Predestinated Monergistic Sanctification by Free and Sovereign Grace

by Scott Price

There is plenty of confusion on the topic of Sanctification. Some of the most controversy surrounds who is actually causing the confusion about the subject. Those in the sovereign grace, Calvinist, Reformed camp will all readily agree that “Positional” Sanctification (by the Father’s love/election and Christ’s blood) is Monergistic and by pure, sovereign grace. Anything short of this view will easily land someone in the blatant works-salvation category, in my opinion.

The next aspect of Sanctification, which is the most controversial, is the work of the Spirit. Some call this aspect “practical” sanctification, which I think is a poor choice of terms. Most think this aspect is also “Progressive”, in that it increases as time goes on. I don’t agree with this term either because it can be misleading if saying it means more than growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The bad view of the Sanctification we experience is when some say it is Synergistic, that we, as regenerated believers, cooperate with the indwelling Spirit to get somewhere in Sanctification. This bad idea runs counter to the effectual work of God’s Spirit in the life of the believer to, both WILL and DO of His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). And that work that was started by God, will be finished by God (Phil 1:6). And let’s not forget the Monergistic, Deterministic, sovereign work of God in reference to good works – “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10).

This form of Sanctification (the work of the Spirit in the believer) should be left in the “positional” category, in my opinion. The reason is – anything done by the believer, in the believer, is done by a believer who is ALREADY Sanctified by the Spirit of God. They are not DOING anything “practically” by Law, or by work TO BE, or TO STAY Sanctified. They ALREADY are Sanctified by the Holy Spirit. They are not partly Sanctified. They are ALREADY “Saints”, set apart, made holy, by God, without their own cooperation. They can take no credit for it or glory in themselves at all, because they had no part in the sovereign, effectual work of God to put them in this Sanctified state.

Their assurance will not be based on Law-keeping or works, since no part of salvation is based on Law or works. The assurance of the believer is found always and only – resting in the finished work and merit of Christ’s righteousness. Any other view is double-minded and unstable.

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