In my spare time reading I’m having a crack at reading David Peterson’s ‘Possessed by God‘ – A New Testament theology of sanctification and holiness. So as I come across bits of interest I’ll post them and make comment. Be warned this could be a slow-in-coming series based on my current reading requirements for studies.
Peterson contends that little is made of ‘definitive sanctification’ in the contemporary debate on holiness and so he puts forward:
“There is an assumption that sanctification is mainly viewed in progressive terms in the New Testament. Little is made of definitive sanctification as a basis and motivation for holy living.
Klaus Bockmuehl more helpfully begins his exposition of the subject by defining sanctification in the Old Testament as ‘the act or process by which people or things are cleansed and dedicated to God, ritually and morally’ (1988: 613). Turning to the New Testament, he observes that cleansing and dedication continue to be dominant notes when the terminology of sanctification and holiness is used. Sanctification is a state in which believers find themselves because of the work and the operation of the Spirit in their lives. They are called to remain in that state ‘by living in correspondence to their given holiness’ (614). It is also a state to which they must strive, which they must ‘pursue’, or ‘complete’. In sum, sanctification in the New Testament is seen as ‘a one-time event and as a process, the believers being and becoming holy and acting correspondingly’ (615).” p.13-14
That’s not really the way we use the term in theologically conservative evangelical circles today is it? Methinks we need a revision of sorts.