Sunday Quote

Sunday Quote!- Sanctification by Faith Alone?

sanctification-kapicEvery Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!

Sanctification by Faith Alone?

Sanctification: Explorations in Theology and Practice is a thought-provoking collection essays on, well, sanctification. This is a topic I find very interesting and one which seems to need more focus and development in systematics.

One of the chapters, Richard Lints argues that sanctification is something that we receive by faith alone–in contrast to views which argue that it is some later co-operation between the Spirit and the believer to do good works. I hope I’m not misrepresenting his view, as I admit I have read very little on the topic. Thus, I’ll let him make his argument for himself:

The gospel is received rather than achieved by believers, and thus all the benefits given in the gospel are received by faith. The gift of the Holy Spirit is one of those “benefits” and no less than other gifts given in the gospel, so the Holy Spirit is received by faith… And therefore sanctifying faith is not different in its orientation than justifying faith. (44)

What do you think? Is this a good argument for the view that sanctification comes through faith alone? If so, how are works involved in sanctification? What is your view of sanctification overall?

Sanctification: Explorations in Theology and Practice was a welcome read that introduced me to a host of topics, some of which I wasn’t even aware of before. I recommend it highly.


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Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)


“Living by Faith–Alone?: Reformed Responses to Antinomianism” by Richard Lints in  Sanctification: Explorations in Theology and Practice edited Kelly Kapic (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2014).


About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick is a Lutheran, feminist, Christ-follower. A Science Fiction snob, Bonhoeffer fan, Paleontology fanboy and RPG nerd.


5 thoughts on “Sunday Quote!- Sanctification by Faith Alone?

  1. I do think sanctification is a gift from God; I think faith plays an important role in sanctification particularly as the outworking of faith (trust) in God and Christ. I think genuine sanctification would be motivated by trust in the Gospel and that’s one distinguishing mark from that of self-righteous work. I think though to think sanctification is only faith without a proper understanding of it’s role to works can be problematic. What do you think J.W.?

    Posted by SLIMJIM | May 25, 2015, 2:18 AM
    • I think it’s really tough to say that sanctification is immediately or totally imparted through faith. There is something to be said for the role of works in the life of the believer, and I think that can be said without falling into works-righteousness or anything of the like. There is a real danger to the notion that sanctification is immediate or that continued sin might be a sign of lacking sanctification (these latter things aren’t necessarily tied to the views of the essay I’m quoting in this post). It’s a tough issue, and I think each side has some decent arguments.

      I have a couple other Sunday Quotes coming in the future from this book, which was a really fantastic read. I hadn’t gotten much into the debates over sanctification before, but found the different essays here to be edifying.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | May 26, 2015, 9:07 PM
      • From what you are saying I think I must add that I definitely think sanctification is a process with ups and downs =)

        Posted by SLIMJIM | May 27, 2015, 1:44 AM
  2. If work/activity/action is inordinately associated with merit, we will constantly be playing a zero sum game and think that any human activity must be some meritorious work taking away from God’s grace in salvation.
    When viewed Christologically, synergy is true and necessary to avoid the heresies of Monotheletism and Monoenergism in Christ and hence monergism in us. If God alone is acting or the Personal cause of all human action, there is determinism in Christ and us, as it is our humanity that he has assumed.

    Posted by Canadian | May 27, 2015, 10:52 AM

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