, and /or how they say bigger ones.

People are now writing not only about “idols of the heart,” but also about the really “deep idols” that we must deal with. How they make such non-biblical distinctions, let alone distinguish idols of the heart from plain, old idolatry, is hard to gather. They have no biblical support for doing such things, but what they say sounds pious, and many are swept aside by this fact, and, I suppose are out there trying to repent, “deeply.”

Actually, down through the years it has been the vague stuff like this that has captured the minds of the untaught and unlearned (2 Peter 3:16). That’s why mysticism stills holds a large segment of the Roman church in its clutches, why liberalism with its vague neo-orthodoxy still affects the thinking of many, and why post-modern anarchism is in vogue.

The thing that needs to be done is for the members of biblical congregations to be encouraged by their pastors to buy and study good theological textbooks like, AA Hodge’s Outlines, like Berkhof’s Systematic Theology, and—more recently—Reymond’s Systematic Theology. And, of course, these churches should regularly teach true doctrine clearly and persuasively.

People simply don’t know what they are being fed, and what they are swallowing, half the time.  Speaking of time, it’s high time that we got back to thinking theologically rather than reading Christian romances and pious-sounding froth. If we don’t, error—rampant at the moment—will take over leadership in the “Evangelical” church.

Do you know what the words “justification” and “sanctification” mean when used theologically? If you don’t it’s certainly necessary for you to “catch up.” The crux of the issue has to do with the unbiblical fusion of sanctification with justification. The latter is set forth not as “keeping” God’s commandments, but as bringing about change by concentrating on the cross. As one immerses himself in the cross of Christ, sanctifying growth occurs. The biblical truth is that we are to pursue fruit, which becomes a reality and the Spirit helps us grow in grace.

It’s time to read carefully about the meaning of justification and sanctification. But be careful that you read the classics, that you compare the definitions and concepts of these more “modern” texts with them, and that you are able to distinguish the error taught today.  Get, and digest, a copy of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Becoming a discerning Christian ought to be high on your list of goals.  Otherwise you, or some of your loved ones, will be taken in by the current wave of error that is washing over the church!

Jay Adams