Contend Earnestly: Hebrews 10:10-14: By Turretinfan

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hebrews 10:10-14: By Turretinfan


Hebrews 10:10-14

10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

The sacrifice of Christ was offered for particular people ("them that are sanctified") and was perfectly sufficient and effective for that particular people ("one sacrifice . for ever" and "one offering"). It is done, it is finished. The priest has sat down.

The "τους αγιαζομενους" are those for whom the offering is made. They are perfected by the offering. Matthew 23:17,19 provides some comparable uses of the verb. So, for that matter, does John 17:19, Acts 20:32, 1 Cor. 1:2, and more importantly Hebrews 2:11, 9:13, and 13:12. It's rather standard sacrificial terminology. The effect of Christ's work is to render those for whom the sacrifice was made perfect, and this is contrasted with the use of the same verb in Hebrews 10:1, to show that the OT sacrifices could not perfect those for whom they were offered.

By: Turretinfan

49 comments:

David Ponter said...

Hey Seth,

So the argument is that the believers were sanctified at the time of the cross?

Is that it?

David

Turretinfan said...

It's interesting how hecklers operate.
The very brief (two paragraph) argument speaks for itself, and doesn't require an alternative restatement.

David Ponter said...

Thats a great comeback, TF. You are showing some colours here.

All I am asking is, did this sanctification happen chronologically at the time of the cross?

Yes or no?

That was only my first question and you get snitty? :-)

David
:-)

David Ponter said...

Ps, I just want to be clear I understand you accurately this time. I know on world on Jn 3:16 you still couldnt get out a fixed stable meaning of world there?

Like I am still not sure if even the elect are comprehended within the world of 3:16? I can only think that they too are "not exactly" comprehended in it, as the reprobate are "not exactly" comprehended in it.

David
:-)

Seth McBee said...

TF:

Not sure why you are calling David a heckler. He is asking questions to get a better picture of what your post is asserting. That is all...

natamllc said...

TF

for what it's worth, at some point in this debate the civility DP has shown needs to be addressed. It just seems unseemly to me for DP to address in this manner by asking Seth the question directly thereby indirectly directing his remarks to you?

Seth, please address it.

I respectfully request DP to directly address TF and engage in respect whether or not he views the other side's view as correct.

Having "officially" lodged my hopefully gentleman's respectful complaint to you "Seth" in defending the honor of a Brother, I will move onto a question:

TF, first off, thanks for "getting" close to where "I want to be" in this debate.

You quoted by reference only, Hebrews 9:13.

Here's 9:13-14 and a question and posted verses and commentary:

Heb 9:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh,
Heb 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.


I have pondered this for many years and because of this debate it is just that recent that something comes to me.

Would you say or conclude or agree with this about that?

Here are some verses first and I list them in their entirety so that there is a full context and so that you can just read them here on the screen without opening your Bible. By the way, I am quoting the ESV;

Gen 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
Gen 9:2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered.
Gen 9:3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
Gen 9:4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
Gen 9:5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.


and

Lev 17:10 "If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people.
Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.


and

Deu 12:19 Take care that you do not neglect the Levite as long as you live in your land.
Deu 12:20 "When the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised you, and you say, 'I will eat meat,' because you crave meat, you may eat meat whenever you desire.
Deu 12:21 If the place that the LORD your God will choose to put his name there is too far from you, then you may kill any of your herd or your flock, which the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat within your towns whenever you desire.
Deu 12:22 Just as the gazelle or the deer is eaten, so you may eat of it. The unclean and the clean alike may eat of it.
Deu 12:23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.
Deu 12:24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the earth like water.
Deu 12:25 You shall not eat it, that all may go well with you and with your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD.
Deu 12:26 But the holy things that are due from you, and your vow offerings, you shall take, and you shall go to the place that the LORD will choose,
Deu 12:27 and offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the LORD your God. The blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the LORD your God, but the flesh you may eat.
Deu 12:28 Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.


and

Joh 6:48 I am the bread of life.
Joh 6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
Joh 6:50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
Joh 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
Joh 6:52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
Joh 6:53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Joh 6:54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
Joh 6:55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
Joh 6:56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
Joh 6:57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.
Joh 6:58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever."

In light of the foregoing verses would you say the writer of this Book to the Hebrews and True Believers, [presumably you believe Paul the Apostle is the author or at least a contributor of this record, the Book of Hebrews?] had those verses in mind when Hebrews 9:13-14 were written to the Hebrews and True Believers?

It seems to me that none of us here today have ever been literally sprinkled with the Blood of His Cross and so it seems to me that what "Sanctifies" us and "Cleanses" our conscience is not His "physical blood" but His "Life" carried in the Blood gotten from the Virgin Mary? And seeing that this "LIFE" is an Eternal Life, one of three Persons, One God, both He and the Holy Ghost can apply "spiritually" His Life on our spirits, souls and bodies cleansing them in the same way the flesh in those days of ceremony referred to at 9:13 cleansed their flesh?

What do you think?

If I might take it that you do think similarly, then it seems to me your premise is correct in that He shed His Lifeblood for the Elect only seeing we know from Scripture already that He did not come to die for the reprobate, fallen angels, Satan, the Beast, the False Prophet, Death and Hades?

Colossians 1:19-23 "seems" to imply His Blood reconciles all things in heaven and earth back to the One who Sent Him to die on that instrument of death, such a wicked and brutal instrument of death I might add? If that is what those verses mean then everyone gets into Paradise and gets a Mansion, including the devils and the reprobate and all!

Col.1:19-23:
Col 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Col 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
Col 1:22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
Col 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.



And so it cannot mean that generally, can it.?

Specifically then, Christ's death on the Cross, where He spilt His Lifeblood for the Elect at exactly the same time effects the "sentence of eternal damnation" on the reprobate for which He was not sent to die, for all other creations in these present heavens and earth Who He also did not come to die for, ah, cows, pigs, birds, fish, trees, rocks big and small, snow, wind, fire, rain, fallen angels, the Beast,... etc. etc..

michael

David Ponter said...
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David Ponter said...
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Seth McBee said...

Michael:

You said:

TF

for what it's worth, at some point in this debate the civility DP has shown needs to be addressed. It just seems unseemly to me for DP to address in this manner by asking Seth the question directly thereby indirectly directing his remarks to you?

