Romans 12:1–2 and the Doctrine of Sanctification, Part 1

By William W. Combs1 Reproduced with permission from DBSJ 11 (2006).

Romans 12:1–2 is one of the most well-known texts of Scripture. Its familiarity stems, I believe, from its perceived theological importance. This text is commonly viewed as having great import for the Christian’s spiritual life, and thus it is one of the passages most often memorized by children in Sunday School and teenagers in the youth group.

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“...one of our great failings as sinful human beings is that we are prone to make God small and safe.”

"...the brilliance and the power of Sproul’s book is that it shows us a God who is holy, holy, holy. And really, there’s nothing the English language offers that can adequately explain what’s bound up in that three-fold repetition of 'holy'....

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"Don’t let the worst and most painful kind of mockery, the kind that comes from other Christians, dissuade you from that calling to be always in pursuit of purity. "

How to Have Personal Standards Without Being a Legalist

Reposted from Pursuing the Pursuer, with permission.

“Your skirt length is a heart problem.”
“Music with a 2-4 beat is demonic.”
“Christians should never step foot in a movie theater.”

Maybe you remember hearing things like this in your church.

Some young Christians, when they look back on their upbringing, only remember a Christianity of “dos and donts.” They only remember their pastors preaching against rock music, clothing standards and movie theaters and the guilt they felt when they violated these commands. And the first chance they get, they flee.

Searching for an “authentic” Christianity outside of the realm in which they were raised, they find something else—something freeing. They find a message of hope that says, Stop focusing on the dos and don’ts. Focus on loving Jesus and loving others. Break free from the chains of legalism. Upon hearing this refreshing message, many young Christians proceed to appropriately toss out the legalistic bathwater…but tragically toss the baby right along with it:

“God isn’t concerned with what I watch or listen to.”
“God looks on the heart. He doesn’t care about outward appearance.”
“I’m accepted by him, I don’t have to worry about ever displeasing him.”

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Theology Thursday - "Entire Sanctification" & the Christian Life

John Wesley

What is “sinless perfection?” What do the so-called “holiness churches” believe about growth in Christ and sanctification? Is there really a difference between, say, a Nazarene church and a Baptist congregation about the Holy Spirit’s work in a believer’s life? Today, we allow a Nazarene theologian, H. Orton Wiley, to explain for himself.  

In this excerpt, Wiley explains what “Christian perfection” means:1

Christian perfection in the critical sense, represents the more positive aspect of the one experience, known theologically either as entire sanctification or Christian perfection. Entire sanctification, however, is a term which applies more to the aspect of a cleansing from sin, or the making holy; while Christian perfection emphasizes especially the standard of privilege secured to the believer by the atoning work of Jesus Christ.

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Consecration (Exodus 28:40-43)

(About this series)



Some years ago, when I resided in Toronto, I went one Sabbath morning to attend service at Knox Church, of which the Rev. Dr. Henry M. Parsons was pastor. I went to the service in a very comfortable state of mind, longing of course, for a new blessing, but without any special sense of the kind of blessing which I needed. God, however, understood my real need, and before the sermon was done that morning my comfort was past and I was in distress of mind and spirit. The sermon had been upon a theme connected with the new life in Christ, and the Lord had made such a personal application of it to me that I felt wholly undone. My situation was similar to that of the bride in Solomon’s Song who cried: “Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me!” And in that state of heart, I returned to my home.

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