Paul's Passing Thoughts

My New Year Wish For Everyone: Sanctification

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 1, 2022

Where salvation is not a finished work, condemnation still exists and the spirit of fear that goes along with it.

The Plan was to dig right in on studying for my return to nursing school next week after Winter break. But, a gift Susan gave me for our 12th anniversary today potentiated thoughts I have had for a long time about sanctification. Along with a note, the gift is a plaque displaying, “A Nurses Prayer.” This should be a short post because my thoughts on sanctification presently follow: professing Christians are mostly uninformed and misinformed about sanctification, and my major concerns about sanctification are mostly strong suspicions. With that said, my strong suspicions are strong enough to want sanctification for everyone, including my enemies. Perhaps if my enemies understood more about sanctification, they wouldn’t be anyone’s enemy.

However, I can tell you definitively that sanctification is not what the church says it is. It is not, as John Calvin taught, a “twofold grace.” As you know, the church’s focus on “election” in regard to John Calvin drives me completely nuts because the real issue with Calvin is…he believed in a blatant false gospel indicative of the very false gospel that the apostle Paul spent his whole ministry refuting. Calvin would have had Paul burned at the stake for heresy. An absurd statement? Prove me wrong, and good luck.

Being interpreted, what is “twofold grace”? Well, Protestants love to use word replacement to veil their real doctrine. This is another example of replacing “grace” with “salvation.” Yes, Protestantism is a twofold salvation. How is it twofold? The first fold is initial justification, and the second fold is the progression of salvation as articulated in Calvin’s Institutes, book 3, chapter 14, which I know well.

So, sanctification, according to church, is, watch for it, as we hear it all of the time…”growing in grace.” Viz, growing in salvation. Now, most good church-going Baptists wouldn’t have a problem with that because it’s hard to separate sanctification with the characteristics of being justified, but, church deception goes way deeper than that, and frankly, church deliberately allows parishioners to assume the aforementioned assumption.

Fact is, in Protestantism of all stripes, sanctification does not involve positive change in the individual except for their increased ability to see that they can’t become better people. Pastors deceptively refute this fact by stating, “Of course Christians change for the better!” But see, they are talking about a mere increased perception of how sinful we are, NOT a change in regarding anything we DO that is better.

And since “growing in ‘grace'” is critical to achieving “final justification,” how does the “Christian” obtain such? Well, by doing church. At church, we supposedly partake in the “ordinary means of grace.” Being interpreted, the ordinary MEANS of salvation. Get it?

If sanctification is the progression of salvation, and your goal is “final justification” or “definitive justification” (when you know definitively in the end that you are one of God’s elect), how smart would you be spending any time loving others when such would take away from your endeavor to “work out your own salvation with trembling and fear” as that verse of scripture is often used. Not very. And if you read many headlines about church, it is evident. At least functionally, parishioners farm-out love through tithing to the church. And most do-good church programs are financially profitable corporations. In fact, most churches are incorporated.

I strongly suspect sanctification is much more. I strongly suspect sanctification is an emotionally strong experience accompanied by joy and hope in the here and now. I strongly suspect sanctification obtains wisdom that creates a strong positive life that lacks fear. And I know it informs us about who God really is, and how we can be like Him in what we think and DO. I strongly suspect sanctification is ALL about living out new creaturehood, and NOT staying at the foot of the cross.

I strongly suspect that real sanctification sees ALL of life as worship. It only figures that church gatherings are referred to as “worship” distinct from everything else we do in life. This is typical of church, which is constantly inverting truth. Partaking in a ritual to progress salvation is not the practice of truth, and practicing truth is real worship, and that is more than a strong suspicion.

Hence, church is the enemy of sanctification, and the primary historical reason there has always been a dearth of sanctification in Western civilization. Almost 2000 years after the ascension of Christ, why was there a need for a biblical counseling “movement”? Because the church had lost the fight to maintain truth? The church owns most of Western culture, and in America, there is a church, on average, every couple of miles with a $500,000 annual budget continuing to ask for financial help to “fight the powers of darkness overtaking our culture.” Where’s the beef? Meanwhile, this corporate monstrosity claims to be “God’s kingdom.” Really? If the God I know had a kingdom here on earth, the other kingdom’s would hardly be a match for Him.

Clearly, churches also represent sanctification as a “death to self.” A plethora of Bible verses are taken out of context to make this case. People with low self-esteem and self-hatred are very easy to control. God is continually represented by church as a cosmic killjoy teaching us lessons about selfishly enjoying life. To the contrary, I strongly suspect unbelievers worship demonstrably more than churchgoers. Every time I see an irreligious nurse delivering quality care, I begin to ponder about the relationship between worship, hope, and love. The church claims to have a monopoly on worship. That’s laughable; the church doesn’t even know how to properly define it.

Above is the plaque Susan gifted me for our anniversary. An attached note spoke of our thankfulness for the success we have had on our journey together, and the hope that the above prayer would be answered for us in the future. I don’t think sanctification is a huge mystery, I believe God delights in answering the above prayer and prayers like it. And I believe our desires are heard as prayers more than we think. God doesn’t need our many words. I believe sanctification involves a God who has wonderful plans for our life and not harm. It’s not all a bed of roses, of course, but I believe God promises strength to endure the challenges. In a way, God has already answered the above prayer; God has gifted the vast majority of humanity with gifts of awesome ability. I believe we should speak of miracles in life with caution; all of life is a miracle. It is our duty to appropriate what life has to offer, and the reward is fulfillment, happiness, and hope. Pleasing God, while having fun, or being personally fulfilled, is not a sin.

The Bible is clear: SALVATION is about “passing from death to life.” SANCTIFICATION is about life, and nothing more or less…PERIOD. “Grace” is love in action. Of course, the greatest act of love was Christ’s death on the cross which paved the way for the new birth. Salvation is a onetime final act of grace in the believer, while sanctification is a lifetime of love in action. That’s the direction and focus of sanctification apart from condemnation, not the perfection of it. Where salvation is not a finished work, condemnation still exists and the spirit of fear that goes along with it. Certainly, the degree to which unbelievers worship God is vastly better than the practice of lies and traditions of men full of control-lust. My prayer is that all people would be fully enshrined in a life of sanctification found through salvation.

That is my wish for everyone, that they would be found in His true sanctification. “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

paul

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