Seth, please address it.

I respectfully request DP to directly address TF and engage in respect whether or not he views the other side's view as correct.


Michael...not sure why David asked me the question...why don't you simply ask him that? Not sure why you are saying that David hasn't been civil...

The only two times I can think of that can be construed to be as such is when David said that TF's exegesis was "junk" and called TF a "she."

Notice these two things though. For one, David called the exegesis "junk" and not TF. Also, TF, before David's postmodern phraseology of "she" TF had given us nothing that would let us know whether or not TF was a "he" or "she." If you take David purporting "she" as "uncivil" that is your own issue.

David has not made any ad hominem attacks or been uncivil, in my memory...

natamllc said...

David

with all due respect, yes, and your second post to TF betrays you.

Would you just be a Brother, kind and civil.

I don't give a rip how you treat me.

I respect you and you have some things to say and I greatly appreciate them and think about them and value your input.

But if I might with Scripture be a bit rude and complimentary myself I quote Proverbs:

Pro 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.

Or

Pro 25:12 Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.


I humbly submit, you go ahead and respond however you want. All of us will judge which is which though.

Turretinfan said...

Seth wrote: "Not sure why you are calling David a heckler."
I answer: Well, Michael seemed to provide a good explanation for you. If you want to discuss this matter further, we might as well take it backchannel so as not to distract from the focus of the thread.

-Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

Michael
Just to let you know...after David posts comments directly to TF he (TF) asks me,

if you see anything above that you would like me to comment on let me know

I am guessing this is the reason that David asked me the question and not TF...

David Ponter said...
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David Ponter said...
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natamllc said...

My friend and Brother Seth,

are you asking me to think out loud why TF asks you if a debater's comments are clear enough to you for him to procede with his clear debate?

If so, I respectfully decline.

I always appreciate when you address my befuddlings herein. It helps me remain focused easier and helps your side I might add, not that I want you to win this thing now. :)

Michael

David Ponter said...
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David Ponter said...

I will tell you what Michael,

I should have done this. I shall just simply ignore your post(s). I was happy to let the question be resolved via Seth (after TFs heckle comment), now its all mucked up. I will delete all my posts except the first 3 and this one.

David

natamllc said...

David,

thank you for your clarification.

I am assuming I am not scoring any points with you and you are not inclined to come over here where I sit in this debate at this time?

It's ok, we have the rest of eternity or at least until we pass to debate this.

I do believe you are called, faithful and chosen. I believe I am.

Even still, there is that sound in the back of my being though, something the Apostle addressed long ago and far away:

1Co 4:1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
1Co 4:2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.
1Co 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.
1Co 4:4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.
1Co 4:5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.


Michael

Seth McBee said...

TF.

Hopefully we are getting behind all this mess with this offtopic discussion....

Although I will tell everyone that TF told me that he was a man when we started this debate...I forgot, but I apologize if that led to any ad hominems or confusions.

Anyways.

As far as the post.

I want to post in a couple of days but have a couple of questions.

You said:

The sacrifice of Christ was offered for particular people ("them that are sanctified") and was perfectly sufficient and effective for that particular people ("one sacrifice . for ever" and "one offering"). It is done, it is finished. The priest has sat down.

Is it your belief that the elect were positionally sanctified at the cross 2000 years ago?

also...

Who are the subjects of the sanctification?

Turretinfan said...

Seth,

I'm not sure what connotation you attach to the term "positional sanctification." So, I'm hesitant to answer simply "yes."

Usually, when we as theologians use the term "sanctification" we are referring to the progress in holiness that believers experience between justification and glorification.

Obviously, that's not what I'm talking about in the paragraph above.

What I am saying is that the sacrifice that makes those for whom it is offered holy was offered for the elect almost 2000 years ago.

From other Scripture (not this particular passage) we learn that though the effect was certain, it was not immediate.

The subject in sanctification is the actor - the one doing the sanctifying. That is Christ, our high priest. We (the elect) are the direct object of the sanctifying.

The passage says "we" are the object and specifies that it is by the will of the Father ("the which will") that we are sanctified (vss. 7 and 9) and through the adminstration of the Holy Spirit (vs. 15-16) we are accordingly released from the bondage of sin.

The passage explains that "we are ... of them that believe to the saving of the soul," (vs. 39) aka the elect.

-Turretinfan

David Ponter said...
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David Ponter said...

Hey Seth,

I am still a little confused.

Is TF using the terms the same way we might? I want to be really sure.

Let me explain. TF:

What I am saying is that the sacrifice that makes those for whom it is offered holy was offered for the elect almost 2000 years ago.

David: Here he may mean the elect as a class en toto. He is not talking of the elect qua believers, I assume here.

But now this, TF:
We (the elect) are the direct object of the sanctifying.

David: Clearly the living unbelieving elect and the yet-to-exist-elect are not "sanctified," not "perfected", so here does he mean exactly those who elect who are believers and only believers? It is the believers who are elect, who are the subjects of the sanctification. Or more technically, elect qua believers.

And this, TF:
The passage explains that "we are ... of them that believe to the saving of the soul," (vs. 39) aka the elect.

David: So it would seem that the subjects of the sanctification are believers who are elect.

If I got it right, everyone would agree with what, even Arminians.

It seems to me that he is using a broader term to denote believers.

Am I on the right track?

Like I said, I just to be very clear.

David

Robin @ reallyrobins.wordpress.com said...

I stopped following this debate about a week ago. I think it has become hurtful in tone and mean spirited. But, hey, I'm a woman and we are sensitive to those things.

I cannot believe that:

1.) Seth would take on this debate without checking into the person being debated (and then forget (?) their gender?)

AND

2.) That anyone who really had any interest in the gender of TF could not take the two seconds necessary to locate and read HIS 'About' section of his blog.

Honestly, this is a debate among the brethren? Civility does not seem to be the strong point and I only pray some non-believer is not judging all of God's children by the behavior of a few!!

Seth McBee said...

Robin.

Please take a closer look before going off on a rant...

Turretinfan just changed his "about" page to include his gender and other things, it used to just say that he was a Reformed Apologist (from what I remember)

The reason I didn't look into whether or not he was a she is cause I didn't care...so I really forgot...

