Creation Vs. Evolution
The Enlightenment movement that exploded throughout Europe in the eighteenth century has given the world some very dangerous humanistic philosophies. Charles Darwin gave us the theory of evolution with the releasing of his book, “The origin of the Species.” Karl Marx gave us the ungodly government known as Marxism. And Sigmund Freud gave us humanistic psychology. France was one of the most powerful nations in the world at the time of our Revolution in America. They were eight times more populous than America, and were the world leaders in science, literature, art, and education. However, France chose a path to become overwhelmingly secular and humanistic, which brought on the ultimate decline of France as a world power.
America chose a path of religious freedom for all, with a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, based on Christian principles with the acknowledgement in our founding document that it is “Our Creator” where all of our rights flow. This has resulted in the United States of America as being the greatest nation in world history. However, since 1934, when certain accounts of our history have been stricken from our history books in public schools, the United States has become increasingly secular. There has been an all out assault on our Christian heritage, and on public displays of Christianity in general. Our schools and universities are becoming more and more secular, and all public schools and universities in America now teach the awful lie of evolution. Instead of teaching that we were created in the image and likeness of God and that each individual has tremendous worth in God’s eyes, as they taught for hundreds of years in America, we are now being taught that we have all evolved from apes.
As horrible as the lie of evolution is, and as some are trying to get Creationism or Intelligent Design to at least be taught along side of evolution in our public schools, there is another form of evolution being taught in our modern churches in America that Christians do not seem to be too alarmed about. We are talking about the lie of progressive sanctification. There are many in the modern church that don’t even mention sanctification, much less sin, unless of course when they say that we are all sinners. Sanctification used to be the most written about subject in the church-world of the late 1800’s. Today, those who do mention sanctification usually believe in the progressive kind. There is such a light attitude towards sin in the modern church. How have we become so desensitized to the one thing that God hates the most? – Sin.
It is impossible by nature for one species to evolve into another species. There is absolutely not one piece of scientific evidence in all of the fossil records that can prove the transmutation of species. All of the evidence from the fossil records and from nature itself shows that one species cannot evolve into another, and that each species reproduces according to its own kind, just as the Bible says. Just as physical evolution is impossible, so is spiritual evolution. There is absolutely not one Scripture in the Bible that can prove spiritual evolution. All of the scriptural evidence in the Bible points towards an instant work of sanctification in the believer at salvation. It is impossible for one to evolve from unrighteousness into righteousness over a period of time.
In this article we will give strong scriptural support for instant sanctification. We will then look into the arguments that those use to support progressive sanctification, and expose the fallacy and danger of such thinking and believing.
Now, let us go to the Holy Scriptures to see what it says about sanctification. We go to the authority of the Scriptures as our evidence, and not to our experience, or what the modern church, or anyone else says about it.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.” (2Corinthians 5:17-18)
That word “creature” is translated “creation” in the Greek. Whoever is “in” Christ is a new creation. A child of God is part of the new creation of God. The old creation was Adam. Adam and his race fell into sin. Every man that was ever born of a woman was born with a sin nature, except for Jesus Christ. Jesus is called in Scripture “the only begotten of the Father.” The Greek word used for this “begotten” signifies that He came from the Father and was with the Father. He was the Word of God and He created all things. He became flesh through being born of Mary. God sent His only begotten Son into the world that whosoever would believe on His sacrifice on the Cross would have everlasting life.
Jesus was also the first begotten from the dead (Revelation 1:5), and the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29) This firstborn and begotten comes from the same Greek word and it simply means “first born.” When we are begotten of God, we are born of God, and born of His same Spirit. When the Scripture talks about the child of God being “begotten,” it is the same Greek word for “born” as in, “Ye must be born again to see the kingdom of God,” in John 3:3.
So, we can see from these Scriptures that Jesus Christ was the firstborn of the new creation. When we are born of God, we are born of the Spirit of God and become a new creation in Christ. That old man dies with all of its sin and stains, and that new man or “new creation” is “all” of Christ and is all “of God.”
