Section 6: Concerning Sanctification
A. Concerning Judicial Sanctification (Our Position in Christ)
We believe when God justifies a believer at salvation that He sets that believer apart unto Himself by instantaneously placing him in the body of Christ. The believer is accepted before the Father in Christ according as Christ His Son is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his place and portion as linked to Him and one with Him forever. As soon as he is saved, the believer is in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ, and is therefore in no way required by God to seek a so-called “second blessing,” or a “second work of grace”. Nothing in the life of the believer can change this standing. Every believer is thus a saint and there will never be any past, present, or future condemnation brought against him. (John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; 20:32; Romans 5:1; 6:1-5; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 3:21-23; 6:11; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 4:17; 5:11-12).
B. Concerning Experiential Sanctification (Our Practice in Christ)
We believe God continues to work in the life of a believer so that his spiritual walk (practical experience) is progressively brought into conformity with his positional standing in Christ. We believe the believer’s progress toward Christ likeness is opposed by the retention of the believer’s sin nature and his disobedience to the word of God and lack of submission to the Spirit of God (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:19, 23). Every saved person experiences daily spiritual conflict with his old nature (also known as the flesh) for as long as he lives. While eradication of sin is not possible this side of the grave, the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 1:9; 3:5-9). Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, the believer is enabled to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God and, the believer himself, is progressively conformed to the very image of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29; 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
C. Concerning Complete Sanctification (Our Perfection in Christ)
We believe God will complete His work of transforming the believer into the image of Jesus Christ when the believer is taken home to be with the Lord, either in death, or in the rapture. In this perfected state the believer will be released from his sin nature and brought into perfect conformity to the character of Christ. Complete sanctification precludes any notion of purgatory, since Christ already accomplished the purging of the believer’s sin by His sacrificial work on the cross (Romans 6:2, 5-11, 14:7-9; 1 Corinthians 1:30, 6:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Ephesians 1:4, 14, 18, 5:26-27; Hebrews 2:9-13, 10:9-14; 1 John 3:1-3).