The Doctrine of Sanctification (eBook)
BY A. W. PINK
The Doctrine of Sanctification is one of Pink’s most insightful books, which is a high commendation indeed! In it he deals with the Biblical answers to the following questions poised in the Introduction, and more. “What is ‘sanctification’: is it a quality or position? Is sanctification a legal thing or an experimental?—that is to say, is it something the believer has in Christ or in himself? Is it absolute or relative?—by which we mean, does it admit of degree or no? Is it unchanging or progressive? Are we sanctified at the time we are justified, or is sanctification a later blessing? How is this blessing obtained?—by something which is done for us, or by us, or both? How may one be assured he has been sanctified: what are the characteristics, the evidences, the fruits? How are we to distinguish between sanctification by the Father, sanctification by the Son, sanctification by the Spirit, sanctification by faith, sanctification by the Word?” May the reader be illumined by the Holy Spirit as he finds the answers herein!
“These blessings walk hand in hand; and never were, never will be, never can be parted. No more than the delicious scent can be separated from the beautiful bloom of the rose or carnation: let the flower be expanded, and the fragrance transpires. Try if you can separate gravity from the stone or heat from the fire. If these bodies and their essential properties, if these causes and their necessary effects, are indissolubly connected, so are our justification and our sanctification”
Arthur W. Pink was born in Nottingham England in 1886, and born again of the Spirit of God in 1908 at the age of 22. He studied at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, USA, for only six weeks before beginning his pastoral work in Colorado. From there he pastored churches in California, Kentucky, and South Carolina before moving to Sydney Australia for a brief period, preaching and teaching. In 1934, at 48 years old, he returned to his native England. He took permanent residence in Lewis, Scotland, in 1940, remaining there 12 years until his death at age 66 in 1952.
Most of his works…first appeared as articles in the monthly Studies in the Scriptures published from 1922 to 1953 (and currently republished serially by Mt. Zion Publications). Pink was virtually unknown and certainly unappreciated in his day. Independent Bible study convinced him that much of modern evangelism was defective. When Puritan and reformed books were generally disregarded by the Church as a whole, he advanced the majority of their principles with untiring zeal. The progressive spiritual decline of his own nation (Britain) was to him the inevitable consequence of the prevalence of a ‘gospel’ that could neither wound (with conviction of sin) nor heal (via regeneration).
Familiar with the whole range of revelation, Mr. Pink was rarely sidetracked from the great themes of Scripture: grace, justification, and sanctification. Our generation owes him a great debt for the enduring light he has shed, by God’s grace, on the Truth of the Holy Bible.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2 Its Meaning
3 Its Necessity
4 Its Problem
5 Its Solution
6 Its Nature
7 Its Author (The Father)
8 Its Procurer (The Son)
9 Its Securer (The Holy Spirit)
10 Its Rule
11 Its Instrument (Faith)
12 Its Means
13 Its Process
14 Its Progress
15 Its Practice
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Definitive and Experiential Sanctification
Definitive sanctification, refers to the the accomplished fact that believers “have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) .. an irreversable event wherein Christ’s single offering has perfected for all time those he came to save. This means that our just standing before God can neither be lost nor improved upon. As defined by John Frame, it is “a once-for-all event, simultaneous with effectual calling and regeneration, that transfers us from the sphere of sin to the sphere of God’s holiness, from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God.” Definitive sanctification marks us out (or separates us) as God’s chosen people – His treasured and covenantal possession (Acts 20:32; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11). So too, definitive sanctification redeems (or frees) us from the dominion (or slavery) of sin by uniting us to Christ, particularly in His death, resurrection and ascension. Sanctification, in this sense, refers to a decisive and radical break from the power of sin.
Experiential sanctification refers to the work of God in and through man which makes us more and more like Christ in our day to day lives/. The Bible declares that as we behold God’s glory we are being transformed into the image of Christ from one degree of glory to another. (2 Cor 3:18).” According to John Frame, “We can think of sanctification as the outworking of the new life given in regeneration.” It involves the gradual, incremental and (S)piritual work of both putting to death the remains of “indwelling sin” as well as putting on the likeness of Christ. While we work out the salvation given to us, it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for His sovereign good pleasure. (Phil 2:13). We are sanctified in Christ and so our obedience flows from the cross.
“Union with Christ in his death and resurrection is the element of union which Paul most extensively expounds…if we are united to Christ, then we are united to him at all points of his activity on our behalf. We share in his death (we were baptized into his death), in his resurrection (we are resurrected with Christ), in his ascension (we have been raised with him), in his heavenly session (we sit with him in heavenly places, so that our life is hidden with Christ in God), and we will share in his promised return (when Christ, who is our life, appears, we also will appear with him in glory) (Rom. 6:14; Col. 2:11-12; 3:1-3). This, then, is the foundation of sanctification in Reformed theology. It is rooted, not in humanity and their achievement of holiness or sanctification, but in what God has done in Christ, and for us in union with him. Rather than view Christians first and foremost in the microcosmic context of their own progress, the Reformed doctrine first of all sets them in the macrocosm of God’s activity in redemptive history. It is seeing oneself in this context that enables the individual Christian to grow in true holiness.”
Sinclair Ferguson from Christian Spirituality: Five Views of Sanctification