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The Nature of Vivification: Renewal, Transformation, Growth

D. The Nature And Means Of Vivification,

The Positive Converse of Mortification

I. The Nature of Vivification

1.) Vivification as Quickening

As mortification involves the putting to death of the members of the old man and his deeds, so vivification is the work of God in the progressive strengthening and growth of the new man and his deeds, in an increase in the spiritual strength and power of the gracious nature and principles bestowed in regeneration.

The Old Testament psalmist, praising that Word which is the Spirit’s instrument in sanctification (Psalm 119:50, 93; John 17:17),[1] prayed:

My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken[2] thou me according to thy word. . . . Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. . . . Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness. . . . This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. . . . Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth. . . . I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. . . . I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word. . . . Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment. . . . Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word. . . . Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments. . . . Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness” (Psalm 119:25, 37, 40, 50, 88, 93, 107, 149, 154, 156, 159).

The Psalmist recognized Jehovah as the great Giver and Renewer of spiritual life, as He is of physical life (Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:6; Job 33:4)—he did not quicken himself, but sought the Lord, praying, “quicken me.” While Divinely bestowed spiritual life leads the saint to walk “in [God’s] way” (Psalm 119:37), the believer himself is strengthened in spiritual life—the Psalmist’s prayer is not concerning his actions only, but he prays that he himself would be vivified (“quicken me”) with holy actions as a result. Other Old Testament texts likewise indicate that a work of God vivifying the believer himself is the cause of holy actions on his part: “quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts” (Psalm 80:18-19). Outward holy actions are the product of the gracious inward renewal worked by God in His people. “Wilt thou not revive [same form as quicken—which contributes to a Biblical understanding of the nature of revival; cf. also Psalm 138:7; Hosea 14:7; Habakkuk 3:2] us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Psalm 85:6).

            The New Testament employs the verb quicken (zwˆopoie÷w) for the coming bodily resurrection from the dead (Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:22) and the related verb quicken with (suzwopoie÷w) for the believer’s current spiritual resurrection as a result of his union with Christ that is associated with his regeneration (Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13), but does not specifically employ quickening terminology for the strengthening of the spiritual life of the saint in progressive sanctification; rather, the inspired Greek Testament expresses the progressive spriritual vivification of the believer with other terminology. Nevertheless, the fact that quickening terminology is employed in Scripture for the spiritual life bestowed in regeneration by means of union with Christ (Ephesians 2:5), the spiritual growth of the believer on earth (Psalm 119:25) and the glorification of the believer in the future at the time of his bodily resurrection (Romans 8:11) illustrates the continuity between regeneration, progressive vivification during the saint’s lifetime, and the consummation of that process in eternity.

2.) Vivification as Growth

The New Testament expresses the development of the new nature within the believer with terminology of growth. 2 Peter 3:18 commands believers: “[G]row in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (aujxa¿nete de« e˙n ca¿riti kai« gnw¿sei touv Kuri÷ou hJmw◊n kai« swthvroß ∆Ihsouv Cristouv.) Spiritual growth is progressive renewal into the moral image of God, into Christlikeness. Christ placed spiritual leaders in the church to bring about certain results:

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)[3]

The saints are perfected and edified by Christ through church leadership (v. 11-12) with the result that they progress towards unity in the faith and experiential knowledge of or communion with the Son of God (v. 13) with the result that each believer becomes more like “a perfect man,” that is, he becomes closer to “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (v. 13), no longer being a spiritual child that can easily waver (v. 14), but instead “grow[ing] up into [Christ] in all things” (v. 15) as the Lord Jesus, the head of His spiritual body, supplies grace and strength to each member of it (v. 16). Progressive sanctification renews the whole person into the image of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, a process culminated when in glorification the saint is perfectly like Him (1 John 3:2).[4] The believer’s old man grows weaker and dies and his new man grows stronger and more powerful. The growth of the new man is compared to the physical growth[5] of an infant through childhood to a mature man (Ephesians 4:14-16; Hebrews 5:12-14; 1 Peter 2:2[6]). As God renews His children in their entire new man into the image of Christ (Ephesians 4:13-15), they grow in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10) and of Christ (2 Peter 3:18), in grace (2 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 9:14) and in faith (2 Corinthians 10:15), and, as a result, in every good work and fruit of righteousness (2 Corinthians 9:8-14).

The source of spiritual growth is God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who alone “giveth the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:5-7; cf. Ephesians 4:11-16) and gets the glory for it (1 Corinthians 3:7) both by giving the lost faith and regeneration (1 Corinthians 3:5) and producing spiritual growth in those He saves. The instrumentality of growth is the Word of God, by which sinners are born again and then grow into maturity (1 Peter 1:23; 2:2; Mark 4:8, 14). Both church leadership (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 3:6-7) and every individual member of the church (Ephesians 4:16) use the Word as the human means God employs to produce growth His people. The growth and development of the new man constitutes a central aspect of the doctrine of vivification.

3.) Vivification as Building Up

            Scripture employs the oikodomeo word group, which speaks of building or building up,[7] to describe progressive sanctification. The verb to build (oi˙kodome÷w) refers to the literal building of houses (Matthew 7:24), towers (Matthew 21:33), tombs (Matthew 23:39), temples (Matthew 26:61), cities (Luke 4:29), synagogues (Luke 7:5), barns (Luke 12:18), and other items in general (Luke 17:28). Those who build are builders (Matthew 21:42), and they build up (e˙poikodome÷w, 1 Corinthians 3:10-14, cf. sunoikodome÷w, Ephesians 2:22) buildings (oikodomh/, Matthew 24:1), and build up again or rebuild (aÓnoikodome÷w, Acts 15:16) ones that have fallen down or that need restoration. The literal construction of buildings underlies the Scriptural metaphor for progressive sanctification as building or building up.

As an edifice is a building, so, when spiritual building up is in view, oikodomeo is translated to edify (Acts 9:31; 1 Corinthians 10:23) as well as to build (1 Peter 2:5). A believer’s gradual growth in holiness is compared to the construction of a building; construction begins at regeneration, laid upon the foundation of Christ, the chief cornerstone (1 Corinthians 3:11), and upon the foundational revelation of the Word of God given through the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20; 3:5).[8] The metaphorical building of the believer proceeds throughout life at whatever rate he is growing spiritually, and is completed at glorification. The building metaphor is also used for the spiritual development of Christ’s congregation; in the Lord Jesus “all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord . . . builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21-22).

The Triune God is the ultimate cause of the believer being built up spiritually. The church and her individual members are “God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9)[9] because He is the source and producer of spiritual growth and progressive sanctification,[10] as He is the one who will perfectly sanctify His saints and give them holy glorified bodies at their resurrection (2 Corinthians 5:1). Jehovah spiritually revives and rebuilds His people when they have fallen into spiritual ruin (Acts 15:16-17).[11] Believers are “rooted and built up in” Christ (Colossians 2:7), for Christ builds up the members of His churches individually and builds and multiplies His congregations corporately (Matthew 16:18; Acts 9:31). The church and her individual members are built up in Christ and by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22).[12] The saints, as living stones, “are built up a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5) through the power of God (1 Peter 1:5), including the election, regenerating decree, and calling of the Father (1 Peter 1:2-3, 15-17, 20), the redemptive suffering, blood, death, resurrection, and mediatorial office of the Son (1 Peter 1:2-3, 11, 18-21), and the effectual application of regeneration and sanctification by the Holy Ghost (1 Peter 1:3, 12, 22), through the instrumentality of the Word of God (1 Peter 1:10-11, 23-25, 2:1-3).

While God is the ultimate source of spiritual edification, He uses His Word and His people as secondary instrumentalities in the building up of the saints. Thus, both “God” and “the word of His grace” “build . . . up” believers[13] and give them an inheritance among the sanctified (Acts 20:32). Furthermore, the Lord gives people the power to be secondary causes of edification as they minister to one another (2 Corinthians 13:10) using the Word; thus, “he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification” (1 Corinthians 14:3-5). The saints are commanded to “edify one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Christ “maketh increase of the body,” but He does so as He leads the “whole body” to be “fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part,” so that it is appropriate to speak of the church body itself producing spiritual building, the “edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). The ascended Savior gave spiritual leadership, that is, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to the church (Ephesians 4:11) so that through the corporate ministry of the Word and through individual exhortation the saints might be perfected and the body of Christ edified (Ephesians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 10:8; 13:10). As the Lord uses evangelists to start new churches, as people are converted and added to the church through baptism, those who evangelize add new Christians, spiritual stones built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ (Romans 15:20), to the church, the corporate assembly of regenerate and immersed believers. Others spiritual leaders use the Word to build up existing churches numerically and spiritually upon Christ, the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:5-15). Indeed, all the spiritual gifts the Lord gives His people are for the edification of the church (1 Corinthians 14:12), and are to be used “unto edifying” (1 Corinthians 14:26), as in general “all things” are to be done “for . . . edifying” (2 Corinthians 12:19). Individual saints must “edify . . . one . . . another” (Romans 14:19), and “please” each other “for . . . good to edification” (Romans 15:2). Even the ability to lead in corporate prayer must be used for edification (1 Corinthians 14:15-17). Saints also build each other up as they use their spiritual liberties (1 Corinthians 8:2-13) with charity (1 Corinthians 8:1), while by the misuse of liberty they can uncharitably (Romans 14:15) tear down weaker brothers, that is, build them up in sin (1 Corinthians 8:10). Believers must, therefore, avoid even what is lawful if it will be unprofitable (1 Corinthians 6:12) and lead others to stumble instead of being built up (1 Corinthians 10:23). Individual believers must not rebuild the sin and spiritual bondage that was torn down at the moment of their regeneration (Galatians 2:18), but must seek their own and others edification in all that they do. They must keep themselves in the love of God by praying in the Holy Ghost and building themselves up on their most holy faith (Jude 20-21). Likewise, believers are not to heed false doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3) or “give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions,” but rather to consider “godly edifying which is in faith” (1 Timothy 1:4). Godly speech is “good to the use of edifying” as it is the instrument through which God gives grace to those who hear it (Ephesians 4:29). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit build up the saints individually and corporately through the power of sanctifying grace given instrumentally through the Word and other believers in the church.

