From Salvation to Sanctification

Growing up, I interpreted the message of “Jesus and the cross” wrong. The view I had was that salvation was complete. Jesus died once and for all to forgive us of our sins so that we could enter fellowship with Him. So far, so good. Further, I thought that it was my responsibility to maintain that fellowship with Him. In a way, this is correct. Every day we must decide to live for Him (take up our cross). Some of the choices we make are not in agreement with Him. This does not change the fact that He has cleansed us from our sins. In this instance, I believe that we need to seek forgiveness for making a wrong step instead of following His lead. However, I used to think that every time I sinned, I needed an “at the cross” moment. Consequently, my life was spent at the foot of the cross instead of progressing down the road of righteousness. This is not a life filled with joy as Christ intended for us. Instead, it is a life of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of Hell. Fear of God, and not a holy, respectful fear, but a fear that He is watching us like a hawk so that He can squash us whenever we slip up. I don’t know if this teaching was done by my church – I grew up all over the US and it seems that everywhere I went, this teaching was reinforced. I have even met some Christians in my adult life that say that this was their experience growing up as well. As an adult, I have decided that there are many things I need to unlearn, and to really dig into my Bible looking for the true answers. I want the Lord to teach me what Christian Living is all about, rather than just taking the word of the many preachers I have heard, and allowing them to determine how I should live my life.

After much study, here are my thoughts on salvation:

Christ died for our atonement. We still have a part to play in our salvation. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves acceptable to Him. However, we must recognize the price He paid for our freedom, and accept it.

The first step to salvation was accomplished by Christ on the cross. He paid the ransom placed on us by our sins. We, in turn, have to accept that. Salvation is free for the taking, but we must reach out and take it.

The next step, then, is our repentance – turning from sin. This is action, not just being sorry that we sinned, but a change takes place as we turn from our sin. Hand in hand with repentance is conversion – turning toward God. So, this step is two-fold, we must turn from our sin and turn towards God. I like to think of this as “mental action.” This is not a process. We turn from sin and toward God in an instant – the moment we accept the invitation given by our gracious Lord.

The next step is called justification – God declaring that we are free from sin. I like to think of it as Justification = “Just as if I never sinned.” Along with Justification is Regeneration – the actual impartation of Christ’s life to the new convert.

No one needs to understand this in order to be saved. The only knowledge that someone needs is that they are a sinner, separated from Christ. Christ died in their place to provide a way for their salvation. That person needs to accept the free gift of salvation from God. That’s all there is to it.

Receiving salvation is a life-changing event that happens; with the expectation that life will be much different than pre-conversion. The fact that you turn from sin and turn towards God means a change has taken place. Then, the Lord imputes His righteousness into our lives, so we now live for the righteousness that has been placed within us.

The next step is sanctification – to be separated, set apart to God; holiness. Sanctification is the development of the new spiritual life that one receives with regeneration. This has been the cause of much debate. Some would say that we obtain sanctification here on Earth. The belief is that a person, after salvation, has the ability to not sin. This does not mean that they cannot sin, just that, through the nature of Christ imputed into that person, they choose not to sin. One writer put it this way, “Even though we never come to the place in this life where we are not able to sin, we can have help so that we are able not to sin. Another view of sanctification is that it is a life-long process where we learn to be holy through our relationship to the Lord.

It would seem that there should be plenty of scriptural evidence to prove one of these theories true and one false. However, the scriptures seem to fuel the confusion rather than solve it:

In Romans 6, Paul uses several phrases that seem to say we have the ability to not sin. “How can we who died to sin still live in it…We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin…For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” (vv. 2, 6-7, 14). Then in ch. 7, he goes on to describe how he is unable to refrain from sin.

Christ tells us, “And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’” (Luke 9:23). Paul tells us that he “dies daily.” (1 Cor. 15:31).

A look into the Old Testament shows the rituals that had to be followed for the tabernacle.   Before anybody could participate in care of the temple, he had to be consecrated, or cleansed in the way prescribed by the Lord. The body had to be cleansed as well as the clothes. If a person became “not clean,” then he had to go through the cleansing process all over again. These “cleansing” rituals point to how we are to live for the Lord, today. We are initially consecrated, set apart for God. If we should become “not clean” (sin) then we need to get forgiveness for that sin, too.

