Charles’s quotes


"It is surely ours to combine these elements of mourning for sin and joy in our salvation in one complex and composite experience which keeps us perpetually humble and yet perpetually joyful too."— Rev William Still

Monday, 12 March 2018

Faith and Sanctification

Except for one reference to A Half Century of Theology, all of the quotations in this post are from Faith and Sanctification.
Berkouwer approaches social concern from a Biblical and Reformed perspective. In Ephesians 2:8-10, the emphases ‘by grace’ and ‘through faith’ lead directly on to the emphasis ‘for good works’. Berkouwer underscores this connection between ‘Sola Fide and Sanctification’ (Chapter II, pp. 17-44). He emphasizes that the true nature of good works cannot be understood apart from Christ who is our ’sanctification’ (1 Corinthians 1:30) (p. 21). Sanctification is not ‘the humanly operated successor to the divinely worked justification (p. 78). ‘Genuine sanctification’ has a ‘continued orientation toward justification’ (p. 78). Berkouwer emphasizes the ‘by grace … through faith’ context in which the ‘for good works’ character of sanctification expresses itself. He draws attention to the nature of the Spirit’s work in sanctification: ‘The Spirit alone could perform the miracle of making man walk on the road of sanctity without a sense of his own worth’ (p. 78). The life of sanctification has a gracious character which Berkouwer observes in the parable of the unprofitable servants (p. 41) and a social context which he sees in the parable of the good Samaritan (A Half Century of Theology, p. 191). A Reformed theology, grounded in the ‘Scripture alone’ principle, seeks to rightly represent the purpose of Scripture - ‘to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus … that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy3:15, 17). Berkouwer, in his discussion entitled ‘The Imitation of Christ’ (Chapter VII, pp. 135-160), emphasizes both the gracious character and the social context of the Biblical teaching concerning sanctification.

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