“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)
The new man is created after God in righteousness and true holiness. He is not part holy and part unholy; part righteous and part unrighteous; part of the heart impure and part of the heart pure. He is all righteous because He is righteous, and He lives in us. We do not eventually get unrighteousness out of our lives through the help of the Spirit, as some teach. We are created in righteousness and true holiness.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
“Workmanship” in the Greek means “product, i.e. fabric, thing that is made.” We are His product, and He does not produce any defective or sinful products. We are His creation in Christ Jesus. After this “so great salvation,” we then do good works, because it is then natural for us.
“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the camp.” (Hebrews 13:12)
The purpose of his suffering on the cross was to sanctify the people with his own blood. “Sanctify” in the Greek means “to make holy, purify.” It comes from the Greek word hagiazo. The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance also says, “Hagiazo means to make holy and signifies to set apart for God, to sanctify, to make a person or thing the opposite of koinos (2839 – common).
God cannot set apart man unto himself unless we are made holy first. He cannot set apart something common unto Himself.
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
Notice - are sanctified – past tense, and it is through His suffering on the cross.
“…even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Many look at such Scriptures as a future promise that the church will one day reach this point of holiness through the process of sanctification before Jesus returns. That is not what this Scripture is saying. The child of God is holy, spotless, and without blemish at salvation by the water and blood of Jesus Christ, and if he stands and walks in that holiness and light until he dies or until Christ returns, he remains in that holy state.
“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14)
Notice – redeem “from all iniquity [sin],” which is consistent with the scriptural term “freedom from sin.”
“Purify” comes from the Greek word, katharizo – 2511, meaning, “to cleanse.” Notice that he cleanses unto Himself. He redeemed us from all sin and cleanses unto Himself a peculiar people. He does not bring unto himself a polluted people that gradually get sin out of their lives over a period of years. That word “peculiar” in the Greek means “special, one’s own possession.” We are God’s own possession. God does not birth or have any sinful children. He redeemed His children from all iniquity and sin. We no longer have a sin nature. He cannot redeem sin unto himself, and his people, who are His own possession, are cleansed, purified, and sanctified from all sin, as they are brought unto Him.
“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (I Corinthians 6:11)
They were once committing the sins of the flesh. As listed in verses 9 and 10, some of them were fornicators, adulterers, effeminate [homosexual], thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners. But they were no longer. Notice that some of them were drunkards. Today, we call it an alcoholic disease. They say that once you are an alcoholic, you will always be an alcoholic. They say the same things about homosexuality and of adultery. They say, once a cheater, always a cheater. But, the truth of the gospel is that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all unrighteousness. There is no sin too big for God. An alcoholic, or anyone else can be instantly washed, sanctified, and justified and free from sin. It does not take counseling programs or 12 step programs, or a number of years of gradually getting sin out of the life. Notice, the scripture says…But now…ye are washed, ye are sanctified, and ye are justified…past tense. They were once unrighteous, as Paul says in Vs. 9, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” But, now they are “made righteous” and free from sin and its bondage by the body and blood of Jesus.
“In which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.” (Colossians 3:7)
Paul in the previous two verses was listing sins that will cause the wrath of God to come on the children of disobedience. These sins included fornication, uncleanness, homosexuality, evil concupiscence [lusting for that which is forbidden], and covetousness. Notice he said that at one time they walked in these things, and lived in them. He didn’t say that they were gradually getting these sins out of their lives and hearts. He said they were no longer doing so. Notice that covetousness and evil concupiscence are sins of the heart. They no longer lusted or coveted after forbidden things because they had a new heart and a new spirit.
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren…” (Hebrews 2:11)
We are one with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. He is holy, so we are made holy. He is the sanctifier and we are sanctified through Him. We are no longer sinners, so he is not ashamed to call us brethren. He is the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29) He does not have any sinful, unrighteous, and unholy brothers. We are one with Him and He cannot join Himself to sin. “As He is, so are we in this world.” (I John 4:17)
“Jude the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:1)
Notice - sanctified – past tense. The word “preserved” in the Greek means “to guard, to watch over, to keep watch.” We are sanctified, and then placed “in” Christ where Jesus Christ Himself guards over His creation.