If you had been here the entire time reading...it wasn't even me that brought this up...

Again...we are spending too much time on this, when it is not important...unless it is important to Turretinfan, which I have already emailed him and he said that is was no big deal...

By the way...you might want to look at some of the historical ad hominem arguments from our Reformers and how they used to debate...it is pretty funny to watch them call each other names...

I think Luther and Eck are probably the best to look at...pretty funny some of the stuff they called each other...

Anyway...this isn't what me and TF are doing...but that I would point that out...

Anyway...

Turretinfan said...

DP: "I am still a little confused."

I'll try to help.

DP: "Is TF using the terms the same way we might?"

I strongly suspect we are not using the terms the same way. Although, obviously, only I have been using terms so far.

DP: "Here he may mean the elect as a class en toto. He is not talking of the elect qua believers, I assume here."

As we discussed with respect one of the previous verses:

elect = believers
believers = elect

There is an identity relationship between the groups.

Some of the elect/believers were already in glory and knowledge (and consequently no longer believing) some were believing and many (ourselves included) had not yet believed.

Of course, I'm guessing that David does not want to use the term "believers" except for people who are currently believing. That would be one obvious difference in terminology, if I've guessed his plan correctly.

Of course, without a positive statement of his views ... it's going to be all guessing.

I had written: "We (the elect) are the direct object of the sanctifying."

David commented: "Clearly the living unbelieving elect and the yet-to-exist-elect are not "sanctified," not "perfected", so here does he mean exactly those who elect who are believers and only believers?"

On the contrary, Scripture says they all (the already glorified elect, the presently believing elect, and the yet-unborn unelect) were, and I agree with Scripture on this point.

Now, if David wants to present some other exegesis of the text, then he is free to do so, as far as I'm concerned. But, in fact, the passage indicates that the sanctification is a done deal, and that it was done in the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary.

David: "It is the believers who are elect, who are the subjects of the sanctification. Or more technically, elect qua believers."

I answer: Well, as noted above, quite possibly David is now using terms differently than I am. It is the elect of all time (from Adam and the first Seth through the thief on the cross to the Seth with whom I'm debating and so on to the chronologically last - but not least - of the elect) who are the object of the sanctification.

The subject of the sanctification is the sacrifice of Christ by Christ, it is Christ who sanctifies. We - the sanctified - are the object of the sanctification.

I had written: "The passage explains that "we are ... of them that believe to the saving of the soul," (vs. 39) aka the elect."

David commented: "So it would seem that the subjects of the sanctification are believers who are elect."

If David means that the objects (not subjects) of the sanctification are those who are currently believing, the answer is "no." If David just means that the objects of the sanctification are the elect, then we don't need to continue the debate.

David: "If I got it right, everyone would agree with what, even Arminians."

That should be a pretty clear indication to David that he did not get it right.

David: "It seems to me that he is using a broader term to denote believers."

See above.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

Robin,

Thanks for your kind words.

Bigger than the question of whether someone could have easily found out that I was male (and you're right that it would have been easy), is the question of: "Why go there?"

What does it really matter to the debate? What does have to do with the arguments and Scriptures presented?

The answer, of course, is "nothing."

-Turretinfan

David Ponter said...

Ah so now we have some clarity at last it seems.

TF wants to say:

1) the sanctification happened on the cross 2000 years ago,

2) and subjects of the sanctification, those being sanctified, are all the elect en toto.

Supporting comments:

"On the contrary, Scripture says they all (the already glorified elect, the presently believing elect, and the yet-unborn unelect) were, and I agree with Scripture on this point."

and

"But, in fact, the passage indicates that the sanctification is a done deal, and that it was done in the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary."

and

"It is the elect of all time (from Adam and the first Seth through the thief on the cross to the Seth with whom I'm debating and so on to the chronologically last - but not least - of the elect) who are the object of the sanctification."


David: So here is the thing, when some of us read terms like:

Hebrews 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Some of us see that as addressing believers, primarily, elect inferentially and secondarily.

When TF reads something like that, he--it seems--reads it as the elect primarily, believers secondarily.

Thus TF decretalises the passage, to use an expression from a friend.

Some progress has been made.

David

natamllc said...

TF,

with all do respect to your response to Robin, apparently someone must have thought "it" is a "something" matter not a "nothing" matter.

And I stand my ground, it now, in hind sight, seems, if Seth made clear from the outset, the onset would not matter whether you were or not a something and not a nothing issue, him or her. I think Robin might say Amen to that matter? She afterall has brought a lot to this "Brethren" debate with her mild reproofs!

Sheeesh! Ok, ok, Heeeesh then!

I am just having fun, ok? I am prepared to apologize if that was to offensive for some?

But to this:

TF: Some of the elect/believers were already in glory and knowledge (and consequently no longer believing) some were believing and many (ourselves included) had not yet believed.


This a very good and very clear.

I consider that as my understanding of the Faith once delivered to the Saints "grows" in me, there is this matter that lingers in my heart and mind that causes great voluminous praise and adoration to God for His indescribable Gift of Mercy and Grace only received, enjoyed and blessed!

Mat 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Again I will quote the verse that cracked open my unbelief so that I could stand on solid ground and not the sandy ground of unbelief:

Mat 1:21 "You shall call His Name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins."

Apparently it is true, I needed to be saved from unbelief too!

I now know that I am an Elect Believer. I shudder to remember when I was not, and clearly, I was quite deceived by the prince of Darkness, who I am now utterly and completely aligned against!

My question then becomes this:

Is there something more "I" need to "believe" about that? Now I am onto Sanctification daily in this 'everyday life' being justified by His Faith, not mine, mind you, and I see I want to, long to and desire to bring My God, Our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus, Himself and the Blessed Holy Ghost glory, glory, glory til the day I die and even still I look for instruction, correction, reproof and aid daily in bringing God glory!

My prayer: "Lord" bring Glory to Our God every day now through my life seeing I didn't do a very good job of it when I was alive in unbelief!"

How did I become deceived into thinking Jesus is not the Christ, the Son of the Living God? I am one of His Elect!

That is a question I will be asking My Heavenly Father one of these breath filled moments!

All I know is I did not know until the Law came alive in me and I died.

All I know is I did not "love" God as I do now!

Praise the Lord.

Praise be to the Lord.

