Another good one from Ben Harju:
> *Sanctification is Salvation<http://paredwka.blogspot.com/2012/04/sanctification-is-salvation.html>
> * *
> *From the Paredwka: Catching the Ball <http://paredwka.blogspot.com/>blog by Benjamin Harju
> Some thoughts from my reply in a private conversation on sanctification:
>> You are right to say that sanctification is a present reality, current
>> process, and a future realization. Sanctification is definitely more than a
>> theological category or a stage in the application of salvation to an
>> individual (like conversion, justification, sanctification, etc.).
>> Sanctification is really a descriptive word for *how* God saves. If we
>> consider the fall of man into sin, man underwent a change to his nature
>> that corrupted the good creation of God and resulted in man's perpetual
>> bondage. For man's salvation in Orthodoxy sinful man needs to be
>> transformed back, so to speak. He needs to change, both in his nature (what
>> make someone a human) and in his person (what makes you "you"). Adam's
>> personal sin had a negative-sanctification effect on his human nature,
>> which rendered it and him corrupted and enslaved to sin, death, and the
>> devil. The salvation of Christ through the cross and resurrection applies a
>> positive-sanctification effect that heals and restores man in Christ (to
>> say the least). So in some respects that sanctification - in terms of how
>> Christ sanctified human nature through His Incarnation, and put our sin to
>> death in His flesh through His own death, and triumphed over death with
>> Life in the resurrection - happens objectively outside of us, literally in
>> Christ, and is a pure gift that we cannot cooperate with. In this sense we
>> see Christ as the Second Adam in whom the first Adam finds salvation.
>> But in the sense that this sanctification of human nature has been
>> applied to the individual person, that's where our energy must unite with
>> God's energy in us, because then the issue is always actualizing what we
>> have in Christ as we make free choices. God gives us what Christ has done
>> in total through Baptism, Chrismation, and the Eucharist, but it depends on
>> our faith as to whether and how we will continue from this. We have the
>> communion of Christ's healed and sanctified human nature, so as Christians
>> we have a saved (sanctified) human nature in common, but my person is not
>> the same as Christ's person is not the same as your person, etc. That which
>> makes me "me" must work out my salvation with fear and trembling, knowing
>> that God is at work in me to actualize the sanctification that Christ has
>> accomplished outside of me and has implanted into me through my communion
>> with Him in the Church.
>> So sanctification is a word that describes the work of God to save
>> mankind. It is carried out objectively by the work of Christ in the
>> Incarnation, His life, passion, death and resurrection. It is given to me
>> through faith and Baptism-Christmation-Eucharist (these go together). It is
>> actualized throughout that which is uniquely "me" (i.e. my person) through
>> my cooperation with God at work in me (e.g. faith working through love).
>> This is sanctification in Orthodoxy. And this is "salvation."
> Some additional thoughts...
> In this light we can understand justification. "Sanctification" means
> literally "to make holy." Justification means literally "to make
> righteous." In patristic writings, translations of the Scriptures into
> other languages, and the general liturgical and sacramental context of
> historic Eastern and Western Christianity the only difference between those
> two actions is the word "holy" versus "righteous." The essential "how this
> happens" is the same. In English we tend to call this "how" itself
> sanctification, which can be a bit confusing.
> In time tangential concepts arose in the West about merit, God, the law,
> and the cross which further obscured the simple teaching retained by the
> East. Certainly the retention of the Greek language (minimizing the "lost
> in translation" syndrome) helped to keep the matter focused, while in the
> West the loss of the nuances of Greek theological language to the less
> precise, more juridical Latin language helped deprive many devout men of
> necessary key insights. St. Augustine takes a lot of blame for this, as an
> early and huge player in Latin theology who himself did not know Greek; but
> the blame is perhaps better laid at the lack of Greek and not St.
> Augustine's person.
> Yet still for this reason (and others) Western Christians often have a
> hard time understanding Orthodox thinking on these matters, because in the
> West the conversation is built on so many alien concepts that arose and
> ripened in the Western theological climate alone. In order to understand
> the practice of the Orthodox Church (for that is how we use our theology
> here) one has to strip down to what seems to be basic concepts and make
> adjustments to the placement of certain familiar concepts (God's love,
> judgment, juridicism, sanctification, merit, sacrifice, etc).
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