Oswald Chamber’s 20th Oct devotion, titled “Is God’s Will My Will?”, has this to share, which leaves the impression that sanctification is a gift (completed and an effect) of salvation thru Christ. Is sanctification a gift or work?-
“Receive Jesus Christ to become sanctification for you by absolute, unquestioning faith, and the great miracle of the atonement of Jesus will become real in you.
And my attitude as a saved and sanctified soul is that of profound, humble holiness (there is no such thing as proud holiness).
He completed everything for my salvation and sanctification.
Sanctification makes me one with Jesus Christ, and in Him one with God, and it is accomplished only through the magnificent atonement of Christ.
The effect in me is obedience, service, and prayer, and is the outcome of inexpressible thanks and adoration for the miraculous sanctification that has been brought about in me because of the atonement through the Cross of Christ.”
This post explores the view that obedience and sanctification are gifts per Oswald’s devotion and also a work of obedience as evidence of soul sanctification.
Promotion of one over the other will not benefit the believer. Both truths are needed to operate in the believer to do God’s will.
Obedience and Sanctification as a Gift-Effect
I support Oswald’s view that Yahusha, His crucifixion, death, and resurrection are the foundations that made the believer’s sanctification possible.
Without the finished work of the cross and hope of the resurrection, talk of man’s soul sanctification is meaningless.
In this way, sanctification found in the person of Yahusha renders obedience as an effect or a gift. But this effect of obedience is not wholly a product of sanctification.
If it were entirely a product of soul sanctification, it would rob man of their free will and thereby their rewards or punishment.
Without an impartial evaluation of the believer’s work, whether good leading to rewards or evil leading to loss-discipline, will also threaten God’s nature as a fair, righteous judge over man (both believer and none believers), which is emphasized in 1Pet1:17 (believers) and 2The1:5 (non-believers).
Yahusha said this in Mat16:27 and the Rev22:12.
Mat16:27 – “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward (whether good or evil) every man according to his works.”
Rev22:12 – “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward (good or evil) is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Rendering each believer according to their works is not about losing one’s salvation. For the finished work of Yahusha is a free gift enshrined in Eph2:8-9. This salvation ensures freedom from the lake of fire of Rev21.
Limits of Eph2:8-9, Salvation Apart from Works
But it does not protect the believer from the apparently eternal punishment to remain outside heaven, remaining outside its gates as recorded in Rev22:15.
Rev22:15 – “For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”
The “without” means outside the gates of the new heaven mentioned in Rev22:14.
The salvation of Eph2:8-9 also will not protect from the works of wood, hay, and straw from being burned up, as explained in 1Co3.
The salvation of Eph2:8-9 also will not protect from the 2nd death of Rev20:6 before the Judgement Seat of Christ.
This 2nd death of Rev20:6 for the believer must be distinguished from the 2nd death of unbelievers before the Great White Throne in Rev21, which refers to the lake of fire.
I speculate that this 2nd death leads to discipline in the outer darkness for 1000 years instead of ruling with Christ or ministering in the old heaven of Rev7:15.
There is much contention about this matter, and my view remains what it is, a view that all are entitled to have their view.
What does it mean that obedience is not wholly a product of soul sanctification?
Sanctification is Gift and Work
Oswald’s emphasis that obedience is an effect or a complete product of sanctification implies the deeper belief that soul sanctification is entirely a gift of God.
I support this view to the degree that this gift offers the means, the person of Yahusha, to qualify the believer for the sanctification of the soul.
It is similar to the two Greek words in Rom8 used to refer to believers.
Rom8:16 – “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God:”
The Greek word “children” is teknon to describe a child. It is the basic description or basic denominator that describes all believers before Yahuah. It is a free gift of Eph2:8-9; it is conferred to all believers, apart from works.
But in Rom8:14 – “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
The Greek word son in Rom8: 14 is Huois, which means mature sons. Eph2:8-9 guaranteed the status and identity as a child of God. This status-identity qualifies all believers to be mature sons.
But what follows after this qualification, it is NOT a gift anymore. To be mature sons, the child believer must be (make the choice) led by the Spirit. This obedience to walk after the Spirit is a work- waging the spiritual war of Eph6 against temptations. To choose not to walk after the carnal desires (Rom8:4) that love the world thru their lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and pride of life (1Jhn2:16).
This work led by the Spirit after righteousness, not following the carnal flesh, is the soul’s sanctification.
Obedience to believe the truths of salvation by grace apart from works of Eph2:8-9 is the foundation and narrow gate to the soul’s sanctification.
But the outcomes of soul sanctification itself are not a gift. But the works to walk after the Spirit to be obedient is to choose to do good and avoid evil. The child of God dines on meat truths to grow into mature sons of God.
Heb4:15 says this – “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age (mature sons), even those who by reason of use (practice) have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Therefore it benefits the believer to know when and where the gift of God operates unto salvation and when and where the works of obedience are the believer’s responsibility.
The person of Christ (His crucifixion and His resurrection) that is the basis of the believer’s salvation does NOT and CAN NOT complete the believer’s sanctification; it cannot force a child of God to be a mature son of God. The believer must desire to be a mature son, dine on meat truths, and live a life led by the Spirit.