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  • WORKS OF ARMINIUS - ON THE SANCTIFICATION OF MAN


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    DISPUTATION XLIX

    ON THE SANCTIFICATION OF MAN

    I. The word "sanctification" denotes an act, by which any thing is separated from common use, and is consecrated to divine use.

    II. Common use, about the sanctification of which [to divine purposes] we are now treating, is either according to nature itself, by which man lives a natural life; or it is according to the corruption of sin, by which he lives to sin and obeys it in its lusts or desires. Divine use is when a man lives according to godliness, in a conformity to the holiness and righteousness in which he was created.

    III. Therefore, this sanctification, with respect to the boundary from which it proceeds, is either from the natural use, or from the use of sin; the boundary to which it tends, is the supernatural and divine use.

    IV. But when we treat about man, as a sinner, then sanctification is thus defined: It is a gracious act of God, by which he purifies man who is a sinner, and yet a believer, from the darkness of ignorance, from indwelling sin and from its lusts or desires, and imbues him with the Spirit of knowledge, righteousness and holiness, that, being separated from the life of the world and made conformable to God, man may live the life of God, to the praise of the righteousness and of the glorious grace of God, and to his own salvation.

    V. Therefore, this sanctification consists in these two things: In the death of: the old man" who is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts," and in the quickening or enlivening of "the new man, who, after God, is created in righteousness and the holiness of truth."

    VI. The author of sanctification is God, the Holy Father himself, in his Son who is the Holy of holies, through the Spirit of holiness. The external instrument is the word of God; the internal one is faith yielded to the word preached. For the word does not sanctify, only as it is preached, unless the faith be added by which the hearts of men are purified.

    VII. the object of sanctification is man, a sinner, and yet a believer -- a sinner, because, being contaminated through sin and addicted to a life of sin, he is unfit to serve the living God -- a believer, because he is united to Christ through faith in him, on whom our holiness is founded; and he is planted together with Christ and joined to him in a conformity with his death and resurrection. Hence, he dies to sin, and is excited or raised up to a new life.

    VIII. The subject is, properly, the soul of man. And, first, the mind, which is illuminated, the dark clouds of ignorance being driven away. Next, the inclination or the will, by which it is delivered from the dominion of indwelling sin, and is filled with the spirit of holiness. The body is not changed, either as to its essence or its inward qualifies; but as it is a part of the man, who is consecrated to God, and is an instrument united to the soul, having been removed by the sanctified soul which inhabits it from the purposes of sin, it is admitted to and employed in the service of God, "that our whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."

    IX. The form lies in the purification from sin, and in a conformity with God in the body of Christ through his Spirit.

    X. The end is, that a believing man, being consecrated to God as a priest and king, should serve him in newness of life, to the glory of his divine name, and to the salvation of man.

    XI. As, under the Old Testament, the priests, when approaching to render worship to God, were accustomed to be sprinkled with blood, so, likewise, the blood of Jesus Christ, which is the blood of the New Testament, serves for this purpose-to sprinkle us, who are constituted by him as priests, to serve the living God. In this respect, the sprinkling of the blood of Christ, which principally serves for the expiation of sins, and which is the cause of justification, belongs also to sanctification; for in justification, this sprinkling serves to wash away sins that have been committed; but in sanctification, it serves to sanctify men who have obtained remission of their sins, that they may further be enabled to offer worship and sacrifices to God, through Christ.

    XII. This sanctification is not completed in a single moment; but sin, from whose dominion we have been delivered through the cross and the death of Christ, is weakened more and more by daily losses, and the inner man is day by day renewed more and more, while we carry about with us in our bodies, the death of Christ, and the outward man is perishing.

    COROLLARY

    We permit this question to be made the subject of discussion: Does the death of the body bring the perfection and completion of sanctification -- and how is this effect produced?

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