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Church authority in Scripture


In rabbinic Judaism sanctification means sanctifying God's name by works of mercy and martyrdom , while desecration of God's name means committing sin. In the various branches of Christianity sanctification usually refers to a person becoming holy, with the details differing in different branches. The Catholic Church upholds the doctrine of sanctification, teaching that: [4]. Sanctifying grace is that grace which confers on our souls a new life, that is, sharing in the life of God.

Our reconciliation with God, which the redemption of Christ has merited for us, finds its accomplishments in sanctifying grace.

Through this most precious gift we participate in the divine life; we have the right to be called children of God. This grace is the source of all our supernatural merits and bestows upon us the right of eternal glory. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia "sanctity" [5] differs for God, individual, and corporate body. For God, it is God's unique absolute moral perfection. For the individual, it is a close union with God and the resulting moral perfection. It is essentially of God, by a divine gift. For a society, it is the ability to produce and secure holiness in its members, who display a real, not merely nominal, holiness.

The Church's holiness is beyond human power, beyond natural power.

Church Authority In Scripture

Orthodox Christianity teaches the doctrine of theosis , whereby humans take on divine properties. A key scripture supporting this is 2 Peter This Church 's version of salvation restores God's image in man. The Holy Spirit uses churches to gather Christians together for the teaching and preaching of the Word of God. Sanctification is the Holy Spirit 's work of making us holy. When the Holy Spirit creates faith in us, he renews in us the image of God so that through his power we produce good works.

These good works are not meritorious but show the faith in our hearts Ephesians , James Sanctification flows from justification. It is an on-going process which will not be complete or reach perfection in this life. Only occupy yourself with them, and try your best, apply all power and ability, and you will find so much to do that you will neither seek nor esteem any other work or holiness.

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Pietistic Lutheranism heavily emphasizes the "biblical divine commands of believers to live a holy life and to strive for holy living, or sanctification. However, they are not the same thing. Calvinist theologians interpret sanctification as the process of being made holy only through the merits and justification of Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit that are then reflected in man. Sanctification cannot be attained by any works-based process, but only through the works and power of the divine.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

But when a man is justified through Christ, it is no longer the man in his essence that sins, but the man is acting outside of his character. In other words, the man is not being himself, he is not being true to who he is. In Wesleyan-Arminian theology, which is upheld by the Methodist Church as well as by Holiness Churches , "sanctification, the beginning of holiness, begins at the new birth ". It is expounded upon in the Methodist Articles of Religion : [28]. Sanctification is that renewal of our fallen nature by the Holy Ghost, received through faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood of atonement cleanseth from all sin; whereby we are not only delivered from the guilt of sin, but are washed from its pollution, saved from its power, and are enabled, through grace, to love God with all our hearts and to walk in his holy commandments blameless.

Justification is seen as an initial step of acknowledging God's holiness, with sanctification as, through the grace and power of God, entering into it. A key scripture is Hebrews "Follow after We believe that sanctification is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the child of God is separated from sin unto God and is enabled to love God with all the heart and to walk in all His holy commandments blameless.

Sanctification is initiated at the moment of justification and regeneration. From that moment there is a gradual or progressive sanctification as the believer walks with God and daily grows in grace and in a more perfect obedience to God.

The Source of Catholic Church Authority

This prepares for the crisis of entire sanctification which is wrought instantaneously when believers present themselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, through faith in Jesus Christ, being effected by the baptism with the Holy Spirit who cleanses the heart from all inbred sin. The crisis of entire sanctification perfects the believer in love and empowers that person for effective service. It is followed by lifelong growth in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

John Wesley taught that outward holiness in the form of "right words and right actions" should reflect the inner transformation experienced through the second work of grace. There are two Pentecostal positions on sanctification, entire sanctification and progressive sanctification. Entire sanctification as a second work of grace, is the position of Pentecostal denominations that originally had their roots in Wesleyan-Arminian theology, such as the International Pentecostal Holiness Church , Church of God Cleveland , Christian and Missionary Alliance , and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

Progressive sanctification is the work of sanctification of the believer through grace and the decisions of the believer after the new birth.

Church Authority In Scripture

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , sanctification is viewed as a process and gift from God which makes every willing member holy, according to their repentance and righteous efforts, through the Savior Jesus Christ's matchless grace. One must strive to live a holy life to truly be considered Holy.

Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God. Elder Dallin H. Oaks , then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles , also expounded on the meaning of sanctity. These are no longer solely celebrations of cosmic cycles and social gestures , but signs of the covenant , symbols of God 's mighty deeds for his people.

Among these liturgical signs from the Old Covenant are circumcision , anointing and consecration of kings and priests , laying on of hands , sacrifices , and above all the Passover. In his preaching the Lord Jesus often makes use of the signs of creation to make known the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.

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Since Pentecost , it is through the sacramental signs of his Church that the Holy Spirit carries on the work of sanctification. Further, they fulfill the types and figures of the Old Covenant , signify and make actively present the salvation wrought by Christ , and prefigure and anticipate the glory of heaven.

Words and actions. Admittedly , the symbolic actions are already a language , but the Word of God and the response of faith have to accompany and give life to them, so that the seed of the Kingdom can bear its fruit in good soil. To nourish the faith of believers , the signs which accompany the Word of God should be emphasized : the book of the Word a lectionary or a book of the Gospels , its veneration procession , incense , candles , the place of its proclamation lectern or ambo , its audible and intelligible reading , the minister 's homily which extends its proclamation , and the responses of the assembly acclamations , meditation psalms , litanies , and profession of faith.

When the Holy Spirit awakens faith , he not only gives an understanding of the Word of God , but through the sacraments also makes present the " wonders " of God which it proclaims.

In this way they participate in the purpose of the liturgical words and actions : the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful : How I wept , deeply moved by your hymns , songs , and the voices that echoed through your Church! What emotion I experienced in them! Those sounds flowed into my ears distilling the truth in my heart. A feeling of devotion surged within me, and tears streamed down my face - tears that did me good. Indeed they should be drawn chiefly from the Sacred Scripture and from liturgical sources. It cannot represent the invisible and incomprehensible God , but the incarnation of the Son of God has ushered in a new " economy " of images :.