Paul's Passing Thoughts

Another Purpose for Preaching the Gospel to Ourselves: Perpetual Death and Rebirth in Sanctification

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 28, 2013

ppt-jpeg4Here at PPT and TANC we like to learn new things, especially in regard to Calvinism and Reformed theology. Recently, we have discovered another purpose behind “preaching the gospel to ourselves every day.” The Reformed term for it is, mortification and vivification. What’s that? It is the perpetual subjective experience of death and rebirth in sanctification. As we use the Scriptures to gain a deeper and deeper understanding of our wickedness, we experience a mourning over our vile condition (death) resulting in joy (rebirth). This passive “subjective experience” enables us to live our Christian life by the same gospel that saved us. Who knew? Truly, in regard to creepiness, Calvinism is the gift that keeps giving and giving.

Of course, this approach is necessary so that we can continually live our Christian lives by faith alone because in Calvinism one is still under the law and in constant need of atoning and re-salvation. This perpetual death and rebirth imputes the perfect obedience of Christ to our justification in sanctification and the law is satisfied. It’s sanctification with two squirts of Hinduism.

We see the premise of this idea in Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation (Thesis 16, 17), and John Piper’s Christian Hedonism. Piper is adamant that joy is continually evidenced in a Christian’s life as proof of salvation. Right, because the perpetual baptism of death and resurrection must experience the exultation of resurrection and not just death. A melancholy Christian is a half gospel that is only death; resurrection must follow for the perpetual cycle to be valid.  Michael Horton sates it this way in his book on systematic theology:

Progressive sanctification has two parts: mortification and vivification, “both of which happen to us by participation in Christ,” as Calvin notes….Subjectively experiencing this definitive reality signified and sealed to us in our baptism requires a daily dying and rising. That is what the Reformers meant by sanctification as a living out of our baptism….and this conversion yields lifelong mortification and vivification “again and again.” Yet it is critical to remind ourselves that in this daily human act of turning, we are always turning not only from sin but toward Christ rather than toward our own experience or piety (pp. 661-663 [Calvin Inst. 3.3.2-9]).

Stay tuned as we gleefully serve you with stuff that is truly stranger than science itself.


3 Responses

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on June 28, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.


  2. Nelvan Evans said, on June 29, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    06/27/2013 (CA) Nelvan & Sheri Evans PRAISE UPDATE

    PRAISE! Nelvan Evans had his back surgery today at 4 pm. Dr. Ananda came out at 6:10 pm and said everything went great. He was able to remove what was causing the nerves to be pinched and make the passage for the nerves etc to go thru at L3 & L4 and at the bottom R & L. Went in to the recovery room at 8 pm and Nelvan was sitting up and when I left at 9:30 pm he had stood up twice and was still sitting up. My brother and I came home because they didn’t know when his room would be ready. The doctor said if all goes well tomorrow Nelvan will come home on Saturday. Thank you all for your love and prayers. God heard them all. Blessings and love, Sheri

    06/28/2013 – Nelvan was walking the hall WITHOUT the walker; went up/down 3 steps and later 6 steps. He has pain only at the surgery site. PTL NO MORE PAIN DOWN THE RIGHT LEG!!! He did very well with the physical therapist today and is eating real food. Looks like he will be coming home tomorrow.


  3. freegracefull said, on June 29, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    I really wish I could understand what Horton said. And the things that Piper writes must be really cool too because most can’t even understand them. Hence it must be true, because they’re clergymen and educated and we’re not. If it looks good, eat it.


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