I think it is impossible to narrow sanctification down to either time period. I have seen the timing of sanctification described as 3 phases:

  1. Past positionally
  2. Present progressively
  3. Future perfectly

At the time of regeneration, the Lord sanctifies us, cleansing us of our sins and setting us apart for God. “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:11). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17). “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb. 10:10). “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith–” (Phil. 3:9)

As we progress through this life, He continues to strip away who we were, replacing the carnal nature with a holy nature. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Pet. 3:18). “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18).

We look forward to a time when the prospects of sin will be no more, for the deceiver will not be present, and we will all live in true holiness to the Lord. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Rom. 8:18). “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:51-52).

So, basically, I think that sanctification covers 3 specific periods in our life: Past, Present, and Future. I think this is appropriate, after all, the book of Revelation tells us, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” (Rev. 1:8) If Jesus is the past, present and future, it only makes since that He sanctified us (past), is sanctifying us (present) and will sanctify us (future).

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14 thoughts on “From Salvation to Sanctification

  1. Good post brother. Glad to see you studying the scriptures. I find it tough to believe that regeneration happens after conversion. Regeneration is being born again, born of the spirit. It’s God giving man a new heart (Ez 36:26). I even see it as a fulfillment of Deu 30:6 – God giving us a new heart so that we may love him. That which is flesh is flesh (the natural man), that which is spirit is spirit (the new man). How can the natural man in the flesh bring himself to repentance and faith (conversion)? Paul said the natural man cannot discern spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). What is more spiritual than the gospel message? Jesus said we cannot see the kingdom of God unless we are born again (regenerated). How can we understand the message about the King of the kingdom if we are in our flesh? How can a man in the flesh, who will not and CANNOT please God (Rom 8:8), accept His Son? We are dead in sin, we need life before we can repent and have faith. This is why I believe, and have seen in my own life, that God must act first before we can believe the Gospel. This act is in His calling and regenerating. It is what happened to Lydia in Acts 16:14.

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    1. I see justification (God declaring us free from sin) and regeneration (the impartation of Christ’s righteousness) happening immediately after repentance (turning away from sin) and conversion (turning toward God). How is it possible for God to impart Christ’s righteousness to us unless we have repented/converted? If He were to do so, then that takes our free will out of the picture (God implanting His holy nature into us, so we have no option but to convert). If God imparts Christ’s righteousness into us, then really, there is no need of repentance/conversion because we would already have the nature of Christ in us. We must accept the Lord’s invitation before any redeeming work is done in our lives.

      The important thing is not the steps we take to get saved. The important thing is that we get saved!

      The point I was trying to convey is that we can live a fulfilling, joyous life without fear that God is waiting for us to make a mistake so He can zap us. The road to holiness begins with salvation, and progresses from there. As we live our lives, we learn righteousness from our relationship with the Lord.

      Thank you for your comments. It does give me more to think about.

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  2. I agree 100% that the order of the steps aren’t the most important thing. Also agree 100% that we should be living joyous lives in the Spirit knowing that Christ’s work was full and final on our behalf. And I’m so glad you preach the same!

    I guess I should have asked where you were getting your definition of regeneration. Mine is taken from the scriptures I listed. The word is only used twice, as you know, in the New Testament. Both mean renewal but the one from Titus is closer to the definition I have.

    I see the imputation of Christ’s righteousness closer to justification than regeneration. Regeneration is being born again, born of the spirit, having a soft heart instead of our heart of stone. At that point and not until then can we truely make a free will decision for Christ. Prior to this we are enslaved to sin, still in our flesh, still dead, and unable to come to God.

    Justification (which comes after conversion) is a legal term. It comes from the Greek for “righteous” and means to be declared righteous. Being justified means God has declared us righteous and therefore innocent with respect to sin. How? This is where imputation comes in to play. Christ’s righteousness imputed to us, God then declares what appears to already be true – that we are righteous!

    What do you think my brother? I’m teaching on justification in my class this week, which is why I’m so quick to reply 🙂

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  3. I think we are having trouble with semantics. I fully agree that regeneration is being born again. But what is “born again”? It is the cleansing by God where the new believer is washed of his/her sin and then experiences a spiritual birth. That “spiritual birth” is simply that person being born in the Spirit. Being born into the Spirit means that you are taking on the image of God, or, having Christ’s righteousness imputed into our lives.

