“He restores my soul” Psm 23:3 NIV
Salvation, as I understand it, is a process in three phases:
1. Justification which is the salvation of the spirit, whereby we are made alive in Christ. “But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Rom 8:10
2. Sanctification which is the salvation of the soul, whereby we are made perfect in Christ. “But you were washed, you were sanctified” I Cor. 6:11
3. Glorification which is the salvation of our bodies being translated from mortality to immortality. ” in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” I Cor. 15:52
Psalm 23:3 speaks about the process of sanctification.“He restores my soul.” The word “restores” means to turn back or to return. Jesus, the Lord, is in the process of returning our souls to the state they were meant to exist in. The foundation of this restoration is the path of righteousness. Sin has mucked up the condition of the soul. In order to be restored, the soul must return to righteousness. Now, we are completely powerless to get ourselves back there. Praise God that He is not so powerless. He knows the path of righteousness and can lead us on it. Our only job is to relax, follow, and let Him take care of everything along the path.
What do you think a restored soul looks like?
I am not sure what it looks like but it sounds like a piece of beautiful music from Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Beetoven or Debussey – to name a few.
I was with you until you got to Debussey. He is hard for me to listen to…not really sure why. 🙂
When I think of a restored soul I think of someone entering Heaven and seeing Jesus. I can only image that the heart is filled with so much joy that it radiates His light. How beautiful it must be to behold a restored soul. Won’t it be great to see souls restored to perfect. What an awesome God we have, Jesus already knew what our perfect soul looked like even through all the muck in our lives.
It is an awesome thought that God sees us not as we are but as we will be. Oh what a precious Shepherd!
“Our only job is to relax, follow, and let Him take care of everything along the path”
That seems to be the hard part for me–I don’t like to admit it but I always think I want to be in charge. I am learning, though I am a slow learner in some areas.
Paul the apostle wrote “Be anxious for nothing.” You are right Patricia; Our job is to relax. As we present ourselves and everything we are and face before him with prayer, supplication and thanksgiving we do relax. Prayer is a form of active trust and I love it because it gives me the ability to do what I can do while allowing Him the space to do what I cannot! IN its proper place prayer is the most relaxing thing I can do.
The first thing that came to my mind was a smile. A big one. 🙂 God bless you and smile upon you today!
Bless you Deb! He does smile upon me and your prayers are felt!
You can tell it’s my day off today:) I am free time to infiltrate your blog and have some fun with you:)
I find it interesting that you used I Cor. 6:11 for your verse on sanctification being the “progressive salvation of our souls.” The verse reads, “you WERE sanctified.” This is clearly past tense. Sanctified is in the past (aortist, passive, indicative) tense. Clearly not a progressive state. We have already been set apart and declared holy.
In doing a quick search of the verses and uses of the word sanctify (G37), I see that most cases of the word occur as a declaration of a completed action. We have been sanctified in the same way that we have been justified. In the few instances this is not the case, the word sanctification is a noun. It doesn’t mention that God is sanctifying us or that He will sanctify, except for 1 or 2 possible exceptions, and that seems to be a contextual stretch.
Sanctification is found in a person, not an action:
1 Corinthians 1:30-31, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” CHRIST IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS AND OUR SANCTIFICATION.
Now, does that mean that there is no such thing as “progressive sanctification? Is there no hope for us to have our behavior changed? It is clearly a biblical concept that God is at work in us transforming our behavior and lifestyle into Christlikeness. There IS an element of progressive sanctification in Scripture…but the main biblical understanding of sanctification is positional sanctification, not progressive sanctification.
“Progressive sanctification,” as I understand it, could be summarized as: the work of the Holy Spirit in the yielded saint, in which He sets the believer apart for God in his experience, by eliminating sins (sinful activity) from his life and producing His fruit, a process which goes on constantly throughout the believers life.
“Sin has mucked up the condition of the soul. In order to be restored, the soul must return to righteousness.” The power of sin is destroyed and we have, therefore, been set free and rescued from sin, corruption and death. We have been restored.
We are shown to be righteous (justification) and declared sacred and holy (santification). Do we always act righteous and holy? No, but as we yield our lives to Him, we can trust that He is at work in us, to will and to do of His good pleasure. And I agree with you, salvation is ongoing as well in the sense that “the saving life of Christ” is at work in us day by day.
What could we accomplish in this world as children and ambassadors of Christ, if we stopped focusing on our sin and instead just trusted that Christ has really taken care of sin and it’s spiritual consequences and that He will continue to take care of our sinful behaviors. We could be outward “love” focused and do some good in the world. We’re run down trying to live up to a standard of holiness (by self effort).This will sound heretical, but I AM THE HOLY OF HOLIES! I’m in the creamy center of His holy presence before and after I sin. I am cleansed. We can rest and not be hyper-vigilant about sin, navel gazing in agonizing introspection. I don’t need to work for His affirmation. I know His pleasure when I am good and when I am bad because knowing His pleasure isn’t about my behavior. It’s just about Him and me. It’s about His acceptance and delight in me as I am. Any barrier between us has been forever broken. My sin cannot put up a divide.
“What do you think a restored soul looks like?” It looks like however God chooses to reveal Himself in us, in that time in our life. When we start imagining what being “Christ-like” looks like, we start focusing on our actions and on our sins more than we just focus on the Person of Christ Himself. This is how we start comparing ourselves to others. I think it may look unique…it may even look like sin to the casual observer. The fruit of the spirit will surely be present, but the manner in which the fruit takes shape in our life is very unique to how God wants to manifest in that person’s life.
I cannot say I disagree with most of what you wrote Matt…except the creamy center of God’s holy presence thing. 🙂 It conjures an odd picture in my mind. The word teaches God’s part is to do and our part is to trust. That said I don’t believe we just ignore our sins and say “shucks and darn. Oh well Jesus live with it.” There is a tension between being too focused on sin and winking at it. I approach this walk with Christ as a relationship not a religion. I rely fully on Him to save and keep me but when I screw up as I am wont to do from time to time I do approach the lover of my soul with the sin and apologize. It only seems right!! Also I do understand sactification as both positional and progressive. I was sanctified. I am sanctified. I am being sanctified in real time. I stand complete in Him. I stand in process with Him. Both are accurate.
well said J. I concur with what you just wrote. I think i have seen too many people that have suffered from condemnation due to preachers focusing on sin and the need to stop sinning to the exclusion of everything else. I have heard that a lot and know many people who have been hurt by that. But you are right…one shouldn’t go to the other extreme and allow for sin in their life as if “hey, it doesn’t matter anyway.”