Sanctification is the act or process of acquiring sanctity, of being made or becoming holy. In the various branches of Christianity sanctification refers to a person becoming holy, with the details differing in different branches; the Catholic Church upholds the doctrine of sanctification, teaching that: 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; 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" differs for God and corporate body. For God, it is God's unique absolute moral perfection. For the individual, it is a close union with the resulting moral perfection, it is 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 nominal, holiness.
The Church's holiness is beyond natural power. Sanctity is regulated by established conventional standards. Orthodox Christianity teaches the doctrine of theosis. A key scripture supporting this is 2 Peter 1:4. In the 4th century, Athanasius taught. Man does not become divine, but in Christ can partake of divine nature; this Church's version of salvation restores God's image in man. One such theme is release from mortality caused by desires of the world. A 2002 Anglican publishing house book states that “there is no explicit teaching on sanctification in the Anglican formularies”. A glossary of the Episcopal Church gives some teaching: “Anglican formularies have tended to speak of sanctification as the process of God's work within us by means of which we grow into the fullness of the redeemed life.” Outside official formularies sanctification has been an issue in the Anglican Communion since its inception. The 16th century Anglican Theologian Richard Hooker distinguished between the “righteousness of justification”, imputed by God and the “righteousness of sanctification” that comprises the works one does as an “inevitable” result of being justified.
Jeremy Taylor argued that sanctification can not be separated. A 19th century Church of England work agreed with Jeremy Taylor that justification and sanctification are “inseparable”. However, they are not the same thing. Justification is “found in Christ’s work alone”. “Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in us, is a progressive work.” Martin Luther, taught in his Large Catechism that Sanctification is only caused by the Holy Spirit through the powerful Word of God. 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 show the faith in our hearts. Sanctification flows from justification, it is an on-going process which will not reach perfection in this life. Luther viewed the Ten Commandments as means by which the Holy Spirit sanctifies.
"Thus we have the Ten Commandments, a commend of divine doctrine, as to what we are to do in order that our whole life may be pleasing to God, the true fountain and channel from and in which everything must arise and flow, to be a good work, so that outside of the Ten Commandments no work or thing can be good or pleasing to God, however great or precious it be in the eyes of the world...whoever does attain to them is a heavenly, angelic man, far above all holiness of the world. Only occupy yourself with them, try your best, apply all power and ability, you will find so much to do that you will neither seek nor esteem any other work or holiness." Pietistic Lutheranism emphasizes the "biblical divine commands of believers to live a holy life and to strive for holy living, or sanctification." 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 reflected in man. Sanctification cannot be attained by any works-based process, but only through the works and power of the divine.
When a man is unregenerate, it is his essence that does evil. But when a man is justified through Christ, it is no longer the man 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. In Wesleyan-Arminian theology, upheld by the Methodist Church as well as by Holiness Churches, "sanctification, the beginning of holiness, begins at the new birth". With the Grace of God, Methodists "do works of piety and mercy, these works reflect the power of sanctification". Examples of these means of grace that aid with sanctification include frequent reception of the sacrament of Holy Communion, visiting the sick and those in prison. Wesleyan covenant theology emphasizes that an important aspect of sanctification is the keeping of the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments; as such, in "sanctification one grows to be more like Christ." This process of sanctification that begins at the new birth has its goal as Christian perfection known as entire sanct
Law and Gospel
In Protestant Christianity, the relationship between Law and Gospel—God's Law and the Gospel of Jesus Christ—is a major topic in Lutheran and Reformed theology. In these religious traditions, the distinction between the doctrines of Law, which demands obedience to God's ethical will, Gospel, which promises the forgiveness of sins in light of the person and work of Jesus Christ, is critical. Ministers use it as a hermeneutical principle of biblical interpretation and as a guiding principle in homiletics and pastoral care, it involves the supersession of the Old Covenant by the New Christian theology. Other Christian groups have a view on the issue as well, or more views of the Old Covenant, though the matter has not been as hotly debated or rigorously defined as in the Lutheran and Reformed traditions. Sometimes the issue is discussed under the headings of "Law and Grace", "Sin and Grace", "Spirit and Letter", "ministry of death/condemnation" and "ministry of the Spirit/righteousness". A specific formulation of the distinction of Law and Gospel was first brought to the attention of the Christian Church by Martin Luther, laid down as the foundation of evangelical Lutheran biblical exegesis and exposition in Article 4 of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession: "All Scripture ought to be distributed into these two principal topics, the Law and the promises.
For in some places it presents the Law, in others the promise concerning Christ, either when it promises that Christ will come, offers, for His sake, the remission of sins and life eternal, or when, in the Gospel, Christ Himself, since He has appeared, promises the remission of sins and life eternal.". The Formula of Concord affirmed this distinction in Article V, where it states: "We believe and confess that the distinction between the Law and the Gospel is to be maintained in the Church with great diligence..."Martin Luther wrote: "Hence, whoever knows well this art of distinguishing between Law and Gospel, him place at the head and call him a doctor of Holy Scripture." Throughout the Lutheran Age of Orthodoxy this hermeneutical discipline was considered foundational and important by Lutheran theologians. This distinction was the first article in Patrick. Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther, the first president of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, renewed interest in and attention to this theological skill in his evening lectures at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis 1884-85.
