Sanctification: The Augustinian-Dispensational View

This view holds ties with the Keswick as well as the Reformed traditions. The strand related to the Keswick tradition emphasizes “victorious Christian living” by means of “the filling of the Spirit as the empowerment for the Christian life” (LN, 8.7.2). In regards to the question of who does the work of sanctification, God or man, Walvoord says, “People are responsible for responding to the truth of God and to the work of the Holy Spirit, which permits God to work out His program of sanctification. Though sanctification is the work of God in the heart of an individual, it is accomplished only in harmony with the human response” (Walvoord, 225). He realizes the difficulty of precision in choosing right language for describing God’s and man’s work in sanctification.

As well, Walvoord shows awareness of the difficulty in describing the nature of man before and after conversion. He says that believers have both a sin nature and a divine nature. He builds the possibility of such a concept by comparing the two natures within man, with Christ who had two natures. “In Christ the human nature must include all that is genuinely human apart from sin and that the divine nature must include all that is divine” (Walvoord, 204). He finds the discussion of the nature of man (or, two natures of man) after conversion terribly important for thinking through sanctification issues. After all, if one is aware of the struggle in the Christian life, it would be highly advantageous to find out what the struggle is against. For Walvoord, “the believer still has an old nature—a complex of attributes with an inclination and disposition to sin; and the new nature, received (along with eternal life) at the time of the new birth, also has a complex of attributes, but these attributes incline and dispose the Christian to a new manner of life, one that is holy in the sight of God” (Walvoord, 209). And although he believes “Christians can have relative perfection in this life, and often manifest godliness in a significant way, the degree of their perfection is limited until they stand in God’s presence in heaven” (225).

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2 thoughts on “Sanctification: The Augustinian-Dispensational View

  1. Pingback: A Consesus on Sanctification | Lamb's Harbinger

  2. Pingback: A Proposed Consesus on Articulating Sanctification | Lamb's Harbinger

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