Rainy Day Quote II

Here’s the second quote, for thinking on in a rainy day.

It is popular in our practical, ‘fix-me’ society to hammer at only one aspect of sanctification — generally called ‘progressive.’ However it is not clear that the categories of sanctification are cut and dried… or that sanctification should primarily be thought of differently than the rest of salvation (i.e., monergistically). Though best-sellers emphasize a ‘get to work’ ethic of ‘personal holiness,’ it is good to reflect that our righteousness is given to us, and true holiness for the believer is not in our always-imperfect efforts but in the actual work of the Spirit, the one whose name includes ‘holy,’ or, as Rev. Scaer notes, ‘Spiritus sanctus.’

This is from David Scaer, a Lutheran pastor (in Sanctification: By Grace Alone):

At times, the New Testament uses the words sanctify and sanctification of God’s entire activity of God in bringing about man’s salvation. More specifically it refers to the work of the Holy Spirit to bring people to salvation, to keep them in the true faith and finally to raise them from the dead and give them eternal life (Small Catechism). All these works are also performed by the Father and the Son. Since God is not morally neutral and does not choose to be holy, but He is holy, all His works necessarily share in His holiness. The connection between the Holy Spirit and sanctification is seen in the Latin for the Third Person of the Trinity, Spiritus Sanctus. The Spirit who is holy in Himself makes believers holy, sanctifies them, by working faith in Christ in them and He becomes the source of all their good works.

Sanctification means that the Spirit permeates everything the Christian thinks, says and does. The Christian’s personal holiness is as much a monergistic activity of the Holy Spirit as is his justification and conversion. The Spirit who alone creates faith is no less active after conversion than He was before.

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