4.) Vivification as Strengthening

Vivification is often expressed with Scriptural words designating strengthening.[14] Building to spiritual truth from instances where this group of words is employed in the physical world (e. g., Acts 3:7, 16; 16:5; Hebrews 5:12, 14; 1 Peter 5:9), strengthening texts illuminate important aspects of the work of God in sanctifying His people.

Progressive sanctification strengthens or establishes a believer’s heart and soul (Acts 14:22) unblameable in holiness before God the Father, a process only completed at the coming of Christ (1 Thessalonians 3:13). God progressively perfects, establishes, strengthens, and settles believers until they become perfectly holy in eternal glory (1 Peter 5:10). As the Triune God, and especially the incarnate Son, strengthens believers (cf. Ephesians 6:10; Philippians 4:13;[15] 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:7) according to His glorious power[16] and grace (2 Timothy 2:1), Christians are filled with spiritual knowledge and understanding as well as holy attitudes and actions (Colossians 1:9-12). They grow stronger in their knowledge of and ability to rightly teach the Word (Acts 9:22), grow stronger in faith (Romans 4:20), and grow in their ability to fight and win spiritual victories (2 Timothy 4:17; Hebrews 11:34). Believers are not only strengthened individually, but churches, assemblies of the saints, are likewise corporately strengthened (Acts 15:41; 16:5). Strengthening leads the saints to hold fast to the Word and to practice “every good word and work” (1 Thessalonians 2:15-17) as God keeps them from evil (1 Thessalonians 3:3) and the error of the wicked (2 Peter 3:17) and they are established in the truth (2 Peter 1:12). When the “heart [is] established [or strengthened] with grace,” the saint is not “carried about with divers and strange doctrines” (Hebrews 13:9). As believers are strengthened or established, they become unmoved by trials and temptations (1 Thessalonians 3:2-5) as they stand fast in the Lord (1 Thessalonians 3:8) and in the faith (Acts 14:22; 16:5), as their faith grows stedfast (Colossians 2:5) firm (1 Peter 5:9; cf. 2 Timothy 2:19; Hebrews 5:12, 14), and established (Colossians 2:7). Spiritual strengthening leads believers to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 16:5). Believers strengthen one another as they themselves are strengthened by Christ (Luke 22:32). They are strengthened through spiritual gifts and the faith of other saints (Romans 1:11-12). As God strengthens believers through the gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:25; Acts 15:32), so likewise spiritual leaders strengthen and establish other believers (1 Thessalonians 3:2-3; Acts 18:23) through the instrumentality of the Word. God continues to strengthen, establish or confirm believers to the end, evidencing their eternal security and the certainty of their sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 1:21).

In contrast, believers and churches that backslide grow weaker, and are called upon to be “watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die” (Revelation 3:2). Terms for spiritual weakening[17] or sickness are derived from terms for physical weakness or sickness (Matthew 8:17; Mark 6:56; John 6:2; 1 Timothy 5:23) in a manner that corresponds to the relationship between physical and spiritual strengthening. Spiritual weakness leads the believer to quickly fold under pressure from sin, while the stronger a Christian is the greater ability he has to withstand fiercer assaults by the world, the flesh, and the devil; weakness is opposed to strength or to power (Hebrews 11:34; 1 Corinthians 15:43; 2 Corinthians 13:4). While a believer is either growing spiritually stronger or weaker, so an all-or-nothing element is present in sanctification, both spiritual strength and weakness, like physical strength and weakness, have degrees.[18] Greater spiritual weakness is associated with greater spiritual inability to perform spiritual good, as the unregenerate are absolutely spiritually weak because of their total inability to please God (Romans 5:6), and physical weakness creates physical inability (Luke 13:11; John 5:3, 7; Acts 4:9; 3:1-8).[19] Believers can become weak in general (Romans 14:21), grow weak in faith (Romans 4:19; 14:1-2), and have a weak conscience (1 Corinthians 8:7, 12), that is, one that does not have the strength to withstand strong temptations (1 Corinthians 8:10). Stronger Christians and spiritual leaders are commanded to “support the weak” (Acts 20:35; 1 Thessalonians 5:14) because of their lack of spiritual strength. The strong must use spiritual liberty in such a way that the weak are not led to stumble (Romans 14:21; 1 Corinthians 8:9-13; 9:22). Paul commands: “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.” (Romans 15:1-2).

Indeed, all believers short of heaven possess sinful “infirmities” (Romans 8:26; Hebrews 5:2, 7:27-28) that Christ their High Priest sympathizes with (Hebrews 4:15) and the Holy Spirit assists them to overcome (Romans 8:26). Despite the willingness and eagerness to obey of his renewed spirit, the believer must constantly watch and pray, because his flesh, his indwelling sin, is weak and ready to lead him into temptation (Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38). As physical infirmity in the flesh hinders physical ability (Galatians 4:13), so does the spiritual infirmity of the flesh (Romans 6:19) hinder the believer’s spiritual progress. Christians must recognize that apart from the grace and power given to them by God, they are spiritually weak; spiritual strength requires recognizing one’s autonomous weakness and walking in the Spirit’s power instead (2 Corinthians 11:30; 12:5, 9, 10; cf. Romans 8:3-4). As God strengthens them (1 Peter 5:10) and they strengthen what God has worked in them (Revelation 3:2), believers pass from weakness to ever greater degrees of strength, and grow in their ability to obey the Divine mandate to strengthen their brethren (Luke 22:32).

5.) Vivification as Transformation

The progressive restoration of the image of Christ that constitutes vivification in this life and which is consummated in glorification is powerfully set forth in the New Testament language of spiritual transformation with the morphoo (morfo/w) word group.[20] The verb morphoo[21] appears only in Galatians 4:19, where the word sets forth the progressive sanctification that takes place as “Christ [is] formed in” the believer (Galatians 4:19).[22] The related noun morphe (morfh/)[23] indicates that through the process of Galatians 4:19 God works in the regenerate a true likeness to Christ. The word appears in three verses in the New Testament. Mark 16:12[24] refers to the “form” of the resurrected and glorified body in which the Lord Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Philippians 2:6-7[25] teaches that Christ took the “form of a servant” in the incarnation, thus specifying His true humanity in the same way that His Deity is indicated by His existing (uJpa¿rcwn) in the “form of God” from all eternity. The Divine work of forming Christ in the believer thus involves the progressive transformation of his entire person into the likeness of the glorified Son of Man. Such transformation is certain for the believer, since God has “predestinate[d] [him] to be conformed [summorphos, su/mmorfoß][26] to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). The believer becomes conformed to the holiness of Christ in his life as he is “being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10)[27] through physically suffering persecution and spiritually mortifying sin,[28] and is both morally and bodily conformed to Christ eschatologically (Philippians 3:21).[29]

The Greek verb metamorphoo (metamorfo/w) provides further glorious truth about the nature of the progressive sanctification. The verb is used twice for the transfiguration of Christ (Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2) and twice for the spiritual transformation of the believer in sanctification (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18).[30] Romans 12:2 commands, “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (mh\ suschmati÷zesqe twˆ◊ ai˙w◊ni tou/twˆ, aÓlla» metamorfouvsqe thØv aÓnakainw¿sei touv noo\ß uJmw◊n).[31] 2 Corinthians 3:18 states, “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (hJmei√ß . . . pa¿nteß, aÓnakekalumme÷nwˆ prosw¿pwˆ th\n do/xan Kuri÷ou katoptrizo/menoi, th\n aujth/n ei˙ko/na metamorfou/meqa aÓpo\ do/xhß ei˙ß do/xan, kaqa¿per aÓpo\ Kuri÷ou Pneu/matoß). All believers (“we all,” 2 Corinthians 3:18), are progressively transformed into the image of Christ by the Holy Spirit.[32] They pass “from glory to glory” in this life, becoming more like Christ as the old in them is eliminated and the new grows stronger and stronger, until the transformation is complete when they are “like him . . . [and] see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). As they behold and meditate upon the glory of God revealed in the mirror of the Word[33] their nature is transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. The renewal (anakainosis, aÓnakai÷nwsiß) begun by the Spirit in regeneration (Titus 3:5) is carried on by Him in believers now (Romans 12:2) until it is perfected in eternal glory. The inward transformation wrought by the Holy Spirit results in a believer being different and therefore acting differently.[34]

6.) Vivification as Perfecting

The katardizo word group[35] is used in connection with God’s vivifying work in “perfecting” His people. In Hebrews 13:20-21, Paul writes: “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” The text indicates that God, by “working in” believers “that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ” and “through the blood of the everlasting covenant,” in such a manner “make[s] [them] perfect”[36] with the Divine purpose and result[37] that believers “do His will” and do “every good work.” Similarly, Paul tells the Corinthians, “this also we wish, even your perfection” (2 Corinthians 13:9)[38] and exhorts: “Be perfect” (2 Corinthians 13:11).[39] Christ gives the church pastors and teachers “for the perfecting of the saints” (Ephesians 4:12).[40] The “perfection” in view is the restoration of Christlikeness in the believer which results in obedience. Progressive sanctification begins the process, completed only in glorification, whereby although “the disciple is not above his master,” nonetheless “every one that is perfect shall be as his master” (Luke 6:40).[41] A believer who is “overtaken in a fault” must be “restore[d]” (katartidzo) from his status of being buffeted and led into sin (Galatians 6:1).[42] Peter’s prayer that God would “make . . . perfect” his audience is explained as the saints being established, strengthened, and settled (1 Peter 5:10).[43] On the other hand, the death-grip of sin upon the unconverted makes them into “vessels of wrath fitted [katartidzo] to destruction” (Romans 9:22).[44] In contexts not closely related to progressive sanctification, the verb katartidzo is used for nets being mended (Matthew 4:21; Mark 1:19), for praise being perfected (Matthew 21:16), and for Christ’s body (Hebrews 10:5) and the universe (Hebrews 11:3) being framed and perfectly fitted together. As believers are perfected in their persons, “that which is lacking in [their] faith” is likewise “perfect[ed]” (1 Thessalonians 3:10). Similarly, saints in the church are brought into unity, becoming “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” with “no divisions” among them (1 Corinthians 1:10).

