RSI Conference: Update 1

15 Nov

In the first session, Dr. David Murray addressed the issue of “Passive Sanctification,” formerly understood as “let go and let God,” and now “the key to sanctification is remembering/having faith in our justification.”  Passive sanctification asserts (explicitly and implicitly) that we are sanctified apart from work; it is something we must merely receive.  But is that an accurate picture of what the Scripture teaches, and where does such a belief lead?

There is much that could be said, but below are some of Dr. Murray’s main points, as well as a few other notes from his presentation:

Passive Sanctification is attractive because:
1. It keeps justification central in the Christian life
2. It seems to reduce the danger of legalism
3. Connects justification and sanctification
4. Relieves weary Christians who have overworked themselves
5. Offers a “silver bullet/key” to sanctification

However, there are dangers in passive sanctification:
1. Lost doctrine (a confusion of justification and sanctification, resulting in the loss of both into some morphing of the two)
2. Lost Law (eliminates the moral law from the Christian life)
3. Lost Effort (sanctification involves fighting, praying, running, etc., not merely looking back to/having faith in one’s justification)
4. Lost Motivation (narrows ones motivation for obeying the Lord to his or her justification)
5. Lost Dimension (passive sanctification creates a disconnect between the relationship between my good works and God)
6. Lost Love (in part our Christian experience in relationship to God is conditional–pleasure, joy, discipline, love, etc.)
7. Lost Chastisement (chastisement is meant to correct disobedience)
8. Narrow Spirituality (there is more to the Spirit’s work in and through us than merely pointing us back to one’s justification)
9. Lost Unity (passive sanctification can divide believers)
10. Losing Christ (in focusing upon justification, we can lose sight of the Christ who accomplishes it, as well as many other things, which we receive by way of our union with Him, and who He is)

Other Notes:
-Our good works please God and serve our neighbor in love
-Christ died in order to save us from our sins. Thus, we need imperatives to lead us away from transgression (breaking God’s law) and toward obedience to our Lord and Savior
-Kevin DeYoung quote: “When I lost sight of what sanctification is, I just have to look at my body–my tongue, my hands, my feet, my eyes, etc.)

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