    What I am not understanding is the need for repentance after being born again? I know that as be sin, we need to repent, and receive forgiveness, but I am talking about that initial repentance that is necessary to make a decision for Christ.

    Taking all the big terms out of it, this is how I view the salvation experience:

    – Christ died in our place in order to give us forgiveness of sin. This happened approximately 2000 years ago.

    – We must turn from our sin and turn towards God

    – God declares we are free from sin, and replaces our sinful nature with a new, Spiritual nature. This happens almost simultaneously with the above point. It could have been made one point, but I choose to separate them as it shows who the responsible party is. In the above point, we choose to turn from sin and turn to God. In this point, God declares us clean, and gives us Christ’s righteousness.

    – We then begin a new life in which we live for Him. As we mess up along the way, He is faithful to forgive us of those sins. This is not a new “born again” experience, but a regular cleansing. This point is a life-long process.

    Hopefully, I have cleared up my position on this topic!

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  4. You need to repent because of where I place regeneration. I place it at a level where I don’t think you have a spot in your order of salvation. The way I read understand the scriptures (many that I listed above), there must be a work in a person before he can repent and believe. We are dead in sin. A dead person doesn’t need help or a nudging – he needs life. I call this step calling and regeneration. A person must be called in order to come to Christ. A dead stony heart must be made alive before it can have a shot to respond to the spiritual message of the gospel. So these things have a label in my order and the label is calling and regeneration. This is a work that God does completely – we have no part in this step. Our step comes next. We hear the gospel message and must repent and believe.

    It doesn’t seem like you have a slot for this. In your order everything is kicked off by a person repenting. At that point, and only then, does God step in and start performing His act of salvation.

    So, there is our main difference 🙂

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    1. The main idea of this post was to describe what happens between the point of Salvation and the final act of Sanctification (Glorification). I did describe the point of Salvation, but I was trying to make it a macro-view, keeping to “the big picture”. I wasn’t trying to get into all the “fine points” of Salvation. That being said, a calling, or an invitation from the Lord is necessary. Apparently, I did not make this clear (thank you for pointing that out!) What I did say was: “We turn from sin and toward God in an instant – the moment we accept the invitation given by our gracious Lord.”

      I think where we are going to have our differences is where repentance falls in with being born again. In being born again, the old has passed away, and the new has come. In this view, the blood is applied when the person is born again. Blood is life. It brings the dead to life in Christ Jesus. If the person has had the blood applied, he/she is forgiven, and brought to life. A forgiven person need not repent of the things he/she has already been forgiven of.

      In your view, there is a calling and regeneration (born again). Then the person realizes his/her sin, and repents. The question I have is how is the person born again? If it is because they answer the call of God, and choose regeneration, isn’t that where they would repent? If so, I would think that this repentance leads to regeneration.

      In the end, I am saved, and you are saved. Knowing exactly how it works, in what order, and how much time it takes is trivial compared to the end result, SALVATION!

      Incidentally, I read your comments late last night. In doing so, I didn’t remember everything I had said. I was quite shocked at first when I read your opening sentence, “You need to repent…” At first, I thought you were calling for my repentance! I quickly searched my mind to see what I may have said or done to you that required my repentance. Then I continued reading, and I had to laugh at my poor, sleep-deprived self!

      Good discussion. Thank you.

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  5. LOL. Yep, definitely didn’t call you to repentance 🙂

    And amen to us both being save. Praise God! Discussions like this are fun to have now when we really don’t know all the fine points. We will eventually.

    Ok, how is the person born again, you ask. I believe a person must be born again because we are completely dead in our sin. Physically alive but spiritually dead. Not spiritually sick or spiritually injured, but completely dead. A dead person doesn’t need help, he needs life. Because of this we cannot understand a message about our sin and Christ’s work to reconcile and forgive us unless we are first made alive. Is this what Paul is saying in 1 Cor. 2:14? Those who are of the flesh (everyone prior to the new birth) cannot understand a spiritual message. That which is born of flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). Those in the flesh (people without the Spirit) cannot submit to God and cannot please God (Rom 8:5-9). Unsaved people don’t have a fair shot to hear and believe the gospel. That is what I take from these scriptures.