Let the heavens be glad.
Let the earth rejoice.
Let men say among the Nations, 'the Lord reigns!"

michael

Magnus said...

Another question to David and Tf

David when you wrote
When TF reads something like that, he--it seems--reads it as the elect primarily, believers secondarily.

I was under the impression that TF views the two as equal. So when he says elect he also means believer and when he says believer he also means elect.

Do I understand that correctly or did I miss it? If that is the case then David I do not understand what you mean by your statement, any clarification would be appreciated.

David Ponter said...

Hey Magnus,

Well thats the ambiguity here.

When I think of elect, I mostly think of the whole class, some of which believe, some dont, some dont exist, some are in heaven (still believing of course).

There are other instances where the elect refers to the totality of believers as they are considered as the final collective body of believing elect eg Matt 24:31. Or the totality of believers as a group, specifically elected eg 1P2:9.

There are other times when elect refers to the believers in a specific place. 1P1:1 etc

When I think of believers, I think of those who believe in Christ and who are elect.

So there is a bigger circle is the class of elect, the smaller circle is the sub-class believers. What TF has done is a fallacy of generalization or something like that, in that he has taken a predication pertaining to the smaller sub-set and generalised it to the larger class: elect as a whole. I personally find that non-credible. Thus I dont see this is a text speaking to the past sanctification of the whole class of the elect. Each time I read Heb 10 I dont see references to elect as a class, but to believers--elect is not even used that I can see.

But either way, ie, even if the ones being sanctified (resent passive participle) refers to the elect as a whole class, sanctified in the past, irrespective of belief, there is nothing here that proves his case. I will leave that to come up in its proper time tho.

Hope that helps,
David

natamllc said...

David

that's a reasonable argument here.

Let me ask you for clarification as it just comes to me more clearly when reading you response to Magnus:

Do you believe some Elect ultimately don't "go on to" believe for whatever reason and thus perish with the reprobate?

Michael

natamllc said...

And DP, if you are willing to engage in this debate with me and my befuddledness, I would ask you to back up this verse and "set" in order what must precede it to get to it:

Heb 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

If not, would TF, Seth or anyone come forward and "set" in order what must occur first, the first things first to get here at verse 14 of Hebrews 10?

My emphasis is on that phrase: "who are being"...

thanks in advance
michael

Turretinfan said...

Magnus:

You're correct.

I said:

elect = believers

and

believers = elect.

But it seems that David doesn't like that terminology, which (apparently) results in his unsupported assertion: "What TF has done is a fallacy of generalization or something like that ..."

He's not sure what fallacy I've committed, but he's sure I must've.

Bah.

The text indicates that the sacrifice perfected those for whom it was offered.

We call that group the elect or believers, whether or not the members of the group are believing, previously believed (there is not faith, but rather sight, in heaven, see I Cor. 13), or will believe.

-Turretinfan

David Ponter said...

I have been forgetting to insert my preface. Please do not republish my comments at another site.

TF says:

But it seems that David doesn't like that terminology, which (apparently) results in his unsupported assertion: "What TF has done is a fallacy of generalization or something like that ..."

David: If the case can be made that the people being sanctified are believers, then it would be fallacious to generalise this to unbelievers, that is living unbelieving elect, or non-existing elect. Now in my explanation to Magnus, I never sought to establish that case, but merely present how I am seeing it.


TF: He's not sure what fallacy I've committed, but he's sure I must've.

David: Thats right. I said its a generalization fallacy, or something _like_ that, means I dont have a clue. Of course, its so clear now. :-)This is going well TF...

TF:
Bah.

David: ...very well.

TF: The text indicates that the sacrifice perfected those for whom it was offered.

David: Thats the point in dispute. I leave that for now.


TF: We call that group the elect or believers, whether or not the members of the group are believing, previously believed (there is not faith, but rather sight, in heaven, see I Cor. 13), or will believe.

David: My take is simple that ones being sanctified are the believers. And there is no need to convert the sanctification into a past action and then extending the scope.

Take care,
David

Magnus said...

David & TF,

Is the main problem in this thread that TF views sanctification in this as including all(past, present, and future believers/elect) and David views it as only addressing the presently believing, not past or future believers or elect?

Thanks,

David Ponter said...

Michael,

You ask:
Do you believe some Elect ultimately don't "go on to" believe for whatever reason and thus perish with the reprobate?

David: No, all the elect will believe.


Michael:
...I would ask you to back up this verse and "set" in order what must precede it to get to it:

David: I am waiting for the reply from Seth. But to me its just obvious that the people are the believers. To me, only a blind man would insist that the referents of the sanctification are unbelievers. And its clearly a new category of sanctification. Its not positional, its not experiential, its decretal. On the cross, all the elect were sanctified. Thats a new idea for sure.

TF: Now, if David wants to present some other exegesis of the text, then he is free to do so, as far as I'm concerned. But, in fact, the passage indicates that the sanctification is a done deal, and that it was done in the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary.

David: that looks to me like he is saying this specific sanctification was acomplished 2000years ago and for all the elect.

David

David Ponter said...

Hey Magnus,


You say: Is the main problem in this thread that TF views sanctification in this as including all(past, present, and future believers/elect) and David views it as only addressing the presently believing, not past or future believers or elect?

David: Thats exactly why I was asking my questions--which only earned me a snippy comment;-). I wanted to be sure I understand TF and that this time we have a stable and fixed definition which can be tested and critiqued.

Take care,
David

David Ponter said...

let me correct something I said. I was in a hurry.

David: To me, only a blind man would insist that the referents of the sanctification are unbelievers.

David: I meant to say, to me one has to be blind not to see that the referents in this chapter is to believers (and only believers).

Thanks
David

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

David—

I'm not so sure you're right here. Hebrews 10:10,14 says that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, and that by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

It seems to me that the only way to make sense of this passage is to assume that the author of Hebrews does not use the term "sanctified" in the single, precise sense which we tend to expect in systematic theology today. Evidently, the term "sanctified" in verse 10 refers to one sense of sanctification which is synonymous with the word "perfected" in verse 14. However, in verse 14 the word "sanctified" refers to some other sense. We should not assume a single, purely intrinsic meaning to the word. The context clearly dictates otherwise.

