Our goal is always to accurately and fairly present the substance of all conversations, as we dive deeply into complex topics. As part of our commitment to this goal, every participant may issue a written response after they've reviewed the final video produced from our conversation. Such responses can clarify statements made in the conversation, correct the record if they feel the conversation has been inappropriately edited, or address any other topic the participant desires.
Below is an unedited response from a participant and the video to which the response pertains.
From: Trent Dialogues
At the 19:45 mark in this video, it was stated with regard to sanctification: “Generally, it comes after justification, and it is in this life…”
This statement was primarily intended to emphasize the traditional Reformed Evangelical Protestant view that justification is not caused by one’s sanctification process being completed, but rather one’s sanctification process will continue on during one’s lifetime beyond the once-and-for-all declaration that one is justified through Christ’s righteousness being imputed to them.
However, by touching upon a topic as large as sanctification so briefly, this statement does leave itself open to some confusion, so further clarification would be helpful.
“Generally” was in reference to varying views held by different Protestants, not in reference to the order of justification and sanctification.
This was intended to mean that the view being stated has traditionally been held by many—though not all—Protestants, not intended to mean that justification and the process of sanctification can occur in a different order for different people.
Regarding “after justification”:
This raises issues of the Ordo Salutis and logical order versus temporal order, and “after justification” here is intended to refer to logical order.
Some Protestants, though not Reformed Evangelical Protestants, believe that sanctification is entirely temporally separate from justification, in the sense that someone could be justified for many years before sanctification begins. This is certainly not the idea being advocated in this video or by Trent Dialogues.
It should be further noted that the Reformed Evangelical Protestant position is that someone who is justified certainly will be sanctified, so justification and sanctification are not entirely unrelated topics. However, this should not be confused with the Roman Catholic understanding that justification occurs after one has completed sanctification.
Regarding “in this life”:
This was intended to contrast the Roman Catholic conception of sanctification in purgatory after this life, and emphasize the traditional Reformed Evangelical Protestant view that every Christian’s life should be characterized by a process of growing more and more into the likeness of Christ by the grace of God.
This was not intended to support beliefs such as “Wesleyan Perfection” or “Second Blessing” perfectionism.
It is also important to distinguish between multiple senses of the word sanctification. In one sense, given that all sanctification comes from the righteousness of Christ, the Christian’s ability to stand before God in Jesus’ perfect holiness has already been completed (sometimes called positional sanctification; see Hebrews 10:10). In another sense, through a process of sanctification, Jesus’ righteousness will increasingly be apparent in the Christian’s life (sometimes called practical or progressive sanctification; see 2 Corinthians 3:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:23). “In this life” here is intended to refer to practical or progressive sanctification.