    A person in the flesh can’t understand spiritual things and cannot see the kingdom of God unless he is born again (John 3:3). The greek word translated “see” in this verse can (yes, can) mean to see with the eyes or see with the mind (to understand). Looks like Jesus, like Paul, is saying that the natural man cannot understand a spiritual message about the kingdom of God. But if the word “see” means more along the lines of “to participate in”, it still doesn’t destroy the argument based on 1 Cor 2.

    Either, it seems clear that God must act within a sinner before they have a shot to repent and believe. This working in the sinner before faith and repentance is what I’m labeling “calling and regeneration”. And regeneration is a fancy term for being born again – born of the spirit. I don’t see this as forgiveness. I see it as being made spiritually alive so we have a shot to understand and repent and accept the gospel message.

    To answer you question of how this is done, well it is done by God alone. We have no part to play in this step. Similar to Jesus’ description to Nicodemis in John 3:8, we do not know who the Lord will give birth to. It is like the wind, we see the effects but do not know where it will go next.

    Are you tracking with me?

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    1. I see what you are saying, however, allow me to illustrate my point with a story. I will explain all afterwards.

      When I was an Airman in the Air Force, I had the opportunity to take a ride in a T-38. We made a round trip flight from Randolph AFB to Traux Field in about a hour and 15 minutes. Part of that time was spent with the pilot showing me what the plane could do. At one point, we even pulled 6 Gs! I’m glad I was wearing a G-suit, but I wish I had remembered to empty my pockets first.

      There are several levels of understanding what I just wrote.

      1. No understanding. A person could have absolutely no idea what I am talking about. The way this story is written, I assume that the reader knows what a T-38 is, and what it means to pull 6 Gs, and what a G-suit is. I also assume that the reader knows the location of Randolph AFB and Traux Field.

      2. Basic knowledge. A reader might know exactly what I am talking about. They may know all the terms I used, and know the locations of the two bases. This person is fully capable of understanding what I am saying.

      3. Experience. If a person has experience with riding in a T-38, then they will be able to apply the knowledge I have given them.

      So, how does this relate? 1 Cor 2:14 tells us that the natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God…This is the first level of understanding. A person can read and study the scriptures, and have all knowledge of the things of God (level 2) but until he experiences a relationship with Jesus, he does not fully understand.

      The natural man may not understand the Spirit of God, but he can come to the place that he knows something has to change in his life. He may not understand, but if he is open, the God can and will work with that.

      In your last paragraph, I was a little confused. The way it is worded, it looks like you are saying that God chooses who to save. This would be similar to theories of predestination, and TULIP. I believe that the Lord wants all of us to come to salvation, and make our permanent residence in Heaven.

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  6. Ah, brother I can’t agree with your interpretation of 1 Cor 2:14. There is too much supporting scripture to say that the natural man cannot understand without God first acting. Lydia in Acts 16 is a perfect example (how do you interpret this).

    You say” The natural man may not understand the Spirit of God, but he can come to the place that he knows something has to change in his life. He may not understand, but if he is open, the God can and will work with that.”…….what scripture supports this? How does one become “open”? How does God “work with that”? From what I read in the scriptures a man becomes open when God calls him and softens his heart. This cannot happen at the sinner’s will. This is God alone. This is the call from Romans 8:29 (I’d be interested in your interpretation of Romas 8:29-30). This is the draw that Jesus refers to when He says no man can come to him unless God draws him.

    As for my last paragraph I’m just stating what is in the text. If that means unconditional election, so be it. We don’t decide who is born again just like we don’t direct the wind. We only see the effects. I was preached to for years and there was no effect on my soul at all. That all changed randomly in my twenties where I became, I guess you could say, softened to spiritual things. This wasn’t my own doing. This was the call of God. The next time someone preached to me it had a completely different effect. I haven’t been the same since 🙂

    I’d also say that no matter where you stand in salvation theology – whether Calvinist or Arminian – everyone believes in pre-destination. The Calvinist believes people are chosen unconditionally before the foundation of the world and because of that the elect will come to faith. The Arminian believes people are chosen conditionally based upon God knowing who will choose him. Predestination in both cases.