Although I'm not versed in Greek, I think the wide semantic range of the term here, hagiazo, does support me. It can mean either to separate from profane things and dedicate to God, or to purify—either by expiation, or internally by renewing of the soul (Crosswalk, "hagiazo"). One of these meanings is evidently in view in verse 10, and corresponds to the word "perfected" in verse 14, which is teleioo. This word has a narrower semantic range, and means simply to make perfect or complete, or to accomplish (Crosswalk, "teleioo"). This would appear to correspond to the secondary meaning for hagiazo: to purify by expiation. Possibly it also has in mind internal purification (the "new creation" of 2 Cor 5:17), so encapsulates more than simply forensic justification. That is not disagreeable to me. In any case, it looks to me like the author is actually referring to at least justification, if not more. This makes sense in light of the fact that verses 10 and 14 are parenthetical to the comment regarding Jewish priests who offer sacrifices daily, which can never take away sins, and the single offering Christ made for all time. In other words, the statement that "we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" is amplified and elaborated by comparison to the work of the Jewish priests which can never take away sins, and the further statement that Christ has made a once-for-all sacrifice for sins which has "perfected" for all time those "being sanctified". Clearly, the author of Hebrews sees an objective and completed work of sanctification (Christ's expiation of sin) which is applied to those who are undergoing a subjective and ongoing work of sanctification (our own cooperation with God's grace).

For this reason, I think TF is right to say that this passage does have in view the whole elect. However, I don't think he is right in his understanding (if I have interpreted him correctly) that it is referring to the actual final, intrinsic perfection of the elect. He seems to be suggesting that Christ's sacrifice has sanctified the elect, in the sense that we use that term in systematic theology today. But even bearing in mind the "good works which God prepared beforehand" (Eph 2:10), and the timeless perspective of God, I don't think that it is reasonable to interpret the passage in this way. It does appear to have in view particularly those who being sanctified; that is, the believing readers of the letter. And it says that they have been sanctified, that is, perfected. It is quite clearly using temporal or chronological language, and I think therefore that justification and regeneration is in view; not actual and complete sanctification as we would use that word.

You might balk at this reading, because of the equivocation inherent in the term "sanctification" here. We would say the objective and completed work is justification, and that only the subjective and ongoing work is sanctification. To say otherwise sounds like Roman Catholicism. I'm actually particularly aware of this because I have recently been discussing justification with my father (who is Roman Catholic, if you recall). But we need to recognize that systematic categories like these are alien to the personal theologies of the biblical authors. This is why when James speaks of faith and justification, for example, we must be careful not to transfer the "common" meaning of those words (ie, the way Paul uses them) into his comments. There is not necessarily a highly specific intrinsic meaning to the word "justification", or to the word "sanctification". There is extrinsic meaning also in the surrounding context, and indeed the same word can mean different things in the same passage—as I think is the case here in Hebrews with regard to "sanctification".

Regards,
Bnonn

David Ponter said...

the idea that this verse could be used to prove limited expiation and imputation is interesting. It makes me want to know if Scripture ever speaks of a pre-faith sanctification?

I cant think of any. Nor do I know of any such idea in standard Reformed teaching. I know Gill says this is the elect sanctified on the cross, but he expressly connects this with justification in his comment.

It would seem to me that if this is pre-faith or pre-conversion sanctification then tendentiously it should lead to pre-faith justification. It stikes me that if I buy into TFs reading I have to bundle some other purchases with that one purchase, but the bundle is looking a little dodgy to me.

David

David Ponter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Ponter said...

Hey Bnonn,

You say:
I'm not so sure you're right here. Hebrews 10:10,14 says that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, and that by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

David: The alternative reading, which is the one all the critical commentaries took is that we believers, by this once for all offering (ie never to be repeated) have been perfected and are being sanctified.

That makes perfect sense and I don’t have to fudge with the tense, magically converting it into a past action, or play around with the subjects to include unbelievers. Now there was some debate in the commentaries: does the present tense participle denote a simple continuous idea as in progressive sanctification, or does it denote what Morris et al, called a timeless present. The believers are timelessly sanctified. Its something like an ever-present reality which can never waiver or ebb and flow (as I understand Morris). I can live with Morris’ view. Probably the timeless present idea would correspond to something like a positional or cultic sanctification (the latter is a focus of the writer of Hebrews).

Bnonn: It seems to me that the only way to make sense of this passage is to assume that the author of Hebrews does not use the term "sanctified" in the single, precise sense which we tend to expect in systematic theology today.

David: I am not sure why he is not speaking of sanctification as progressive, or as a cultic sanctification. The latter would fit in well with the timeless present idea. When the people were sprinkled with the blood, they were cleansed, which had the effect of setting apart. There are probably connections here. Of course, in case of a rejoinder, in NT theology, the sprinkling of the blood which cleanses and sanctifies occurs when the Holy Spirit cleanses the conscience:

Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

And to help our understanding: 1 Peter 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:

Bnonn: Evidently, the term "sanctified" in verse 10 refers to one sense of sanctification which is synonymous with the word "perfected" in verse 14. However, in verse 14 the word "sanctified" refers to some other sense. We should not assume a single, purely intrinsic meaning to the word. The context clearly dictates otherwise.

David: Lets get the text in front of us:
Hebrews 10:1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired, But a body Thou hast prepared for Me; 6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast taken no pleasure. 7 "Then I said, 'Behold, I have come (In the roll of the book it is written of Me) To do Thy will, O God.'" 8 After saying above, "Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast not desired, nor hast Thou taken pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Thy will." He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

David: The blood of bulls etc could not make perfect those who draw near to God, the worshippers. This is the basis of the comparison. Believers, however, are perfected and are sanctified by the blood of Christ. By this blood, we have been perfected (positional) and are being sanctified (timeless present or progressive).

Bnonn: Although I'm not versed in Greek, I think the wide semantic range of the term here, hagiazo, does support me. It can mean either to separate from profane things and dedicate to God, or to purify—either by expiation, or internally by renewing of the soul (Crosswalk, "hagiazo"). One of these meanings is evidently in view in verse 10, and corresponds to the word "perfected" in verse 14, which is teleioo. This word has a narrower semantic range, and means simply to make perfect or complete, or to accomplish (Crosswalk, "teleioo").