As a saint is perfected (katartismos, Ephesians 4:12), he grows towards becoming a “perfect (teleios) man,” having “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). The teleios word-group[45] provides important data about the work of God in “perfecting” the saints. Trench[46] provides helpful information on the significance of teleios as “perfect,” as specifically compared to “perfection” as holokleros and artios:

ÔOlo/klhroß and te÷leioß occur together, though their order is reversed, at Jam. i. 4, —“perfect and entire” (cf. Philo, De Sac. Ab. e Cain. 33: e¶mplea kai« oJlo/klhra kai«te÷leia: Dio Chrysostom, Oral. 12, p. 203); e¶mplea kai« oJlo/klhra kai« te÷leia: besides in the N. T. (1 Thess. v. 23); oJlo/klhri÷a, also, but in a physical or an ethical sense, once (Acts iii. 16; cf. Isai. i. 6). ÔOlo/klhroß signifies first, as its etymology declares, that which retains all which was allotted to it at the first (Ezek xv. 5), being thus whole and entire in all its parts (oJlo/klhroß kai« pantelh/ß, Philo, De Mere. Meret. 1); with nothing necessary for its completeness wanting. Thus Darius would have been well pleased not to have taken Babylon if only Zopyrus, who had maimed himself to carry out the stratagem by which it fell, were oJlo/klhroß still (Plutarch, Reg. et Imper. Apoph.). Again, unhewn stones, as having lost nothing in the process of shaping and polishing, are oJlo/klhroi (Dent. xxvii. 6; 1Macc. iv. 47); perfect weeks are e˚bdoma¿deß oJlo/klhroi (Lev. xxiii. 15); and a man e˙n oJloklh/rwˆ de÷rmati, is ‘in a whole skin’ (Lucian, Philops. 8). We next find oJlo/klhroß expressing that integrity of body, with nothing redundant, nothing deficient (cf. Lev. xxi. 17-23), which was required of the Levitical priests as a condition of their ministering at the altar, which also might not be wanting in the sacrifices they offered. In both these senses Josephus uses it (Ant. iii. 12:2); as does Philo continually. It is with him the standing word for this integrity of the priests and of the sacrifice, to the necessity of which he often recurs, seeing in it, and rightly, a mystical significance, and that these are oJlo/klhroi qusi÷ai oJloklh/rwˆ qewˆ◊ (De Vict. 2; De Vict. Off. I, oJlo/klhron kai« pantelw◊ß me÷mwn aÓme÷tocon: De Agricul. 29; De Cherub. 28; cf. Plato, Legg. vi. 759 c). Te÷leiß is used by Homer (Il. 1. 66) in the same sense.

It is not long before oJlo/klhroß and oJloklhri÷a, like the Latin ‘integer’ and ‘integritas,’ are transferred from bodily to mental and moral entireness (Suetonius, Claud. 4). The only approach to this in the Apocrypha is Wisd. xv. 3, oJlo/klhra dikaiosu/nh: but in an interesting and important passage in the Phaedrus of Plato (250 c; cf. Tim. c), oJlo/klhroß expresses the perfection of man before the Fall; I mean, of course, the Fall as Plato contemplated it; when to men, as yet oJlo/klhroi kai« aÓpaqei√ß kakw◊n, were vouchsafed oJlo/klhroß fa¿smata, as contrasted with those weak partial glimpses of the Eternal Beauty, which are all that to most men are now vouchsafed. That person then or thing is oJlo/klhroß, which is ‘omnibus numeris absolutus,’ or e˙n mhdeni« leipo/menoß, as St. James himself (i.4) explains the word.

The various applications of te÷leioß are all referable to the te÷loß, which is its ground. In a natural sense the te÷leioi are the adult, who, having attained the full limits of stature, strength, and mental power within their reach, have in these respects attained their te÷loß, as distinguished from the ne÷oi or pai√deß, young men or boys (Plato, Legg. xi.929 c; Xenophon, Cyr. viii. 7. 6; Polybius, v. 29. 2). This image of full completed growth, as contrasted with infancy and childhood, underlies the ethical use of te÷leioi by St. Paul, he setting these over against the nh/pioi e˙n Cristwˆ◊ (1 Cor. ii. 6; xiv. 20; Ephes. iv. 13, 14; Phil. iii. 15; Heb. v. 14; cf. Philo, De Agricul. 2); they correspond in fact to the pate÷reß of 1 John ii. 13, 14, as distinct from the neani÷skoi and paidi÷a. Nor is this ethical use of te÷leioß confined to Scripture. The Stoics distinguished the te÷leioß in philosophy from the proko/ptwn, just as at 1 Chron. xxv. 8 the te÷leioi are set over against the manqa¿nonteß. With the heathen, those also were te÷leioi who had been initiated into the mysteries; for just as the Lord’s Supper was called to\ te÷leion (Bingham, Christ. Antiquities, i. 4. 3), because there was nothing beyond it, no privilege into which the Christian has not entered, so these te÷leioi of heathen initiation obtained their name as having been now introduced into the latest and crowning mysteries of all.

It will be seen that there is a certain ambiguity in our word ‘perfect,’ which, indeed, it shares with te÷leioß itself; this, namely, that they are both employed now in a relative, now in an absolute sense; for only so could our Lord have said, “Be ye therefore perfect (te÷leioi), as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (te÷leioß), Matt. v. 48; cf. xix. 21. The Christian shall be ‘perfect,’ yet not in the sense in which some of the sects preach the doctrine of perfection, who, as soon as their words are looked into, are found either to mean nothing which they could not have expressed by a word less liable to misunderstanding; or to mean something which no man in this life shall attain, and which he who affirms he has attained is deceiving himself, or others, or both. The faithful man shall be ‘perfect,’ that is, aiming by the grace of God to be fully furnished and firmly established in the knowledge and practice of the things of God (Jam. iii. 2; Col. iv. 12: te÷leioß kai« peplhroforhme÷noß); not a babe in Christ to the end, ‘not always employed in the elements, and infant proposition and practices of religion, but doing noble actions, well skilled in the deepest mysteries of faith and holiness.’[47] In this sense St. Paul claimed to be te÷leioß, even while almost in the same breath he disclaimed the being teteleiwme÷noß (Phil. iii. 12, 15).

The distinction then is plain. The oJlo/klhroß is one who has preserved, or who, having once lost, as now regained, his completeness: the te÷leioß is one who has attained his moral end, that for which he was intended, namely, to be a man in Christ; however it may be true that, having reached this, other and higher ends will open out before him, to have Christ formed in him more and more.[48] In the oJlo/klhroß no grace which ought to be in a Christian man is deficient; in the te÷leioß no grace is merely in its weak imperfect beginnings, but all have reached a certain ripeness and maturity. ÔOlotelh/ß, occurring once in the N. T. (1 Thess. v. 23; cf. Plutarch, De Plac. Phil. v. 21), forms a connecting link between the two, holding on to oJlo/klhroß in its first half, to te÷leioß in it second.

⁄Artioß, occurring only once in the N. T. (2 Tim. iii. 17), and there presently explained more fully as e˙xhrtisme÷noß, approximates in meaning more closely to oJlo/klhroß, with which we find it joined by Philo (De Plant. 29), than to te÷leioß. It is explained by Calvin, ‘in quo nihil est mutilum,’ —see further the quotation from Theodoret in Suicer, s.v., —and is found opposed to cwlo/ß (Chrysostom), to kolobo/ß (Olympiodorus), to aÓna¿phroß (Theodoret). Vulcan in Lucian (Sacrif. 6) is oujk a‡rtioß tw» po/de. If we ask ourselves under what special aspects completeness is contemplated in a‡rtioß, it would be safe to answer that it is not as the presence only of all the parts which are necessary for that completeness, but involves further the adaptation and aptitude of these parts for the ends which they were designed to serve. The man of God, St. Paul would say (2Tim. iii. 17), should be furnished and accomplished with all which is necessary for the carrying out of the work to which he is appointed.

The conclusions of Trench are validated by an examination of the specific words in the teleios group.