“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth.” (2Thessalonians 2:13)
Notice – the path to salvation is through sanctification of the spirit. He makes us holy through believing the truth of the Gospel.
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:18)
This is Jesus’ commission to the apostle Paul. Notice – darkness to light, power of Satan to God, and “are sanctified” – past tense.
Also, forgiveness means freedom in the Greek.
“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel…” (Colossians 1:21-23)
At one time – enemies because of sin. Yet NOW – reconciled through the Cross – holy, unblameable, unreprovable – IF - we continue in “the faith” and are moved not away from the hope of “the gospel.”
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14)
This is the true grace of God wherein we stand (I Peter 5:12) – free from sin, not a constant life of slipping and falling. The sin nature no longer has dominion, for we are now under New Testament grace. The grace of God is “much more” powerful than sin. Four times in the fifth chapter of Romans, Paul says that the grace of God is “much more” abundant and powerful than sin. The new creation in Christ Jesus destroyed the sin that reigned in the old creation. The New Testament definition of grace is “the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life.” This grace was prophesied in the Old Testament and the prophets and even the angels of God desired to look into this grace. (I Peter 1:10-12) It is the new heart and the new spirit that God prophesied of through the prophet Ezekiel in 11:19-20 and 36:26-27, that He would put inside the believer and cause him to obey His statutes.
"For by one offering he hath perfected [completed] forever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)
Through His death we are complete in Him and are sanctified. It is a complete work because the sin nature is taken out and the divine nature takes its place. We are sanctified in the new creation, and our spirits are holy and complete in Him. Bible scholars point out that the Greek tense used in "are sanctified," could rightly be translated "are being sanctified." Some believe, as we do, that this is referring to all those who are sanctified throughout the "church age." Through the blood and body "offering" of Jesus on the Cross, all those, or whosoever that believes and puts their trust in that finished sacrifice, throughout the church age, are perfected (completed) and sanctified. In other words, through His offering on the Cross, he has completed and sanctified all those who repent and believe the gospel. The finished work of the Cross has been done. All those who repent and believe in that finished work are saved. Others, who believe that sanctification is a process, may point to this Scripture to try to prove that man gradually, hopefully, over a period of several years, gets sin out of his life through the sanctification process. Others, even go further, and say that man will never be rid of the sin nature until death. They believe that the process of "being sanctified" will never be complete until we are divested of our mortal bodies. The avalanche of Scriptures proclaiming freedom from sin, in the here and now, prove otherwise.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
“Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” (John 8:34)
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
Knowing the truth of the gospel is what makes free from sin. Whereas, before our salvation from sin we sinned and were therefore servants to sin; now we are free from sin and free indeed, and have become servants to righteousness.
Jesus spoke these words to “those Jews which believed on him.” (John 8:31) He told them that, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32) Just believing on Him does not necessarily mean that one is saved. Many today struggle with sin and never come to a knowledge of the truth, because there is so little truth of the Gospel being preached today. Those same Jews that believed on Jesus (Vs.31) later took up stones to try to kill Him. (Vs.59)
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)
Through Adam’s sin, all were born sinners. Jesus was obedient to death, even to the death of the cross. (Phil. 2:8) So therefore, all of those who have faith in the faith of Christ (Galatians 2:16) are justified and “made righteous.” They were once sinners, but no more. They have been made righteous. They are not just declared righteous, as Reformed Theology teaches. There is a definate change of heart and nature on the inside of those who believe the gospel. This is New Testament faith and grace! How can someone who is made righteous also be a sinner? - Impossible, unless he moves away from the hope of the gospel.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in this world through lust.” (I Peter 1:4)
Notice that we are partakers of the divine nature. That is the nature of Christ, and it is a holy nature. Since we are partakers of this nature, we have escaped from the sin nature – the corruption of this world through lust. Escape in the Greek means “to flee away from, to escape from.” What did we escape from? – The sin nature, the corruption of this world. People always use the term “saved.” Saved from what? - Saved from sin. Salvation means rescued or delivered. We were rescued and delivered and escaped from sin. These are the exceeding great and precious promises that are fulfilled in the New Testament in those that believe.
The angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:21, “And thou shall call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.”
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6-7)
The “old man” and “the body of sin,” of Romans 6:6, “the body of this death,” of Romans 7:24, and “the body of the sins of the flesh,” of Colossians 2:11, are all synonymous terms for the sin or the sin nature. This is what was destroyed in the death of Jesus at the cross. Our old man is crucified with Christ. The sin nature is destroyed. The word translated “with” means “in union with” Christ. The word translated “destroyed” means “to be (render) entirely idle (useless).”
We are no longer slaves to sin, because faith in the death of Jesus at the cross has crucified and destroyed the sin nature and freed us from sin.
“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” (Romans 6:18)
We are no longer slaves to sin and to unrighteousness because we are made free from sin. Our new master is Jesus and righteousness. Jesus said that you cannot serve two masters. Either we are a sinner and a slave to sin, or made righteous and a slave to righteousness.
Even with this overwhelming evidence from these Scriptures, as well as many others, there are many in the modern church of today that still say that we are all sinners, that we sin every day, and that the sin nature will be with us until the end. They use very little if any Scriptures to back up this claim. Usually they just argue that these things cannot be so because of their own experience after salvation. Those who do use Scriptures, use ones that are usually taken out of context, and do not show progressive sanctification, because there are no Scriptures that show this in the Bible. Here are some that they use:
“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” (I Corinthians 15:31)
Paul was speaking metaphorically in this verse. In the very next verse, he talks about fighting “with beasts at Ephesus.” He was referring to his many persecutions that he endured as an ambassador of Christ. (II Corinthians 11:23-28) He also says in Romans 8:36, “For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Paul could not have been referring to dying to sin daily, as some teach, because he was already “dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ.” (Romans 6:11) He was no longer dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1, Colossians 2:13), because he was dead to sin, as is every child of God. Paul was crucified with Christ. (Galatians 2:20) Paul was crucified unto the world and the world was crucified unto him. (Galatians 6:14) The world and sin had no more power over him, for he was dead to it.
“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal this unto you.
Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.” (Philippians 3:11-16)
Again, there is not a hint in these Scriptures that Paul is talking about growing out of some sort of uncleanness, sin, or defilement. When he says that he has not attained and that he is not already perfect, he is talking about that final reward when he makes it to the end of his course in life as he keeps the faith until the end. (II Timothy 6-9) Paul continues in verses 18-21, where he warns them with weeping about those who are “enemies of the cross of Christ” and who “mind earthly things.” He says that our conversation is in heaven where we look for the Savior to return who shall change our mortal bodies into His glorious body. Paul is saying in these Scriptures that we need to continue in the faith, and to keep our eyes on the final prize and the reward of our crown of righteousness and glorified bodies that Christ shall give us when he returns to reward the righteous.
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
From which whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increse of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:11-16)
There is nothing in these Scriptures to suggest that the child of God is growing from sin into righteousness. “Perfecting” in the Greek means “complete furnishing, a fitting or preparing fully.” “Perfect” as in “perfect man” in the above Scripture means “fully grown, mature.” These Scriptures are talking about growing in Him. They talk about growing in the stature of the fullness of Christ, of the Church being edified or built up in the Lord, and of us growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Thessalonians 5:23)
Paul is saying that if they are sanctified and are moved not away from the hope of the gospel, their whole spirit, soul, and body will remain preserved blameless until the coming of Christ. Remember, the word “preserved” in the Greek means “to guard, to watch over, to keep watch.” This “preservation” occurs after sanctification. If we abide in Christ, He preserves us blameless until the coming of Christ.
Some teach that the spirit is holy, but that in the flesh remains the sinful nature. However, the wonderful truth of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ is that it leaves no room for the sin nature after salvation. The Scriptures teach that we are the temple of God. (II Corinthians 6:16, I Corinthians 3:16) In 1Corinthians 3:17, it says that, “The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” Paul, in Romans 12:1, beseeches us to present our holy bodies to God as a living sacrifice. The body, called the flesh in some Scriptures, the tabernacle, and the outward man, can only do what the man on the inside tells it to do. If the inside man is holy, then so is the body.