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  7. Rev. 3:20 says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (ESV). The New Living Translation renders it this way: “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.”

    This scripture does not say that a change occurs in the person prior to them opening the door. Ever since Adam and Eve ate the fruit, God has been calling each of us to repentance. I do believe strongly in God’s call on our lives, but I believe it is to all men, not to just a select few.

    When I say that a person realizes that something in his life must change, I’m not even talking about them realizing that they need Jesus. My comment has to do with someone realizing that their life is incomplete, unfulfilling. When someone realizes this, then they start looking and listening for something that will make their lives better. Unfortunately, sometimes this person will listen to the wrong advice, and turn to ungodly things to find that fulfillment. When I say “if he is open”, I am referring to this seeker being willing to listen to God. They realize that Jesus is standing at the door, knocking. They open the door (answer His call) and He comes in to minister to them. That is what I mean by “work with that” – He ministers to them, still leaving the choice up to them as to if they will accept Him. Paul was giving his defense to both Festus and King Agrippa. Agrippa says that Paul almost persuaded him to become a Christian. This is an example of the choice we all have to make. Agrippa could have said yes to Christ, but did not.

    The Apostle Paul is a good example, as well. When Jesus knocked him off down and spoke to him (this was the way God called him! I’m glad He was a little gentler with me.) Saul (Paul) did not have change in his heart prior to being converted. He was trying to imprison Christians. He believed in God, but Jesus? Not so much. After his experience, he changed his tune.

    Romans chapter 8. A very good read, but then again, ALL of the Bible is a very good read. In looking at Romans as a whole, we see that Paul begins talking about the manifestation of divine righteousness in 3:21 and he continues the discussion through chapter 8 where he discusses Glorification. In these verses, Paul tells us 5 things that God has done in fulfillment of His saving purpose:

    1. Foreknew – This describes how God knew us ahead of time (creation)
    2. Predestined – This talks about the destiny of the believer
    3. Called – This talks about Christ’s invitation for us to participate in eternal life
    4. Justified – Those who have heard the call and responded
    5. Glorified – The state of the believer upon entrance into the hereafter

    The question we must ask for each of these is “Who?” Who did God foreknow? Everyone. Who did God predestine? Everyone. Who did God call? Everyone. Who did God justify? Those who answer His call with their own choice. Who did God glorify? All of those who died in the faith.

    We have to be careful about how we read this. It almost appears that Paul is suggesting that one item has definitely caused the next to happen: (Those whom He foreknew, He predestined. Those He predestined, He called. Those He called, He justified. Those He justified, He glorified.) If that is the case, then you can read it to say that those He foreknew, He Glorified. We know this is not the case. First, we know that God foreknew everyone. I refuse to believe that there are people in this world that God just didn’t know would one day exist. Since He knows everything, then He must also know everyone. But not everyone He has known from the foundation of the world will attain glorification. Unfortunately, there will be those who suffer eternal punishment. Second, there are many of us who will attain glorification one day when we reach Heaven.

    My interpretation of Lydia might be different than a lot of folks. The scripture says she was a worshipper of God. Then we are told that as she paid attention to Paul, the Lord opened her heart, and was saved. I view this as a conversion of Judaism to Christianity. She already believed in God (like Saul/Paul had), then, upon hearing the gospel of Jesus that Paul preached, she believed and was saved. I don’t view this as a regeneration of the heart, then an acceptance of Christ. I see it as an acceptance of Christ, and then her heart was regenerated.

    I wasn’t trying to argue against predestination. After all, the Bible talks about it. I was just mentioning the theories of predestination that include TULIP (Calvinism). I see where I botched up my words a little. Sorry about that!

    This has been a long response, again, sorry about that. I hope my rambling hasn’t caused you to fall asleep! I think I touched on all of your questions, but if not, point it out to me and I’ll be sure to give you a response.