The verb teleioo (teleio/w)[49] is employed in Christ’s High Priestly prayer for Christ being perfectly formed within the believer (John 17:23, e˙gw» e˙n aujtoi√ß, kai« su\ e˙n e˙moi÷, iºna w°si teteleiwme÷noi ei˙ß eºn). Christ indwells the saint at the moment of his conversion and regeneration, and through progressive sanctification the “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27) relation develops and deepens until the moral image of God is fully restored in the believer’s complete Christlikeness at glorification (John 17:17-24). On the basis of Christ’s High Priestly mediation, the Father sanctifies believers through the Word and the Spirit (John 16:13; 17:17) and Christ declares to them the name of the Father, that is, reveals to them His Person and nature (John 17:26) resulting in a deepening unity[50]of the believer with, likeness to, and love for his Triune Sanctifier,[51] which brings with it a greater unity of the saint with and love for all the rest of those the Father has chosen out of the world and given to His beloved Son from the foundation of the world (John 17:21-23). This progressive perfection of the elect on earth in love and holiness manifests to the world that Jesus Christ is the truth (17:21-23). The perfecting of the believer on the basis of Christ’s revelation of the Father to him (17:26) by the Word and Spirit, which begins at regeneration and continues throughout the saint’s time on earth, is completed when all the positionally and practically sanctified are with Christ in the eternal state and behold His glory (17:24). Therefore Paul affirmed that he was not yet perfect as he would be when he saw Christ in glory (Philippians 3:12, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect,” oujc o¢ti h¡dh e¶labon, h£ h¡dh tetelei÷wmai). Nonetheless, he was no longer a baby Christian, but was spiritually mature and already “perfect” (teleios, te÷leioß, Philippians 3:15) in that sense. Christ in the gospel perfects (teleioo, teleio/w) His people in a way the Law was powerless to do in the Old Testament (Hebrews 7:19). By His one offering He positionally perfects His people forever (Hebrews 10:14; cf. 10:1), He perfects them in their conscience during their lifetime (Hebrews 9:9), and He presents them to Himself absolutely perfect in the New Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:23; cf. also 11:40). Also, the faith and love of believers is perfected as they produce obedience (James 2:22; 1 John 2:5), Christlikeness and fearless separation from the world (1 John 4:17-18) and love for the brethren (1 John 4:12). The verb teleioo sets forth these glorious truths concerning the believer’s current and coming “perfection.”

The adjective teleios (te÷leioß)[52] is used for the absolutely perfect holiness of God Himself (Matthew 5:48b), which He requires of all men in His law (Matthew 5:48a; cf. 19:21), and which is completely legally imputed to the believer in justification (Matthew 6:33) but not completely inwardly imparted until glorification. It is likewise used for the absolute perfection of God’s will (Romans 12:2) and gifts (James 1:17), of the inspired text of (James 1:25) and complete canon of Scripture (1 Corinthians 13:10),[53] and of the believer in glory whose complete Christlikeness is the completion of his progressive sanctification (Ephesians 4:13; Colossians 1:28; 4:12; James 3:2). The word is also used for the relative perfection of Christian maturity, specifically contrasting an immature Christian understanding with a mature, adult Christian understanding (1 Corinthians 14:20). Some Christians are “perfect” (teleios) in this sense, while others are not (Philippians 3:15; 1 Corinthians 2:6; Colossians 4:12). Christians who are teleioi “are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). A new born infant (cf. 1 Peter 2:2) has a soul and a body, and all its human members, but he is still far from bodily maturity; likewise the regenerate have been made new in their entire being, but are not yet perfect in the degree of their holiness. Through trials, Christians become “perfect [teleios] and entire, wanting nothing” as they allow “patience [to have] her perfect [teleios] work” (James 3:1). Since this perfection can be relative, it is not surprising that a comparative form of the adjective teleios, “more perfect” (Hebrews 9:14),[54] is found in the New Testament. Believers have already “received” the truth about how they “ought to walk and to please God,” and consequently they are to “abound more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:1). Furthermore, since the absolute sinlessness of glorification is the culmination of the inward renewal already taking place in the believer on earth, numbers of texts contain within them the transition of teleios from the believer’s current relative and maturing perfection to his coming absolute perfection (cf. Ephesians 4:13; Colossians 1:28; 4:12; James 3:2; 1 John 4:18).

The teleios word group demonstrates that Christians can attain a relative perfection of mature growth during this life and a complete perfection of sinless Christlikeness in glory. With that absolute perfection as their goal, they are to strive, by God’s grace, to reach as closely as possible on earth to that full and perfect perfection they will all attain when they enter the presence of their Lord.

Several less common words closely connected to the teleios group deserve examination. As explained above by Trench, the Christian is holokleros (oJlo/klhroß)[55] who is complete in all his parts, with nothing missing. The idea of completeness in all parts is supported by the related noun holokleria (oJlo/klhri÷a), a hapax legomenon found only in Acts 3:16[56] and referring to the complete bodily wholeness of the man who had been lame from birth but was healed by Peter. When believers “let patience have her perfect [teleios] work,” they become “perfect [teleios] and entire [holokleros], wanting nothing” (James 1:4). Because of the faithfulness of God, every Christian is being sanctified in his entire (holokleros) being, spirit and soul and body: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole [holokleros] spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless[57] unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).[58] No part of the Christian is left unchanged by the renewal, the vivification, of progressive sanctification, although no part of the Christian attains absolute perfection in this life.[59] Trench likewise noted that the word holoteles (oJlotelh/ß), a New Testament hapax legomenon found in 1 Thessalonians 5:23a (“sanctify you wholly”), “forms a connecting link between the two [words holokleros and teleios], holding on to [the former] in its first half, to [the latter] in it second.” Progressive sanctification affects all parts of the believer, leaving nothing missing—it is holokleros. It grows toward the end or goal (telos, te÷loß) of a relative perfection (teleios) in this life and to absolute perfection (teleios) in the life to come. Finally, Trench’s analysis of artios (a‡rtioß),[60] the word perfect in 2 Timothy 3:17,[61] is accurate and well-stated. The verse explains the perfection in question as being “throughly furnished” or completely equipped (e˙xarti÷zw)[62] “unto all good works.” As Trench affirms, the man of God is artios, “perfect,” when he has “not . . . the presence only of all the parts which are necessary for that completeness, but . . . [also the] adaptation and aptitude of these parts for the ends which they were designed to serve. The man of God, St. Paul would say (2Tim. iii. 17), [is artios when he is] furnished and accomplished with all which is necessary for the carrying out of the work to which he is appointed.”

The vivification of the believer appears in the words employed in the New Testament for the Christian’s progress toward perfection. The katardizo word group demonstrates that God perfects believers in their nature as He restores Christlikeness in them, resulting in their greater love, faith, and obedience. Their persons become more like Christ’s sinless humanity, and their actions become more like His perfectly holy actions. Similarly, the teleios word group illuminates the developing relative perfection of the believer as he grows more and more spiritually mature, until at length his relative perfection passes into the absolute perfection of the future glorified state. The Christian is spiritually renewed, vivified, and perfected as he communes with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as they are revealed to him through the Word of God and by the Spirit of God. He is sanctified in every part of his being (holokleros), grows toward being perfectly equipped (artios) to practice all good works, and progresses toward being wholly sanctified (holoteles). God makes the believer gradually “more perfect” as He leads him toward the holy end (telos) of the greatest possible earthly perfection and Christian maturity, and His faithfulness makes certain the believer’s attainment of the absolute perfection of the world to come.

7.) Vivification as Renewal Sourced in Regeneration


Titus 3:4-7 indicates that salvation involves both the washing of regeneration (paliggenesi÷a) and the renewal (aÓnakai÷nwsiß)[63] of the Holy Ghost. The noun renewal appears, outside of Titus 3:5, only in Romans 12:2, where spiritual transformation[64] takes place by means of[65] “the renewing of [the saint’s] mind,” both for the purpose of and with the result that[66] the believer “may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The related verb for renewal, aÓnakaino/w,[67]appears in 2 Corinthians 4:16[68] and Colossians 3:10.[69] These texts indicate that God, the Creator of the new[70] spiritual principle within the believer[71] and Author and Source of all spiritual growth, progressively and daily renews the believer’s inward man[72] into His image.[73] Scripture emphasizes the mind (nouvß, Romans 12:2) and knowledge (e˙pi÷gnwsiß, Colossians 3:10) in the believer’s renewal. Thus, the command “be renewed [aÓnaneouvsqai][74] in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23)[75] closely parallels Romans 12:2’s “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” God progressively renews[76] the believer’s mind[77] in association with the old man being put off and the new being put on (Ephesians 4:22-24). While regeneration is the work of an instant, renewal begins with regeneration (Titus 3:5; Hebrews 6:6[78]) but continues throughout life until it is completed at glorification.[79]

B. B. Warfield comments helpfully on the nature of Biblical renewal:

The terms “renew,” “renewing,” are not of frequent occurrence in our English Bible. In the New Testament they do not occur at all in the Gospels, but only in the Epistles [of Paul], where they stand, respectively, for the Greek terms aÓnakaino/w (2 Corinthians 4:16; Colossians 3:10) with its cognates, aÓnakaini÷zw (Hebrews 6:6) and aÓnaneo/omai (Ephesians 4:23), and aÓnakai÷nwsiß (Romans 12:2; Titus 3:5). . . . [A] definite theological conception is embodied in these terms. This conception is that salvation in Christ involves a radical and complete transformation wrought in the soul (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23) by God the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 4:24), by virtue of which we become “new men” (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10), no longer conformed to this world (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9), but in knowledge and holiness of the truth created after the image of God (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; Romans 12:2). The conception, it will be seen, is a wide one, inclusive of all that is comprehended in what we now technically speak of as regeneration, renovation and sanctification. It embraces, in fact, the entire subjective side of salvation, which it represents as a work of God, issuing in a wholly new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:10). . . .