Hebrews 10:22 says, “…having our heart sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” That pure water is the blood and water than came out of Jesus’ side. We are to yield the members of our body as “instruments of righteousness.” (Romans 6:13)
Of His fullness have we received
Colossians 2:9-12 and John 1:16 are very important Scriptures in understanding sanctification.
“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
In verse 14 it says that Jesus is “full of grace and truth.” Then in verse 16 it says:
“And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.”
Jesus was full of grace and truth. The fullness of the Godhead dwelled in Him. The Scripture also says that the Spirit of God was given to Him without measure. (John 3:34) It says that we have received “of” His fullness. We get a portion of His fullness, and of His grace. Individually, we will never reach the point of having all of His fullness in our lives. However, that does not mean that we are not holy, and that we are not partaking of the divine nature. As it says in Colossians, we are complete in Him. “Complete” means to be “made full.” We are made full out of His fullness. This fullness or completeness leaves no room for sin. The believer is made full with God’s goodness and then grows in it.
Colossians goes on to say that we are circumcised with the circumcision of Christ, in putting off the sins of the flesh. It is an act of creation. He cut sin out of our heart through the invisible hand and operation of God. He destroyed the sin nature by cutting it out of our old stony hearts. He gave us a new heart “created in righteousness and true holiness.” Sin is buried with Him in His baptism and put off, and the new man and new creation is risen with Him.
Growing in Him
Many people confuse growing in Him and growing in grace with growing out of sin. As discussed, a child of God is made complete in Him and is partaking of the divine nature. He is a child of God and God has no sinful children and Jesus has no unholy brothers. However, this does not mean that we are “perfect” in every area of our lives.
Presently, I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother, and an uncle. Does that mean that I am the perfect husband and father? No. One grows in these things. As stated earlier, we receive only a portion of His fullness. Jesus was an earthly son and brother. Jesus was the only perfect son and brother. He never disrespected his parents. He never lied to his sisters or brothers. He never sinned. He also always said and did the right things. He was full of grace and truth. He was the only perfect person ever to live. After our salvation, we are complete in Him in relation to sin, but we grow in things in relation to others in the world and also in relation to our Heavenly Father. We grow “unto a perfect man;” a “fully grown, mature” man in Christ, as stated in Ephesians 4:13.
We “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2Peter 3:18);” We are exhorted not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2); Grace and truth is multiplied unto us through the knowledge of Him (2Peter 1:2); Peace and love is multiplied unto us (Jude1:2); He may give us certain spiritual gifts to edify our spirits and one another (I Corinthians 14:4); and the Church as a whole is built up in Him and edified in love and in His knowledge and grows unto a perfect man, and into the fullness of the stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-16).
Paul prayed for the Ephesians that God would give unto them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened; that they would know what is the hope of their calling; that they would know the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints; and that they would know the exceeding greatness of His power. (Ephesians 1:17-19)
After our salvation we are to present our holy bodies unto him as a reasonable sacrifice to be used for His glory (Romans 12:1); We are to pray and be sober minded (1Peter 4:7); We are to put on the whole armor of God that we would be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, because he is going about seeking whom he may devour (Ephesians 6:11-17); We are to redeem the time for the time is evil (Ephesians 5:16); We are to stand fast in the liberty where Christ has made us free (Galatians 5:1); We are to abide in the holy vine of Jesus and bear forth much fruit (John 15:5); and we are to hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end (Hebrews 3:6).
Dangers of believing in progressive sanctification
Some who believe in progressive sanctification are looking forward to the time when they will one day be what the Scriptures say all children of God are – holy, without spot, blameless, righteous, redeemed from all iniquity, and free from sin. So, in this process they believe that God is gradually getting sin out of their lives through the help of the Spirit. They speak of God continuing to do a work through His Spirit on the deep inner parts of the heart. They speak of our condition eventually reaching the state of our position in Christ.