David: I am not sure why I should have a problem here. I am trying to wait to see what Seth produces. But if I can explain. The nature of this sanctification is not something I need to press, as long as its not said this sanctification occurred pre-faith. Then I would say, hey, where is that in the text.

What is more, there are a lot of things I can concede here. I could concede that the subjects of the sanctification is all the elect, irrespective of faith and vital union with Christ. I could say, “hey, okay, all the elect here are in view.” But this does not prove TF’s point. I think this will become clearer in the next day or to.

What I am concerned about is the claim that this is a pre-faith sanctification. I just don’t see any evidence that the writer is now switching back to the cross and the subjects change, without any indication.

Bnonn: This would appear to correspond to the secondary meaning for hagiazo: to purify by expiation. Possibly it also has in mind internal purification (the "new creation" of 2 Cor 5:17), so encapsulates more than simply forensic justification.

David: When or where in Scripture is anyone purified by the expiation before faith? The purifying efficacy of the expiation is through in and by faith. For example: 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. And: 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Bnonn: That is not disagreeable to me. In any case, it looks to me like the author is actually referring to at least justification, if not more.

David: Sure, I can see where that would come in. But now, to those of us who deny eternal justification should have a problem here. I believe TF should have a problem asserting a pre-faith sanctification: but then I am not TF. BTW, I make no remark to you there when I say “those of us who deny eternal justification should have a problem here” as it is not directed to you at all.

Bnonn: This makes sense in light of the fact that verses 10 and 14 are parenthetical to the comment regarding Jewish priests who offer sacrifices daily, which can never take away sins, and the single offering Christ made for all time. In other words, the statement that "we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" is amplified and elaborated by comparison to the work of the Jewish priests which can never take away sins, and the further statement that Christ has made a once-for-all sacrifice for sins which has "perfected" for all time those "being sanctified".

David: Sure. But why cannot the intent be, we who believe are perfected by this offering and are being sanctified? I could even word it “we who believe are perfected by this offering and have been sanctified,” where the sanctification is a timeless present?

Bnonn: Clearly, the author of Hebrews sees an objective and completed work of sanctification (Christ's expiation of sin) which is applied to those who are undergoing a subjective and ongoing work of sanctification (our own cooperation with God's grace).

David: You seem to equate this objective sanctification with Christ’s expiation accomplished on the cross. I cant go that route, Bnonn. I don’t see Scripture saying that on the cross all the elect were sanctified by the expiation. But other than that, I don’t see any pressing reason that says, as the perfected is perfect in tense, so must the present participle function as a perfect tense too? Why could not the writer be making a constrast, a both-and. We have been perfected, we believes, by this sacrificial offering, and we are being sanctified. Here is the past continuing to effect on going sanctification. Now if Morris is right, the same idea remains. We who are perfected by the sacrificial offering, have been timeless sanctified. It’s a forever present reality.

Bnonn: For this reason, I think TF is right to say that this passage does have in view the whole elect. However, I don't think he is right in his understanding (if I have interpreted him correctly) that it is referring to the actual final, intrinsic perfection of the elect. He seems to be suggesting that Christ's sacrifice has sanctified the elect, in the sense that we use that term in systematic theology today.

David: Not trying to be mean, but what systematic teaches that? You may be right. I don’t recall ever seeing that? I’ve seen it in Gill, but he means nothing to me and so for me, personally, I automatically discount, as he does not represent Reformed orthodoxy. Again, that is NOT an attack on you. You may love Gill, I don’t know. I am only saying he means nothing to me. So from the Reformed tradition, which systematic discussion argues for a pre-faith sanctification? even perfection of all the elect?

Bnonn: But even bearing in mind the "good works which God prepared beforehand" (Eph 2:10), and the timeless perspective of God, I don't think that it is reasonable to interpret the passage in this way. It does appear to have in view particularly those who being sanctified; that is, the believing readers of the letter.

David: I just don’t see any marker that indicates that the writer now shifts to this broader class. He starts way with “we” and ends with we in v19. It’s a nice inclusio to his discourse here.

Ill cut the rest as some is clearly to TF, and the closing comment I need not comment on.
Cut
Except this:

Bnonn: There is not necessarily a highly specific intrinsic meaning to the word "justification", or to the word "sanctification". There is extrinsic meaning also in the surrounding context, and indeed the same word can mean different things in the same passage—as I think is the case here in Hebrews with regard to "sanctification".

David: Yes thats totally what I agree with. This is not some technical systematic statement, it’s a praxis statement to believers. Its totally assuring in its intent.

As an aside Bnonn, I think our interaction is getting better and better. I appreciate this post from you.

Take care,
David

natamllc said...

test to see if I can post again!

natamllc said...

test to see if I can post again!

natamllc said...

I can!

Wow, I went into the dark ages for awhile and now I am back in the Light age of posting Believers, yeah!

Bnonn, yes, justification.

Pre-faith, hmmmmm.

DP:....by this once for all offering (ie never to be repeated) have been perfected and are being sanctified.

It seems to me that Christ "perfected" where I began my walk of Sanctification by the Spirit unto obedience to Him, that is, to the Faith, to Him as you quoted there at 1 Peter 1.

Perfected/τελειόω
teleioō
tel-i-o'-o
From G5046; to complete, that is, (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character): - consecrate, finish, fulfil, (make) perfect.

What He did at the appointed time did this for all the Saints before that time:

Mat 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
Mat 27:51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
Mat 27:52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,
Mat 27:53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.


Hebrews says it like this:

Heb 11:39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,
Heb 11:40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Perfect here is the same Greek word: τελειόω
teleioō
tel-i-o'-o
From G5046; to complete, that is, (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character): - consecrate, finish, fulfil, (make) perfect.

Would those two verses, at Matthew 27 and Hebrews 11 point to a pre-faith sanctification?

I am also thinking of Simeon at Luke 2:25. Here is a man that is about as sanctified as they come!

Luk 2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

I can only say that this debate has given me some exigent fuels for the fire in my belly catapulting me into a Zeal for the Truth demonstrated through my everyday life.