[W]e observe two groups of terms standing over against one another, describing, respectively, from the manward and from the Godward side, the great change experienced by him who is translated from the power of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of God’s love (Colossians 1:13). And within the limits of each of these groups, we observe also certain distinctions in the usage of the several terms which make it up. In the one group are such terms as metanoei√n with its substantive meta¿noia, and its cognate metame÷lesqai, and e˙pistre÷fein and its substantive e˙pistrofh/. These tell us what part man takes in the change. The other group includes such terms as gennhqhvnai a‡nwqen or ejk touv qeouv or ejk touv pneu/matoß, palingenesi/a, ajnagennavn, ajpokueivsqai, ananeouvsqai, ajnakainouvsqai, ajnakai/nwsiß. These tell what part God takes in the change. Man repents, makes amendment, and turns to God. But it is by God that men are renewed, brought forth, born again into newness of life. The transformation which to human vision manifests itself as a change of life (e˙pistrofh/) resting upon a radical change of mind (meta¿noia), to Him who searches the heart and understands all the movements of the human soul is known to be a creation (kti/zein) of God, beginning in a new birth from the Spirit (gennhqhvnai a‡nwqen e˙k touv Pneu/matoß) and issuing in a new divine product (poi÷hma), created in Christ Jesus, into good works prepared by God beforehand that they may be walked in (Ephesians 2:10).

There is certainly synergism here; but it is a synergism of such character that not only is the initiative taken by God (for “all things are of God,” 2 Corinthians 5:18, cf. Hebrews 6:6), but the Divine action is in the exceeding greatness of God’s power, according to the working of the strength of His might which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead (Ephesians 1:19). The “new man” which is the result of this change is therefore one who can be described no otherwise than as “created” ktisqe÷nta) in righteousness and holiness of truth (Ephesians 4:24), after the image of God significantly described as “He who created him” (touv kti÷santoß aujto/n, Colossians 3:10), — that is not He who made him a man, but He who has made him by an equally creative efflux of power this new man which he has become. The exhortation that we shall “put on” this new man (Ephesians 4:24; cf. 3:9, 10), therefore does not imply that either the initiation or the completion of the process by which the “new creation” (kainh\ kti÷siß; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15) is wrought lies in our own power; but only urges us to that diligent cooperation with God in the work of our salvation, to which He calls us in all departments of life (1 Corinthians 3:9), and the classical expression of which in this particular department is found in the great exhortation of Philippians 2:12, 13 where we are encouraged to work out our own salvation thoroughly to the end, with fear and trembling, on the express ground that it is God who works in us both the willing and doing for His good pleasure. The express inclusion of “renewal” in the exhortation (Ephesians 4:23 aÓnaneouvsqai; Romans 12: metamorfouvsqe thØv aÓnakainw¿sei) is indication enough that this “renewal” is a process wide enough to include in itself the whole synergistic “working out” of salvation (katerga¿zesqe, Philippians 2:12). But it has no tendency to throw doubt upon the underlying fact that this “working out” is both set in motion (to\ qe÷lein) and given effect (to\ e˙nergei√n), only by the energizing of God (oJ e˙nergw◊n e˙n uJmi√n), so that all (ta» pa¿nta) is from God (e˙k touv Qeouv, 2 Corinthians 5:18). . . . [T]he essence of the New Testament representation certainly is that the renewal which is wrought upon him who is by faith in Christ, is the work of the Spirit of Christ, who dwells within His children as a power not themselves making for righteousness, and gradually but surely transforms after the image of God, not the stream of their activities merely, but themselves in the very centre of their being. . . . [S]alvation consists in its substance of a radical subjective change wrought by the Holy Spirit, by virtue of which the native tendencies to evil are progressively eradicated and holy dispositions are implanted, nourished and perfected.[80]

As believers’ minds and persons are renewed by the Spirit through the Word, they become more Christlike and more separate from sin in their natures, actions, and attitudes, the moral image of God being restored in them.[81]

As already indicated, renewal begins with the Divine work of regeneration (paliggenesi÷a, Titus 3:5). Regeneration, the instantaneous impartation of spiritual life and a new nature, is also described as being “born again” or “born from above” (gennhqhvnai a‡nwqen,[82] John 3:3),[83] begotten by God’s will (boulhqei«ß aÓpokeivsqai,[84] James 1:18)[85] and born or begotten again (aÓnagennavn,[86] 1 Peter 1:3, 23). The Holy Spirit imparts the new birth through the instrumentality of both “the word of God” (1 Peter 1:23)[87] which is “the word of truth” (James 1:18) and the sinner’s faith in Christ (John 3:3, 14-18), itself a product of the Spirit and the Word (1 Peter 1:22-23; Romans 10:17). Matthew 19:28,[88] the only text other than Titus 3:5 which employs the word regeneration, provides striking illumination on the nature of the new birth.[89] The cosmic regeneration spoken of by the Lord in Matthew 19 parallels the individual regeneration under consideration in Titus 3:5.[90] In individual regeneration, as in the Millennial earth, a radical difference takes place that mightily alters previous conditions. Satan is the ruler of this present world-system (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the unregenerate individual (Ephesians 2:1-3), but Christ will rule the Millennial earth and He currently rules both the individual regenerate man and the corporate body of the saints, the church. Nevertheless, neither in the saint, the church on earth, or the Millennial kingdom is sin absolutely and finally abolished—the final complete victory for the individual does not take place until his glorification, and the final victory over sin in the universe does not take place until the eternal state, the cosmic parallel to individual glorification.[91] Sin is not yet absolutely abolished in either individual or cosmic regeneration, but the shattered dominion of evil and predominant rule of Christ in the regenerate individual and earth are a foretaste and harbinger of certain ultimate victory in both spheres. Matthew 19:28 further demonstrates that cosmic regeneration transforms the entire creation—no portion of the universe is exempt from the radically different conditions (Isaiah 11; 65:20-25, etc.) that will exist during Christ’s thousand-year reign. So individual regeneration affects the entire person, spirit, soul, and body.[92] Nevertheless, the entire Millennial cosmos, although changed in all its parts, still evidences the existence and deleterious affects of sin in every portion; so no part of the regenerate individual is yet entirely free from sin.[93] Furthermore, entrance into both the personally regenerate state and the coming Millennial state is based upon union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 19:28 illustrates the truth that individual regeneration is an instanteous and supernatural work that makes a man new in all parts, although not completely new in any part; it is the impartation of a new nature that grows and develops through the renewal of progressive sanctification until God eradicates the final remnants of indwelling sin at glorification.[94]

The cosmic parallel to the process beginning at regeneration whereby God makes the individual believer holy is explicitly extended through glorification in Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22, where God indicates that His creation of new heavens and a new earth takes place in connection with the Millennium,[95] while 2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1 (cf. Revelation 20:11; 21:5) identify the new heaven and new earth as the ultimate consummation of the eternal state, after the thousand-year reign of Christ. The Millennial kingdom is a new cosmos, a new heaven and earth—it is new in all its parts, but not new to the uttermost extent—total newness and absolute freedom from sin awaits the eternal state.

Trench commented with insight on the distinction between regeneration (paliggenesi÷a) and renewal (aÓnakai÷nwsiß):

[F]irst[,] it is worth observing that while the word paliggenesi÷a is drawn from the realm of nature, aÓnakai÷nwsiß derives from that of art. A word peculiar to the Greek of the N. T., it occurs there only twice—once in connexion with paliggenesi÷a (Tit. iii. 5), and again at Rom. xii. 2; but we have the verb aÓnakaino/w, which also is exclusively a N. T. form, at 2 Cor. iv. 16; Col. iii. 10; and the more classical aÓnakaini÷zw, Heb. vi. 6, from which the nouns, frequent in the Greek [theologians], aÓnakainismo/ß and aÓnakai÷nisiß are more immediately drawn; we have also aÓnaneo/w at Ephes. iv. 23; all in similar uses. . . . Our Collect . . . expresses excellently well the relation in which the paliggenesi÷a and the aÓnakai÷nwsiß stand to each other; we there pray, ‘that we being regenerate,’ in other words, having been already made the subjects of the paliggenesi÷a, ‘may daily be renewed by the Holy Spirit,’ may continually know the aÓnakai÷nwsiß Pneu/matoß ÔAgi÷ou. In this Collect, uttering, as do so many, profound theological truth in forms at once the simplest and the most accurate, the new-birth is contemplated as already past, as having found place once for all, while the ‘renewal’ or ‘renovation’ is daily proceeding—being as it is that gradual restoration of the Divine image, which is ever going forward in him who, through the new-birth, has come under the transforming powers of the world to come. It is called ‘the renewal of the Holy Ghost,’ inasmuch as He is the efficient cause, by whom alone this putting on of the new man, and putting off the old, is brought about.

