We will be asking Dr. Richard Gaffin this very question on a future episode of Christ the Center. Many understand this question to mean “Am I saved by good works?” All orthodox Christians answer an emphatic “No” to that question. Yet some still understand sanctification to be a fruit of the gospel rather than the gospel itself. Those holding this view often describe justification as the gospel. Still others view sanctification as one facet of a larger gospel message including all the benefits believers have in Jesus Christ (justification, adoption, sanctification and glorification). The answer to question 75 of the Westminster Larger Catechism describes sanctification.
Sanctification is a work of God’s grace, whereby they whom God hath, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirit applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them, renewed in their whole man after the image of God; having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts, and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened, as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life.
How do you understand sanctification and its relationship to the gospel message? What are your thoughts?Â Comment here or join the discussion at the RF Forums.