The Formula of Concord distinguished three uses, or purposes, in the Law in Article VI. It states: "he Law was given to men for three reasons..." that "thereby outward discipline might be maintained against wild, disobedient men " that "men thereby may be led to the knowledge of their sins" that "after they are regenerate... they might... have a fixed rule according to which they are to regulate and direct their whole life"The primary concern was to maintain that the Law should continue to be used by Christians after they had been regenerated by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel to counter the doctrine of Johannes Agricola, who taught that the Law was no longer needed by regenerate Christians." Confessional Lutheranism teaches that the Law cannot be used to deny the Gospel, neither can the Gospel be used to deny God's Law. The three uses of the Law are: Curb - Through fear of punishment, the Law keeps the sinful nature of both Christians and non-Christians under check; this does not stop sin, since the sin is committed when the heart desires to do what is wrong, yet it does stop the open outbreak of sin that will do further damage.
Mirror - The Law serves as a perfect reflection of what God created the human heart and life to be. It shows anyone. Guide - This use of the law that applies only to Christians; the law becomes the believer's helper. Empowered by the gospel truth of forgiveness and righteousness in Christ, the believer's new self eagerly desires to live to please the Triune God; the distinction between law and gospel is a standard formulation in Reformed theology, though in recent years some have characterized it as distinctively Lutheran. Zacharias Ursinus distinguished the law and gospel as "the chief and general divisions of the holy scriptures" in his commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism. Louis Berkhof called the law and the gospel "the two parts of the Word of God as a means of grace." Law and Gospel are found in both testaments. In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, the Reformer John Calvin distinguished three uses in the Law. Calvin wrote the following: "o make the whole matter clearer, let us survey the function and use of what is called the'moral law.'
Now, so far as I understand it, it consists of three parts." "hile it shows God's righteousness... it warns, informs and lastly condemns, every man of his own unrighteousness". It functions "by fear of punishment to restrain certain men who are untouched by any care for what is just and right unless compelled by hearing the dire threats in the law". "It admonishes believers and urges them on in well-doing". This scheme is the same as the Formula of Concord, with the exception that the first and second uses are switched. In Reformed scholasticism the order is the same as for Lutherans; the three uses are called: The usus politicus sive civilis, the political or civil use, is a restraint on sin and stands apart
Catholicity or catholicism is a concept that encompasses the beliefs and practices of numerous Christian denominations, most notably those that describe themselves as Catholic in accordance with the Four Marks of the Church, as expressed in the Nicene Creed of the First Council of Constantinople in 381: " in one, holy and apostolic Church." While Catholicism is most associated with the faith and practices of the Catholic Church led by the Pope in Rome, the traits of catholicity, thus the term catholic, are claimed and possessed by other denominations such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East. It occurs in Lutheranism, Anglicanism, as well as Independent Catholicism and other Christian denominations. While traits used to define catholicity, as well as recognition of these traits in other denominations, vary among these groups, such attributes include formal sacraments, an episcopal polity, apostolic succession structured liturgical worship, other shared Ecclesiology.
The Catholic Church is known as the Roman Catholic Church. Among Protestant and related traditions, catholic is used in the sense of indicating a self-understanding of continuity of faith and practice from Early Christianity as delineated in the Nicene Creed. Among Methodist, Lutheran and Reformed denominations the term "catholic" is used in the in claiming to be "heirs of the apostolic faith"; these denominations consider themselves to be catholic, teaching that the term "designates the historic, orthodox mainstream of Christianity whose doctrine was defined by the ecumenical councils and creeds" and as such, most Reformers "appealed to this catholic tradition and believed they were in continuity with it." A common belief related to catholicity is institutional continuity with the early Christian church founded by Jesus Christ. Many churches or communions of churches identify collectively as the authentic church; the following summarizes the major schisms and conflicts within Christianity within groups that identify as Catholic.
According to the theory of Pentarchy, the early undivided church came to be organized under the three patriarchs of Rome and Antioch, to which were added the patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem. The Bishop of Rome was at that time recognized as first among them, as is stated, for instance, in canon 3 of the First Council of Constantinople —many interpret "first" as meaning here first among equals—and doctrinal or procedural disputes were referred to Rome, as when, on appeal by Athanasius against the decision of the Council of Tyre, Pope Julius I, who spoke of such appeals as customary, annulled the action of that council and restored Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra to their sees; the Bishop of Rome was considered to have the right to convene ecumenical councils. When the Imperial capital moved to Constantinople, Rome's influence was sometimes challenged. Nonetheless, Rome claimed special authority because of its connection to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, all agreed, were martyred and buried in Rome, because the Bishop of Rome saw himself as the successor of Saint Peter.