These two then are bound by closest ties to one another; the second the following up, the consequence, the consummation of the first. The paliggenesi÷a is that free act of God’s mercy and Power, whereby He causes the sinner to pass out of the kingdom of darkness into that of light, out of death into life; it is the a‡nwqen gennhqhvnai, of John iii. 3; the gennhqhvnai e˙k qeouv of 1 John v. 4; the qeogenesi÷a of Dionysius the Areopagite and other Greek theologians; the gennhqhvnai e˙k spora◊ß aÓfqa¿rtou of 1 Pet. i. 23; in it that glorious word begins to be fulfilled, i˙dou\ kaina»[pa¿nta poiw◊] (Rev. xxi. 5). In it—not in the preparations for it, but in the act itself—the subject of it is passive, even as the child has nothing to do with its own birth. With the aÓnakai÷nwsiß, it is otherwise. This is the gradual conforming of the man more and more to that new spiritual world into which he has been introduced, and in which he now lives and moves; the restoration of the Divine image; and in all this, so far from being passive, he must be a fellow-worker with God. That was ‘regeneratio,’ this is ‘renovatio;’ which two must not be separated, but as little may be confounded, as Gerhard (Locc. Theoll. xxi. 7. 113) has well declared: ‘Renovatio, licet a regeneratione proprie et specialiter accepta distinguatur, individuo tamen et perpetuo nexu cum ea est conjuncta.’ What infinite perplexities, conflicts, scandals, obscurations of God’s truth on this side and on that, have arisen now from the confusing, and now from the separating, of these two![96]

Commenting on the same distinction between regeneration and renewal, B. B. Warfield wrote:

[I]t seems tolerably clear that over against the broader “renewal” expressed by ajnakainouvsqai and its cognates . . . aÓnagennavn (1 Peter 1:23) and with it, its synonym aÓpokeivsqai (James 1:18) are of narrower connotation. We have, says Peter, in God’s great mercy been rebegotten, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by means of the Word of the living and abiding God. It is in accordance with His own determination, says James, that we have been brought forth by the Father of Lights, from whom every good gift and every perfect boon comes, by means of the Word of truth. We have here an effect, the efficient agent in working which is God in His unbounded mercy, while the instrument by means of which it is wrought is “the word of good-tidings which has been preached” to us, that is to say, briefly, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The issue is, equally briefly, just salvation. This salvation is characteristically described by Peter as awaiting its consummation in the future, while yet it is entered upon here and now not only [1 Peter 1:4ff.] as a “living hope” which shall not be put to shame (because it is reserved in heaven for us, and we meanwhile are guarded through faith for it by the power of God), but also in an accordant life of purity as children of obedience who would fain be like their Father and as He is holy be also ourselves holy in all manner of living. James intimates that those who have been thus brought forth by the will of God may justly be called “first fruits of His creatures,” where the reference assuredly is not to the first but to the second creation, that is to say, they who have already been brought forth by the word of truth are themselves the product of God’s creative energy and are the promise of the completed new creation when all that is shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:19sq., Matthew 19:28).

The new birth thus brought before us is related to the broader idea of “renewal” (ajnakai/nwsiß) as the initial stage to the whole process. . . . The notion of the new birth is confined even more closely still to its initial step in our Lord’s discourse to Nicodemus, recorded in the opening verses of the third chapter of John’s Gospel. Here the whole emphasis is thrown upon the necessity of the new birth and its provision by the Holy Spirit. No one can see the Kingdom of God unless he be born again; and this new birth is wrought by the Spirit. . . . The new birth appears to be brought before us in this discussion in the purity of its conception; and we are made to perceive that at the root of the whole process of “renewal” there lies an immediate act of God the Holy Spirit upon the soul by virtue of which it is that the renewed man bears the great name of son of God. Begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13), his new life will necessarily bear the lineaments of his new parentage (1 John 3:9, 10; 5:4, 18): kept by Him who was in an even higher sense still begotten of God, he overcomes the world by faith, defies the evil one (who cannot touch him), and manifests in his righteousness and love the heritage which is his (1 John 2:29, 4:7, 5:1). Undoubtedly the Spirit is active throughout the whole process of “renewal”; but it is doubtless the peculiarly immediate and radical nature of his operation at this initial point which gives to the product of His renewing activities its best right to be called a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15), a quickening (John 5:21; Ephesians 2:5), a making alive from the dead (Galatians 3:21). . . . At the basis of all there lies an enabling act from God, by virtue of which alone the spiritual activities of man are liberated for their work (Romans 6:22, 8:2). From that moment of the first divine contact the work of the Spirit never ceases: while man is changing his mind and reforming his life, it is ever God who is renewing him in true righteousness. . . . It is the entirety of this process, viewed as the work of God on the soul, which the Scriptures designate “renewal.”[97]

Spiritual renewal thus encompasses both the initial bestowal of a new nature by God in regeneration and the believer’s growth in Christlikeness and holiness through the mortification of indwelling sin and vivification of Divinely imparted new life. God progressively renews His people into the image of Christ throughout the entirety of their earthly Christian pilgrimage until their indwelling sin is finally utterly extirpated through their glorification.

To lost sinners:

1.) Have you been regenerated? Are you different the way the Millennial earth is different from this earth? When did it happen? This is what the new birth is—and without the new birth, you will never enter heaven.

2.) You must want to be different the way that the Millennial earth is different. You must want Jesus Christ to be your Lord, to have a new heart, to be holy. It is not enough that you don’t want hell. When you receive Christ, you are united to Him and get all that He is, and you must want this.

3.) You cannot just wait to be saved until whenever you want. GOD renews you unto repentance. You are saved when God permits, Hebrews 6:3. If you put off repentance and faith, you are in severe danger of being cast off forever by God and never being renewed unto repentance.

4.) Why will you cling to this fading world, instead of having all that we discussed in this message?

To saints:

1.) Ephesians 1:18-19: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

2.) Renewal, as regeneration, is a supernatural work of God. Do not think that you renew yourself, or take any glory to yourself in this work; ascribe it all to God.

3.) Expect God to renew you completely, body, soul, and spirit, as you cooperate with Him. Low views of what God does in you will hinder your sanctification. If you think God does not actually make you any more holy, but leaves you unchanged from the time you are saved until glory, you are not going to be renewed as you ought. Expect God to renew you and cooperate with Him by using the means of sanctification.

2.) Understand, treasure, and glory in the greatness of Jesus Christ, the One who brings all this to pass. See how all of the created universe, all redeemed humanity, this creation, the new creation, all, all centers in Him. How do you treat Jesus Christ? Are you brazen enough to not keep His commandments, but hold on to sin? Will you not love and serve this One, Jesus Christ?

3.) Has He brought you into union with Himself, bringing you into this glorious redemption that is centered in Him in such a great way? Will you not then fulfill His purposes for you?

4.) Will you choose this world and sin over Him? Will you choose to not further this work of renewal in you in the greatest possible way? Why will you choose dust that will perish over renewal by Jesus Christ?

[1]           “Sanctification . . . is carried forward by the influence of the Holy Spirit and of Christian truth upon the hearts of believers. . . . [John 17:17] ascribes the work of sanctification to God acting by his Spirit, but recognizes the Word of God as the element in which the work is to be accomplished. Accordingly believers are sanctified, not by the Spirit dwelling alone in the soul, and cleansing by his simple energy the susceptibilities and affections, regarded as the springs of moral life, but by the Spirit dwelling in the soul, and disposing it to seek and welcome the truth as it is in Jesus, by the Spirit revealing through the Word the things of Christ to the mind and heart. . . . “The words which I have spoken to you, they are spirit and are life.’ . . . [T]he work of the Spirit in sanctification . . . [involves] opening the heart to receive that truth, in helping it recall the part of that truth which is most needed at any given moment for the soul’s good, in moving it to plead with God for holy impulse to do his will, and in giving by direct action and the power of suggested truth that impulse to service” (pgs. 133-135, Doctrine of the Higher Christian Life Compared With the Teaching of the Holy Scriptures, Alvah Hovey).

[2]          Each of the references in Psalm 119 to the word quicken involve the verb hyj in the Piel with a singular suffix (“me”). Compare the uses of the Qal and Piel in 2 Kings 7:4 for physical life: “If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live [hY‰yVj`In …wn∞U¥yAj◊y_MIa]; and if they kill us, we shall but die.”

[3]           11 kai« aujto/ß e¶dwke tou\ß me«n aÓposto/louß, tou\ß de« profh/taß, tou\ß de« eujaggelista¿ß, tou\ß de« poime÷naß kai« didaska¿louß 12 pro\ß to\n katartismo\n tw◊n aJgi÷wn, ei˙ß e¶rgon diakoni÷aß, ei˙ß oi˙kodomh/n touv sw¿matoß touv Cristouv: 13 me÷cri katanth/swmen oi˚ pa¿nteß ei˙ß th\n e˚no/thta thvß pi÷stewß kai« thvß e˙pignw¿sewß touv ui˚ouv touv Qeouv, ei˙ß a‡ndra te÷leion, ei˙ß me÷tron hJliki÷aß touv plhrw¿matoß touv Cristouv: 14 iºna mhke÷ti w°men nh/pioi, kludwnizo/menoi kai« perifero/menoi panti« aÓne÷mwˆ thvß didaskali÷aß, e˙n thØv kubei÷aˆ tw◊n aÓnqrw¿pwn, e˙n panourgi÷aˆ, pro\ß th\n meqodei÷an thvß pla¿nhß: 15 aÓlhqeu/onteß de« e˙n aÓga¿phØ aujxh/swmen ei˙ß aujto\n ta» pa¿nta, o¢ß e˙stin hJ kefalh/, oJ Cristo/ß, 16 e˙x ou∞ pa◊n to\ sw◊ma sunarmologou/menon kai« sumbibazo/menon dia» pa¿shß aJfhvß thvß e˙picorhgi÷aß, kat∆ e˙ne÷rgeian e˙n me÷trwˆ e˚no\ß e˚ka¿stou me÷rouß, th\n au¡xhsin touv sw¿matoß poieitai ei˙ß oi˙kodomh/n e˚autouv e˙n aÓga¿phØ.