For me what I was getting at Bnonn hit on when I asked that we rewind or "back up" the Sanctifying process, truly the Work of the Holy Ghost to bring sense to this and please note the one word Justification in English is in fact two Greek words, Romans 5:16 is meant the "equitable deed" and as a result of His "work" on the cursed Tree, we get to reign with Him today in our lifetime simply because of the sentence of "Aquittal" pronounced upon us that believe at Romans 5:18. Seeing that, we that believe, what prevents us from moving into a full reward of a Life of Grace through Faith in the exceeding Great and Precious Promises of God in this life on earth?

The verses, Romans 5:16-19

Rom 5:16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
Rom 5:17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Rom 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
Rom 5:19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.

One more thing, maybe off the beat and path but for me it gets me to where God sent Jesus for me too, to be saved also means "believing" that was planned from before the foundation of the world, now I believe I was known in Their Hearts and Lives then! These thoughts are way past my pay grade and to wonderful for me!

At Hebrews 1:13-14

Heb 1:13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"?
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

We see "Elect Angels" sent to the "Elect", why?

The Elect are to inherit salvation. This certainly cannot be said of any others.

When I consider that in light of these verses, I believe some, for whatever reason, the mystery perhaps, addressed at Duet. 29:29, don't make it which isn't where T.U.L.I.P. brings us too. I am still learning T.U.L.I.P.. Quite frankly sometimes I feel like a jurist in the jury box and one day the Prosecutor have me where they want me and the Defense gets up and I am where they want me. Back and forth, back and forth. :)

Rev 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
Rev 7:10 and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"


It seems it's the "Elect" Angels who have something to celebrate when you consider the next verses:

Rev 7:11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
Rev 7:12 saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."

And compare these Words in the Gospels with those in Revelation 7:

Mar 13:27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

and

Luk 15:10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

Ok, I guess I bring a lot of Joy to the angels because I find myself in a continual state of repentance, daily, daily picking up my cross and following Jesus, you?

Turretinfan said...

David: "If the case can be made that the people being sanctified are believers, then it would be fallacious to generalise this to unbelievers, that is living unbelieving elect, or non-existing elect."

I answer: As repeatedly noted above, you seem to be assuming a particular definition of "believer." Since your definition is (it seems) not the definition I'm using (although you don't come right out and say it), your assertion as to generalization collapses to simply your assertion that "belivers" can only refer to people currently believing, and not also to those who have believed or will believe.


David: "Now in my explanation to Magnus, I never sought to establish that case, but merely present how I am seeing it."

I answer: agreed


David: "Thats right. I said its a generalization fallacy, or something _like_ that, means I dont have a clue. Of course, its so clear now. :-)This is going well TF..."

I answer: How silly of me to apply the label of heckler.

TF: The text indicates that the sacrifice perfected those for whom it was offered.
David: Thats the point in dispute. I leave that for now.
I answer: That seems odd.

TF: We call that group the elect or believers, whether or not the members of the group are believing, previously believed (there is not faith, but rather sight, in heaven, see I Cor. 13), or will believe.

David: My take is simple that ones being sanctified are the believers. And there is no need to convert the sanctification into a past action and then extending the scope.

I answer: "Convert" is definitely the wrong word. The action here is the "offering/perfecting" and it quite clearly is a past action.

The actual sanctifying would seem to be present tense activity, but - as you can see above - that issue is not only not central to the point I was making, it's hardly mentioned.

Other than that, from the remainder of your current comments, the only thing I see worth immediately commenting on (and - of course - Seth, if you see additional particular things, let me know) relates to the connection between verses 1 and 22.

Specifically, the issue about the προσφερουσιν is interesting, and potentially relevant (depending on where Seth goes with his reply).

It is the προσφερουσιν that are sanctified, and the προσφερουσιν approach by faith (Heb. 11:6) in Christ (Heb. 7:25 and 1 Pter 2:4), namely us (Heb. 4:16). Thus the προσφερουσιν worship in Zion (Heb. 12:22) not Sinai (Heb. 12:18).

-Turretinfan

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Hi David. I appreciate these discussions as well. I hope you do not think I am being overly critical. You should know that I greatly value your comparatively vast knowledge of Christian commentators, and the way they have understood the various passages we are discussing. When I post here, I am usually not doing so without the benefit of such knowledge. For example, in this case I am simply putting out my own thoughts on what this passage seems to mean, in light of my own reading and a little lexical study. So I appreciate your responses.

I believe that in my previous post, I made a fairly serious error. I said:

Clearly, the author of Hebrews sees an objective and completed work of sanctification (Christ's expiation of sin) which is applied to those who are undergoing a subjective and ongoing work of sanctification (our own cooperation with God's grace). For this reason, I think TF is right to say that this passage does have in view the whole elect.

I'm afraid this makes no sense. Clearly I was confused. In fact, the opposite is true: for this reason, I think TF is wrong to say that this passage does have in view the whole elect. Clearly it has in view specifically those who are currently undergoing sanctification. Now, that is an ever-changing group, as it is relative to a particular time, so in that sense the whole elect is in view: at one point or another, this passage will apply to all the elect, and no one else. But I agree with you that unbelieving elect are not in view in this passage. If that were the case, the implication of pre-faith justification or sanctification is definitely there, and neither of us agree on that! My apologies for this fairly gross error.

Now, having said that, could I ask you to clarify some things? Particularly, you say, "The alternative reading, which is the one all the critical commentaries took is that we believers, by this once for all offering (ie never to be repeated) have been perfected and are being sanctified." Bearing in mind this only applies to believers, I must confess I am very unclear what it would mean to have been perfected (that is, to already be perfect), but to not yet be fully sanctified? What do you mean when you say we have been perfected, if not that we have been justified? That is to say, what do you mean by it if not that we have been given extrinsic perfection? Clearly, we cannot have been perfected in the sense of intrinsic perfection, since we are still without intrinsic perfection. That would be self-contradictory.

It seems to me that it remains that the author of Hebrews says that "we have been sanctified [...] who are being sanctified". I think we both agree that the first instance of "sanctified" has a different sense to the second, or there would be a contradiction here. But, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that both times it is intrinsic righteousness in view, but the first sense is a "timeless present", while the second is a "here-and-now" sense. I am suggesting, on the other hand, that the first sense is referring to extrinsic righteousness while the second is referring to intrinsic righteousness. I hope I have understood correctly where we are at! I must say, perhaps it is just my poor grasp of Greek, but I can't really see your view when I read the passage. Or perhaps I do not understand what you mean by "timeless present"? When you say it, do you mean that verse 10 is looking to the final intrinsic righteousness which Christ has purchased for us? In other words, this perfect sanctification is so certain that it is phrased as having already taken place?

