Berkhof: Sanctification Is The Work Of God

Sanctification is a work of the triune God, but is ascribed more particularly to the Holy Spirit in Scripture, Rom. 8:11; 15:16; 1 Pet. 1:2. It is particularly important in our day, with its emphasis on the necessity of approaching the study . . . Continue reading →

A New Definition Of Righteousness

Take note, therefore, of a new righteousness and a new definition of righteousness. For one usually says: “Righteousness is the virtue that renders to everyone his due.” Here it is stated that righteousness is faith in Jesus Christ or the virtue by . . . Continue reading →

Marshall: Meditate Before You Rush Into Law Keeping

This is an advertisement very needful; because many are apt to skip over the lesson concerning the means (that will fill up this whole treatise) as superfluous and useless. When once they know the nature and excellency of the duties of the . . . Continue reading →

Dort 5.1–3: Reformed Realism On Sanctification

One of the lesser known aspects of the battle with the Remonstrants (Arminians), was that they, the Remonstrants, were not satisfied with the Reformed doctrine of sanctification. That continues to be a problem today. In the 18th and 19th centuries powerful voices within what we today call “evangelicalism” were also dissatisfied with the older doctrine. They wanted more. Some of them, deeply influenced by the Remonstrants, articulated a doctrine of Christian perfection, a doctrine that believers can, if they will, attain “entire perfection” (sinless sanctification) in this life. In our day, even among some who think of themselves as Reformed (principally because they identify with the Reformed doctrines of election and the atonement) teach a version of perfectionism. Since no one in this life ever actually achieves sinless perfection, such an approach to the Christian life is bound to create a crisis of assurance. Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (16a): Defending The Faith (1 Peter 3:13–17)

13Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15but in your hearts honor Christ . . . Continue reading →

There Is Only One Stage Of Justification

In recent years, however, within ostensibly confessional Protestant circles, some have been advocating versions of a two-stage doctrine of justification. One version of this proposal is that we may be said to be justified initially by grace alone, through faith alone but only finally justified on the basis of our sanctification. Some give the whole basis of our final justification to our inherent sanctification and righteousness and others only part of the basis. Continue reading →