[4]          “All [the] loss [from the fall of Adam] is redemptively restored, and more than restored, in Christ, the true Image, in whom man’s full stature is achieved and his eternal destiny secured, and to whose image the redeemed are being progressively conformed until at last they are brought to ‘the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ,’ which is the perfection of their humanity (Ephesians 4:12f.; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Jude 24; 1 John 3:2-3; 1 Peter 5:10)” (pg. 113, The True Image, Philip E. Hughes).

[5]          The verb aujxa¿nw is used for physical growth in Matthew 6:28 (“lilies of the field . . . grow”); 13:31-32 (“a grain of mustard seed . . . when it is grown . . . it . . . becometh a tree”; Luke 1:80 (“the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit”); 2:40 (“the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”); 12:27 (“the lilies . . . grow”); 13:19 (“a grain of mustand seed . . . grew”). The verb is also used for population growth (“the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,” Acts 7:17), for the spread of the Word of God as people are converted, Christians grow, and new churches are established and built up (Acts 6:7; 12:24); in these ways “the word of God gr[ows] and multiplie[s]” (Acts 12:24), and for the increase in Christ’s ministry as John the Baptist’s preparatory work faded into the background in comparison (John 3:30).

[6]          1 Peter 2:2 reads, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (wJß aÓrtige÷nnhta bre÷fh, to\ logiko\n a‡dolon ga¿la e˙pipoqh/sate, iºna e˙n aujtwˆ◊ aujxhqhvte). While all believers, even very mature ones, are to desire the milk of the word in the same way that newborn babes desire milk, 1 Peter 2:2 nonetheless provides some support for the image of spiritual growth as development from infancy to mature adulthood, since many similar texts with wJß in 1 Peter do not just make an analogy (“in the way infants desire milk, so desire the Word”) but describe the actual nature of Peter’s audience. Thus, note: “as obedient children [wJß te÷kna uJpakohvß] . . . be ye holy” (1 Peter 1:14-15); “ye also, as lively stones, are built up” (kai« aujtoi« wJß li÷qoi zw◊nteß oi˙kodomei√sqe oi•koß pneumatiko/ß, 1 Peter 2:5); “Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts” (∆Agaphtoi÷, parakalw◊ wJß paroi÷kouß kai« parepidh/mouß, aÓpe÷cesqai tw◊n sarkikw◊n e˙piqumiw◊n, 1 Peter 2:11); “ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men . . . as free, and . . . as the servants of God” (fimouvn th\n tw◊n aÓfro/nwn aÓnqrw¿pwn aÓgnwsi÷an . . . wJß e˙leu/qeroi . . . wJß douvloi Qeouv, 1 Peter 2:15-16). While every construction with wJß does not function in this way in the epistle (e. g., 1 Peter 3:6-7), it is reasonable to conclude that those in Peter’s audience who were newly born again (1 Peter 1:23) were to desire the Word because they were newborn babes (1 Peter 2:2) without excluding the fact that all believers are to desire Scripture in the same manner. (wJß is found in 1 Peter in 1:14, 19, 24; 2:2, 5, 11-14, 16, 25; 3:6-7, 16; 4:10-12, 15-16, 19; 5:3, 8, 12).

Furthermore, 1 Peter 2:2 is correctly renders to\ logiko\n as the milk “of the word”; cf. the comment on the verse in 1 Peter, Hermeneia, P. J. Achtemeir & E. J. Epp.

[7]           The relevant New Testament words are oi˙kodomh/ (Matthew 24:1; Mark 13:1–2; Romans 14:19; 15:2; 1 Corinthians 3:9; 14:3, 5, 12, 26; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 10:8; 12:19; 13:10; Ephesians 2:21; 4:12, 16, 29), oi˙kodomi÷a (1 Timothy 1:4), oi˙kodome÷w (Matthew 7:24, 26; 16:18; 21:33, 42; 23:29; 26:61; 27:40; Mark 12:1, 10; 14:58; 15:29; Luke 4:29; 6:48–49; 7:5; 11:47–48; 12:18; 14:28, 30; 17:28; 20:17; John 2:20; Acts 4:11; 7:47, 49; 9:31; Romans 15:20; 1 Corinthians 8:1, 10; 10:23; 14:4, 17; Galatians 2:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 1 Peter 2:5, 7), aÓnoikodome÷w (Acts 15:16), e˙poikodome÷w (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 3:10, 12, 14; Ephesians 2:20; Colossians 2:7; Jude 20), and sunoikodome÷w (Ephesians 2:22). The word oi˙kodo/moß is in the critical Greek text in Acts 4:11, but it is not found in the preserved Word of God. The New Testament texts where this word group is employed in a manner that relates to spiritual building are: Matthew 16:18; Acts 9:31; 15:16; 20:32; Romans 14:19; 15:2, 20; 1 Corinthians 3:9–10, 12, 14; 8:1, 10; 10:23; 14:3–5, 12, 17, 26; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 10:8; 12:19; 13:10; Galatians 2:18; Ephesians 2:20–22; 4:12, 16, 29; Colossians 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 1 Timothy 1:4; 1 Peter 2:5, 7; Jude 20.

[8]           The foundation word group (qeme÷lioß, qeme÷lion, qemelio/w) supports the metaphor for sanctification as the construction of a building. A literal building had a literal foundation (qeme÷lioß), as cities and walls, and even the earth, have foundations (Hebrews 11:10; Revelation 21:14, 19; Hebrews 1:10). The Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel are the enduring foundation upon which the believer’s justification, sanctification, and glorification rest (Luke 6:48-49; Matthew 7:25), and the Lord Jesus is the foundation of the church as well (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; note also Romans 15:20). The foundation metaphor is also employed in Scripture in association with other spiritual truths upon which other subsequent or higher level superstructures are “built” (Luke 14:29; 1 Timothy 6:19; 2 Timothy 2:19; Hebrews 6:1; 11:10); the description of the apostles and prophets, the vehicle for the inspiration of the Scriptures, as a foundation fits within such a category of usage (Ephesians 2:20; Revelation 21:14, 19). Furthermore, sanctification leads the believer to be more firmly “founded” or established; his building, which was permanently settled upon its foundation at regeneration (note the perfect and pluperfect tenses for qeme÷liow in Matthew 7:25; Luke 6:48; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:23), is made progressively more stable and firm by God (1 Peter 5:10), so that both the Christian individually and the corporate assembly of the regenerate grows less liable to fall into sin or false doctrine (Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:23; 1 Peter 5:10).

The description of Christ as the “chief corner stone” (aÓkrogwniai√oß, Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6) and “head of the corner” (kefalh\ gwni÷aß, Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7; cf. Isaiah 28:16, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste,” :vy`IjÎy añøl Ny™ImSaA;m`Ah d$D;s…wm d∞Ds…wm ‹tårVqˆy t§A…nIÚp NAj%O;b NRb∞Ra NRb¡Da Nwäø¥yIxV;b d¶A;sˆy y¢In◊nIh hYˆwh◊y y∞DnOdSa ‹rAmDa hôO;k N#EkDl, dia» touvto ou¢twß le÷gei ku/rioß i˙dou\ e˙gw» e˙mbalw◊ ei˙ß ta» qeme÷lia Siwn li÷qon polutelhv e˙klekto\n aÓkrogwniai√on e¶ntimon ei˙ß ta» qeme÷lia aujthvß kai« oJ pisteu/wn e˙p∆ aujtw◊ˆ ouj mh\ kataiscunqhvØ.) also develops the “building” metaphor. The Son of God is the ultimate foundation without whom no spiritual building of Christian or congregation is possible, but founded upon Him, the believer will not be ashamed by having to flee in haste or alarm from God’s coming judgment, but will be delivered as he waits in faith on God and the Messiah (Isaiah 8:17; 25:9; 26:8; 30:15, 18; 32:17; 33:2; cf. the Targum on Isaiah 28:16: :N…wo◊zoådzˆy aDl a∂qDo yEtyEmVb NyElIaIb …wnyImyEh√d aÎyåqyîdAx◊w aÎyIb◊n rAmVa hy´nˆnsjAa◊w hy´nyIpVqAtIa NDtVmyEa◊w rDbyˆg PyIqAt KAlAm KAlAm NOwyIxVb y´nAmVm aÎnVaDh MyIhølVa ywy rAmVa NÎndIk NyEkVb). Note also Genesis 49:24; Psalm 118:22; Daniel 2:45; Zechariah 3:9. Along these lines, Christ is the pe÷tra, the Rock, the “bedrock or massive rock formatio[n]” (BDAG) upon which the individual believer and the church are founded (Matthew 7:24-25; 16:18; Luke 6:48; Romans 9:33; 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 2:8; cf. the literal use for bedrock in Matthew 27:51, 60; Mark 15:46; Luke 8:6, 13; Revelation 6:15-16). The word pe÷tra is specifically distinguished from pe÷troß oJ, a stone,” so that “[t]here is no example, in good authors, of pe÷tra in the sense of pe÷troß, a stone” (cf. pe÷tra & pe÷troß, Liddell-Scott). The metaphor for Christ as the aÓkrogwniai√oß alludes to the cornerstone in the Jewish Temple (cf. Louw-Nida, 7.44; the lexicon also correctly indicates that the aÓkrogwniai√oß does not refer to a capstone, but a cornerstone), thus associating the building and foundation metaphors with the structure of the Jewish Temple, which therefore provides background for the temple building metaphor for the individual believer (1 Corinthians 6:15-20; 1 Peter 2:5) and for the church (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 1 Timothy 3:15; cf. also 1 Kings 6:37; 7:12; 1 Chronicles 22:2; Ezra 3:9; Matthew 12:4; Hebrews 10:21; 1 Peter 4:17).