Others who believe in progressive sanctification seem to have no hope of ever getting sin out of their lives. This group says they sin every day and will continue to do so. To them, sanctification is a life long process that will never be fully attained. This makes one wonder why they even believe in progressive sanctification. After all, if one believes in progressive sanctification, then it stands to reason that one day they will reach the goal of being totally sanctified.
To both of these groups, I have a most important question:
Since the Scriptures say that Jesus “loved” and “gave himself” at the Cross for the church, that he might present it to himself a glorious church without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:26-27), then when will you ever reach this glorious state?
If you are one that believes that sanctification is a process, if Jesus returns or if you die before this process is complete, then you are in trouble.
What is your sin?
In 2004, I heard a gay activist ask a very intriguing question. A reporter was interviewing him about what President Bush had said the previous day. President Bush, speaking about his just stance against gay marriage, made the statement that “We are all sinners.” The gay activist told the reporter that, by this statement, President Bush was calling homosexuality a sin. He then said, “I would like to ask the President, ‘What is your sin?’ ”
He knew that if you are a sinner, you sin. So he wanted to know what was the President’s sin. In fairness to the President, he was probably just repeating what he was hearing from the modern church. I mean no disrespect towards the President. This is just a good example to make this point. So, I would like to ask you if you call yourself a sinner - What is your sin?
Many today are so sin conscience. People have told me that getting a speeding ticket is a sin. This kind of makes me wonder as to what “sin” people are committing in order to call themselves sinners. Some things that people call sin may just be a lack of the fruit of the spirit in their lives. For instance, being sharp to someone, without cursing them, may just show a lack of the fruit of the Spirit. People say that not witnessing is just as bad as committing adultery. "A sin is a sin," they say.
Paul lists the "works of the flesh" in 1Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, and Colossians 3:5-8. Paul said that if you do these things you would not inherit the kingdom of God. This list includes fornication, adultery, homosexuality, thievery, covetousness, drunkenness, revilers, extortioners, lasciviousness, evil concupiscence, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envy, murder, revelings, anger, malice, blasphemy, lying, and filthy communication. Some of these are not actually committed sins, but sins of the heart. But all the works of the flesh, whether an actual committed sin or not, comes from an evil heart, as Jesus taught. (Matthew 15:18-19) He also said that a good tree cannot produce evil fruit, and neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. (Matthew 7:18) Jesus said that if you look at a woman lustfully you have already committed adultery in the heart. (Matthew 5:28) John said that if you hate your brother you are a murderer. (1John 3:15) If you are committing one of these sins, or one of the sins of the heart that does not necessarily have to have an outward manifestation, then you are a sinner. And we know from the authority of the Scriptures that no sinner has eternal life abiding in him. (1John 3:15, 1John 3:4-10, John 8:34)
Why would a “Christian” call himself a sinner? Paul said that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Sinners are slaves to sin and are unrighteous, and a corrupt tree. Saints are free from sin and are righteous, and a good tree.
I believe the problem lies in the lack of the preaching of the cross and blood of Jesus Christ in our modern churches. Christians are not hearing this glorious gospel of freedom from sin. In fact, they are hearing just the opposite – that we are all sinners. And if they do hear about sanctification, it is the progressive kind. Many who truly get saved, fall into a struggle with sin because they are not hearing the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ concerning freedom from sin. Many are even told that we sin every day. There is so little preaching of the blood and cross of Christ in the modern church, that it is no wonder many find themselves in a struggle with the works if the flesh.
Beloved, I pray that you will prayerfully consider these things. Do not believe in the lie of progressive sanctification. Jesus died for so much more than just forgiveness. They had forgiveness in the Old Testament. Jesus died to make us free from sin. He was the firstborn among many brethren. He destroyed sin in His cross. He created a new creation in Him that is holy, righteous, and without spot or blemish. We are one with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection. He created us in righteousness and true holiness. Believe these exceeding great and precious promises, and watch God do a wonderful work in your heart and life.