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  8. Hasn’t put me to sleep at all 🙂

    I’ve read Romans many times. I’ve read Romans 8 even more. All those blessings in verses 28 through 30 are talking about one specific group of people. I haven’t been convinced otherwise and I don’t know how I could. Those who He foreknew, those same He called. The ones that He called they all were justified. The ones that were justified are eventually glorified. The only way to adjust that is to add words that aren’t there. Like the ones he called and who responded were justified. However, I cannot agree with this as it isn’t true to the words that are there. The “foreknew” in this passage isn’t a general knowing. Of course God knows all so he foreknows all in that sense. This is an intimate knowing, like the knowing in Genesis.4. It’s a special knowing. Check Acts 2:23 and Google the Greek Granville Sharp rule. This isn’t a general knowing, though it would be more convenient if it were. So if you come to understand that this isn’t a general knowing of all people, how do you respond?

    He absolutely stands at the door. However due to deadness of sin the only people who will answer are those he calls and makes alive.

    Paul’s conversion cannot be used as an example. Christ Himself spoke. A Christian wasn’t evangelizing to Him. No doubt the Lord softened His heart by His audible voice. Otherwise Paul wouldn’t write the things that he does. Of all the Biblical writers it is hard to say that any of them wrote the way Paul did – as an undeserving sinner that was dramatically saved by God’s power and grace alone. Absolutely nothing in him contributed – not realizing he needs a change, not realizing Christ is the only way by way of argument, nothing. God did it all with the call, with granting him repentance, with making him alive while he was dead.

    I really want to believe that all men are on an equal playing field when presented with the Gospel. I would love to believe that. But the scriptures do not let me. God must act and call a sinner specifically first before they have a shot, before they can have faith. I can’t agree with your interpretation of Lydia. I do agree it could have been like a conversion from Judiaism to Christianity. But how? Not because she listened to Paul in her state and believed all on her own? It was like it said, the Lord did a work in order that she would believe.

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  9. Bro I’m loving this discussion. A few more points on the “foreknew” in this scripture. It has the same sense as in Genesis 18:19, “I have known (chosen) him”. God foreknew Abraham intimately and it relates to his choice. Same in Jeremiah 1:5 – the knowing is related to God making a choice before they did existed. Again related to the choice of Israel, Amos 3:5 – you only have I known (chosen).

    The foreknowledge in Romans 8 is not general knowledge – I don’t see how it could be. It is more specific to that. The ones that he knew are the only ones he called, and those people he justifies.

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    1. As we continue this back and forth, I wanted to make sure I fully understand what you are saying.
      It seems to me that you are presenting a belief that God chooses some of us for Heaven, and some for Hell. Those chosen for Heaven, He will call. Those chosen for Hell, He will not call. Those who are called will repent, and be justified. Do I have the bare bones basic understanding of your view?
      I find it completely impossible to believe that God who so loved the world would want for anyone to go to Hell. I can’t believe that God would not want all of His creation to be in Heaven one day.
      I read various scriptures that use strong language to suggest that salvation is available for all. (John 12:32, 2 Pet. 3:9, Tit. 2:11)
      I never said that the foreknowledge in Rom. 8 is general. I fully agree that it is an intimate knowledge. However, I believe that God has known every one of us intimately from the foundation of the world.
      I fully disagree with your analysis of Rev. 3:2. The scripture says that Christ is standing at the door, knocking. Then it says “if any man hear my voice…” As far as I can tell, this would be a calling. Also, why would Christ stand at the door and knock at the door if He is not going to call the person. For that matter, why does Christ not call everyone?
      I don’t understand why Paul “cannot” be used as an example. Christ may have spoken to him, audibly, but according to you, we all must receive a call from Christ before we are able to repent. It just might not be audible for all of us. I fully agree that God did all the work in his salvation. Just as He does all the work in our salvation.
      Lydia was a worshipper of God. Acts 16:14 tells us so. Lydia was already at the river for a women’s prayer meeting when Paul began to speak. Acts 16:13-14 tells us so. Since she was a woman who believed in God, He opened her heart to hear the gospel from Paul. She already believed in God, she just needed to know about Jesus.

      This discussion has truly gone away from the original intent of the blog message. The intent was to talk about going through the process of Sanctification.

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      1. Ok I’ll leave it at that, I was commenting specifically on your order of salvation listed, which is what we are still discussing 🙂

        As far as sanctification, I agree with your three fold view of past ( via justification), present (sanctification), future (via glorification).

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