Thursday, June 4, 2009

6/5- Holy Spirit and Sanctification

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

6/5- The Holy Spirit and Sanctification

To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. (I Peter 1:1,2)

Calvin: Christ came endowed with the Holy Spirit in a special way: that is, to separate us from the world and to
gather us unto the hope of the eternal inheritance. Hence he is called the “Spirit of sanctification” [cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; Romans 1:4] because he not only quickens and nourishes us by
a general power that is visible both in the human race and in the rest of the living creatures, but he is also the root and seed of heavenly life in us. To the Kingdom of Christ, then, the prophets give the lofty title of the time
when there will be a richer outpouring of the Spirit. There is a passage in Joel notable above all others: “And in that day I shall pour forth of my spirit upon all flesh” [Joel 2:28 p.]. For even if the prophet seems to restrict the gifts of the Spirit to the prophetic office, under this figure he signifies that, in manifesting his Spirit, God will make disciples of those who were previously destitute and empty of heavenly doctrine.(III.1.2

Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit calls us to be holy and live for Him. Calvin has sometimes been called the “Theologian of the Holy Spirit” and sometimes “the theologian of sanctification.” Luther emphasized justification, while Calvin emphasized sanctification. In justification sin is pardoned. In sanctification it is subdued. Justification is perfect, while sanctification is growing into perfection. Justification is forgiveness and acceptance, but sanctification is growth in grace. Barth points out that Calvin speaks of sanctification in his Institutes long before he speaks of justification. He also focuses on the law as a guide to live the Christian life. It is not that justification is God’s work and sanctification is our work. They are both the work of God. But particularly the Holy Spirit leads, guides, gives gifts, enables fruit, strengthens, inspires us to live for God.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, you give us gifts and call us to live for you. Help us to grow closer to you, and help us to honor you with our lives this day.

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