What is more, there are a lot of things I can concede here. I could concede that the subjects of the sanctification is all the elect, irrespective of faith and vital union with Christ. I could say, “hey, okay, all the elect here are in view.” But this does not prove TF’s point. I think this will become clearer in the next day or to.

And on this we agree also. I don't think that the interpretation I have offered supports TF's point any more than yours. Even if all the elect are in view, which I have retracted, what does that prove regarding the extent of Christ's expiation? Nothing at all that I can see. However, we do need to differentiate between subjects and objects. In this passage, we are the objects of sanctification—not the subjects. I think TF has pointed this out before, and he is right. Maybe it's a minor grammatical point, but I think it's worthwhile mentioning because it can be confusing to get the two mixed up in a discussion.

Again, thanks for your continued interaction and sharing of knowledge here.

Regards,
Bnonn

David Ponter said...

Hey Bnonn:

cut

Bnonn: So I appreciate your responses.

David: Yeah I misjudged your intentions before. I am sorry about that.

Bnonn: I believe that in my previous post, I made a fairly serious error. I said:

Clearly, the author of Hebrews sees an objective and completed work of sanctification (Christ's expiation of sin) which is applied to those who are undergoing a subjective and ongoing work of sanctification (our own cooperation with God's grace). For this reason, I think TF is right to say that this passage does have in view the whole elect.

I'm afraid this makes no sense. Clearly I was confused. In fact, the opposite is true: for this reason, I think TF is wrong to say that this passage does have in view the whole elect. Clearly it has in view specifically those who are currently undergoing sanctification. Now, that is an ever-changing group, as it is relative to a particular time, so in that sense the whole elect is in view: at one point or another, this passage will apply to all the elect, and no one else. But I agree with you that unbelieving elect are not in view in this passage. If that were the case, the implication of pre-faith justification or sanctification is definitely there, and neither of us agree on that! My apologies for this fairly gross error.

David: Spot on. As the elect believe and come to faith, then by this one offering they are perfected. Finally, all the elect will be able to say, by this one offering I have been perfected. But that will be at the final day. Its not true at this point of time. Thus the sanctified ones cannot be the whole class of the elect. TF seems to be missing this.

Bnonn: Now, having said that, could I ask you to clarify some things? Particularly, you say, "The alternative reading, which is the one all the critical commentaries took is that we believers, by this once for all offering (ie never to be repeated) have been perfected and are being sanctified." Bearing in mind this only applies to believers, I must confess I am very unclear what it would mean to have been perfected (that is, to already be perfect), but to not yet be fully sanctified?

David: Ah yes I see. Its based on this idea: NAS 1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.


This speaks to a past action. On the other hand, some verses speak to a progressive sanctification.

Bnonn:

What do you mean when you say we have been perfected, if not that we have been justified? That is to say, what do you mean by it if not that we have been given extrinsic perfection? Clearly, we cannot have been perfected in the sense of intrinsic perfection, since we are still without intrinsic perfection. That would be self-contradictory.

David: I am not sure of those terms. I may not have been clear before. The believer is sanctified positionally. Here the term is basically equivalent to justification. If you have access to Berkhof or to John Murray, Redemption accomplished and applied that might help. The other form of sanctification is progressive.

Bnonn:
It seems to me that it remains that the author of Hebrews says that "we have been sanctified [...] who are being sanctified".

David: I think he is saying we have been perfected we who are being sanctified. I am undecided if the Morris take is right or the majority opinion that this is a reference to progressive sanctification.


Bnonn: I think we both agree that the first instance of "sanctified" has a different sense to the second, or there would be a contradiction here. But, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that both times it is intrinsic righteousness in view, but the first sense is a "timeless present", while the second is a "here-and-now" sense.

David: I definitly think the perfection is positional and a past action which effects us today. We are perfected by this offering. As to the sanctification, I keep going back and forth on that.

Bnonn: I am suggesting, on the other hand, that the first sense is referring to extrinsic righteousness while the second is referring to intrinsic righteousness. I hope I have understood correctly where we are at! I must say, perhaps it is just my poor grasp of Greek, but I can't really see your view when I read the passage. Or perhaps I do not understand what you mean by "timeless present"? When you say it, do you mean that verse 10 is looking to the final intrinsic righteousness which Christ has purchased for us? In other words, this perfect sanctification is so certain that it is phrased as having already taken place?

David: I am not sure I understand your distinctions either, but I don’t think we disagree in the main. The timeless present is hard to grasp I admit. Morris hardly explains it. If the sanctification is progressive its more fluid. It can ebb and flow. I think Morris wants to say its stable and fixed and true no matter what your state is. Its timeless true, you cant get more or less sanctified, relative to your piety or assurance: like justification. But it is present, its forever present. Morris is able to see that this is not talking about something or someone being sanctified even when they don’t exist.

Bnonn: And on this we agree also. I don't think that the interpretation I have offered supports TF's point any more than yours. Even if all the elect are in view, which I have retracted, what does that prove regarding the extent of Christ's expiation?

David: its not making a statement about others. I thought of this:

The party entertained the guests who came for whom the party was held.

We can say, those who did not come, they were not entertained.

But we cannot say that the part was not held for those who did not come.

TF wants to say the latter. As if the party was only held for those who came.

I don’t know if that helps, I will work on it.


Bnonn: Nothing at all that I can see. However, we do need to differentiate between subjects and objects. In this passage, we are the objects of sanctification—not the subjects. I think TF has pointed this out before, and he is right. Maybe it's a minor grammatical point, but I think it's worthwhile mentioning because it can be confusing to get the two mixed up in a discussion.

David: Yes, he is using the terms differently. If say John is the subject of my analysis, it’s the same as saying he is the object of my analysis as far as I can see. The believers are the subjects of the sanctification. But I wont split hairs on that I think its clear what I mean: at least to me. :-)

Bnonn: Again, thanks for your continued interaction and sharing of knowledge here.

David: No worries and thanks to you too.

David

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Thanks David; that clears things up a lot. I think we are essentially on the same page at this point :)

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