The 431 Council of Ephesus, the third ecumenical council, was chiefly concerned with Nestorianism, which emphasized the distinction between the humanity and divinity of Jesus and taught that, in giving birth to Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary could not be spoken of as giving birth to God. This Council rejected Nestorianism and affirmed that, as humanity and divinity are inseparable in the one person of Jesus Christ, his mother, the Virgin Mary, is thus Theotokos, God-bearer, Mother of God; the first great rupture in the Church followed this Council. Those who refused to accept the Council's ruling were Persian and are represented today by the Assyrian Church of the East and related Churches, however, do not now hold a "Nestorian" theology, they are called Ancient Oriental Churches. The next major break was after the Council of Chalcedon; this Council repudiated Eutychian Monophysitism which stated that the divine nature subsumed the human nature in Christ. This Council declared that Christ, though one person, exhibited two natures "without confusion, without change, without division, without separation" and thus is both God and human.
The Alexandrian Church rejected the terms adopted by this Council, the Christian Churches that follow the tradition of non-acceptance of the Council—they are not Monophysite in doctrine—are referred to as Pre-Chalcedonian or Oriental Orthodox Churches. The next great rift within Christianity was in the 11th century. Longstanding doctrinal disputes, as well as conflicts between methods of Church government, the evolution of separate rites and practices, precipitated a split in 1054 that divided the Church, this time between a "West" and an "East". Spain, France, the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia, Scandinavia, the Baltic states, Western Europe in general were in the Western camp, Greece, Romania and many other Slavic lands and the Christians in Syria and Egypt who accepted the Council of Chalcedon made up the Eastern camp; this division between the Western Church and the Eastern Church is called the East–West Schism. In 1438, the Council of Florence convened, which feature
Theology of Martin Luther
The theology of Martin Luther was instrumental in influencing the Protestant Reformation topics dealing with Justification by Faith, the relationship between the Law and the Gospel, various other theological ideas. Although Luther never wrote a "systematic theology" or a "summa" in the style of St. Thomas Aquinas, many of his ideas were systematized in the Lutheran Confessions. "This one and firm rock, which we call the doctrine of justification," insisted Luther, "is the chief article of the whole Christian doctrine, which comprehends the understanding of all godliness." Lutherans tend to follow Luther in this matter. For the Lutheran tradition, the doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is the material principle upon which all other teachings rest. Luther came to understand justification as being the work of God. Against the teaching of his day that the believers are made righteous through the infusion of God's grace into the soul, Luther asserted that Christians receive that righteousness from outside themselves.
"That is why faith alone makes someone just and fulfills the law," said Luther. "Faith is that which brings the Holy Spirit through the merits of Christ". Thus faith, for Luther, is a gift from God, "...a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it." This faith appropriates it for itself in the believer's heart. Luther's study and research led him to question the contemporary usage of terms such as penance and righteousness in the Roman Catholic Church, he became convinced that the church had lost sight of what he saw as several of the central truths of Christianity — the most important being the doctrine of justification by faith alone. He began to teach through Christ received by faith alone; as a result of his lectures on the Psalms and Paul's letter to the Romans, from 1513–1516, Luther "achieved an exegetical breakthrough, an insight into the all-encompassing grace of God and all-sufficient merit of Christ." It was in connection with Romans 1:17 "For therein is the righteousness of God is revealed from faith, to faith: as it is written:'The just shall live by faith.'"
Luther came to one of his most important understandings, that the "righteousness of God" was not God's active, punishing wrath demanding that a person keep God's law in order to be saved, but rather Luther came to believe that God's righteousness is something that God gives to a person as a gift through Christ. "Luther love for him. The doctrine of salvation by God's grace alone, received as a gift through faith and without dependence on human merit, was the measure by which he judged the religious practices and official teachings of the church of his day and found them wanting."Luther explained justification this way in his Smalcald Articles: The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification. He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. All have sinned and are justified without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption, in Christ Jesus, in His blood.
This is necessary to believe. This can not be otherwise grasped by any work, law, or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us... Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered though heaven and earth and everything else falls. See also: Theology of the Cross Another essential aspect of his theology was his emphasis on the "proper distinction" between Law and Gospel, he believed that this principle of interpretation was an essential starting point in the study of the scriptures and that failing to distinguish properly between Law and Gospel was at the root of many fundamental theological errors. According to some interpreters Philipp Jakob Spener, Luther developed the notion of all believers being "part of one body" as a means to claim the priesthood of all believers. While the notion and meaning is somewhat unclear, this concept was developed in opposition against a prevailing medieval division of Christians into "spiritual" and "temporal" Christians.
In this view all Christians are "priests" in the eyes of God. This notion is common to all Christian denominations labeled as "protestant". Roman Catholic theology maintains. However, "concupiscence" remains as an inclination to sin, not sin unless actualized. Luther and the Reformers, following Augustine, insisted that what was called "concupiscence" was sin. While not denying the validity of baptism, Luther maintains that the inclination to sin is sin."Simul justus et peccator" means that a Christian is at the same time both righteous and a sinner. Human beings are justified by grace alone, but at the same time they will always remain sinners after baptism; the doctrine can be interpreted in two different ways. From the perspective of God, human beings are at the same time sinners and righteous in Christ. However, it would be possible to argue that human beings are pa