Associated with the foundation and building metaphors in sanctification is the root metaphor (note the connection in both texts with rJizo/w; “being rooted and grounded in love,” e˙n aÓga¿phØ e˙rrizwme÷noi kai« teqemeliwme÷noi, Ephesians 3:17; “rooted and built up in him,” e˙rrizwme÷noi kai« e˙poikodomou/menoi e˙n aujtwˆ◊, Colossians 2:7. A proper root (rJi÷za)—Christ Himself, savingly received by repentant faith—is the essential prerequisite to sanctification, and all who possess this root produce spiritual fruit, while all those rooted in anything else (cf. 1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 12:15) will be damned (Matthew 3:10; 13:6, 21; Mark 4:6, 17; Luke 3:9, 8:13; Romans 11:16-18).

[9]           Qeouv oi˙kodomh/ e˙ste.

[10]         The source and production ideas in the Qeouv oi˙kodomh/ of 1 Corinthians 3:9 are clearly validated by the context of 3:5-15; “God . . . giveth the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7, oJ Qeo\ß hu¡xanen/oJ aujxa¿nwn Qeo/ß), and the congregation is God’s field which He causes to grow (Qeouv gew¿rgion), as the ultimate Worker of spiritual growth who uses human instruments as coworkers (Qeouv . . . sunergoi÷).

[11]         The rebuilding discussed in Acts 15:16-17 will take place in the Millennial kingdom when the Lord rebuilds the institutions of the physical Jewish worship, Amos 9:11-12, yet in both the Old Testament and New Testament texts it is evident that the restoration is not merely physical, but also spiritual.

The verb aÓnorqo/w, employedin Acts 15:16 for the setting up of the tabernacle of David, can also be used metaphorically in connection with Christian growth; cf. Hebrews 12:12 & the literal use, howbeit with spiritual implications, in Luke 13:13, and the spiritual use of ojrqo/ß in Hebrews 12:13, with a corresponding literal use with spiritual implications in Acts 14:10. Note also ojrqw◊ß in Luke 20:21 (elsewhere in the NT in Mark 7:35; Luke 7:43; 10:28), ojrqopode÷w in Galatians 2:14, and even ojrqotome÷w in 2 Timothy 2:15.

[12]         Note, however, that both the relationship to the Son and to the Spirit use the same preposition; the church experiences e˙poikodome÷w both e˙n Kuri÷wˆ and e˙n Pneu/mati.

[13]         Note the agreement in case, number, and gender in Acts 20:32’s twˆ◊ Qewˆ◊ kai« twˆ◊ lo/gwˆ thvß ca¿ritoß aujtouv, twˆ◊ duname÷nwˆ e˙poikodomhvsai.

[14]         The following words are included in this group (related NT forms that are not employed in connection with progressive sanctification are excluded): sthri÷zw (Luke 9:51; 16:26; 22:32; Romans 1:11; 16:25; 1 Thessalonians 3:2, 13; 2 Thessalonians 2:17; 3:3; James 5:8; 1 Peter 5:10; 2 Peter 1:12; Revelation 3:2); e˙pisthri÷zw (Acts 14:22; 15:32, 41; 18:23); stereo/w (Acts 3:7, 16; 16:5); stereo/ß (2 Timothy 2:19; Hebrews 5:12, 14; 1 Peter 5:9); stere÷wma (Colossians 2:5); sthrigmo/ß (2 Peter 3:17); sqeno/w (1 Peter 5:10); dunamo/w (Colossians 1:11); e˙ndunamo/w (Acts 9:22; Romans 4:20; Ephesians 6:10; Philippians 4:13; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:1; 4:17; Hebrews 11:34); bebaio/w (Mark 16:20; Romans 15:8; 1 Corinthians 1:6, 8; 2 Corinthians 1:21; Colossians 2:7; Hebrews 2:3; 13:9).

The Old Testament provides some evidence for progressive sanctification as strengthening. Psalm 119:28 reads: “My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me (yˆn#Em◊¥yåq; LXX bebai÷wso/n me) according unto thy word.” While the text unquestionably alludes to physical strengthening, spiritual refreshing is not absent. However, no other texts with Mwqclearly speak of spiritual strengthening, although the sense of spiritual strengthening in Psalm 119:28 may be illuminated by the uses of Mwq in Deuteronomy 27:26; 28:9; 1 Kings 11:14, 23; Hosea 6:2; Job 4:4. The verb qzj is used for God strengthening His people to accomplish specific tasks for His glory and for being courageous for His sake and in His cause, as well as for the people of God strengthening one another for specific spiritual tasks (cf. Numbers 13:20; Deuteronomy 1:38; 3:28; 11:8; 31:6–7, 23; Joshua 1:6–7, 9, 18; 10:25; 23:6; Judges 20:22; 1 Samuel 23:16; 30:6; 1 Kings 2:2; Isaiah 35:3–4; Ezekiel 34:4, 16; Zechariah 8:9, 13; Psalm 27:14; 31:24; Job 4:3; Ezra 6:22; 7:28; 10:4; Nehemiah 2:18; 6:9; 10:29; 1 Chronicles 22:13; 28:10, 20; 29:12; 2 Chronicles 1:1; 15:7–8; 19:11; 31:4; 32:7; 35:2). The believer is made courageous and strong “to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses . . . [and] turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left” (Joshua 23:6). A few references refer to the believer himself being strengthened, rather than his possessing strength to perform a specific task: “And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened [David’s] hand in God” (1 Samuel 23:16). “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself [q∞EΩzAjVtˆ¥yÅw] in the LORD his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). See also Isaiah 35:4; Ezekiel 34:4, 6. The verb qzj is used in many other ways associated with strength but not with sanctification (e. g., Genesis 48:2). Xma is also used at times in a way associated with sanctification (Deuteronomy 3:28; 31:6–7, 23; Joshua 1:6–7, 9, 18; 10:25; Isaiah 35:3; 41:10; Psalm 27:14; 31:25; Job 4:4; 1 Chronicles 22:13; 28:20; 2 Chronicles 32:7), and perhaps zOo (Isaiah 45:24; Psalm 138:3), h∂r…wb◊…g (Micah 3:8; Daniel 2:23), and AjO;k (1 Chronicles 26:8; Isaiah 40:29, 31; 41:1; Micah 3:8) are so used as well.

[15]         “I can do all things (pa¿nta i˙scu/w). Old verb to have strength (i˙scu/ß). In him that strengtheneth me (e˙n twˆ◊ e˙ndunamouvnti÷ me). Late and rare verb (in LXX) from adjective e˙ndu/namoß (e˙n, du/namiß). Causative verb to empower, to pour power into one. See [the] same phrase in 1 Timothy 1:12 twˆ◊ e˙ndunamw¿santi÷ me (aorist tense here). Paul has such strength so long as Jesus keeps on putting power (du/namiß) into him” (Robertson’s Word Pictures, Philippians 4:13).

[16]         God’s strengthening brings His power or ability for service and spiritual growth. This fact is verified in the i˙scu/w word group: i˙scu/w (Matthew 5:13; 8:28; 9:12; 26:40; Mark 2:17; 5:4; 9:18; 14:37; Luke 6:48; 8:43; 13:24; 14:6, 29–30; 16:3; 20:26; John 21:6; Acts 6:10; 15:10; 19:16, 20; 25:7; 27:16; Galatians 5:6; 6:15; Philippians 4:13; Hebrews 9:17; James 5:16; Revelation 12:8); e˙xiscu/w (Ephesians 3:18); katiscu/w (Matthew 16:18; Luke 23:23); and i˙scu/ß (Mark 12:30, 33; Luke 10:27; Ephesians 1:19; 6:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Peter 4:11; 2 Peter 2:11; Revelation 5:12; 7:12; 18:2). Texts that show the relationship between strengthening and power or ability include 1 Peter 4:11; Ephesians 1:19; 6:10; Galatians 5:6; Philippians 4:13; cf. Matthew 16:18. Similar truth is verified in the du/namai/dunato/ß/ du/namiß word group; i. e., John 15:4-5; Ephesians 6:11; Jude 24 (du/namai); Romans 14:4; 2 Corinthians 9:8; 10:4; 2 Timothy 1:12 (dunato/ß); Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 1:19; 3:16; Colossians 1:11; 1:29; 2 Peter 1:3 (du/namiß).

[17]         Texts in the weakening word group are: aÓsqene÷w (Matthew 10:8; 25:36; Mark 6:56; Luke 4:40; 7:10; 9:2; John 4:46; 5:3, 7; 6:2; 11:1–3, 6; Acts 9:37; 19:12; 20:35; Romans 4:19; 8:3; 14:1–2, 21; 1 Corinthians 8:9, 11–12; 2 Corinthians 11:21, 29; 12:10; 13:3–4, 9; Philippians 2:26–27; 2 Timothy 4:20; James 5:14); aÓsqenh/ß (Matthew 25:39, 43–44; 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 10:9; Acts 4:9; 5:15–16; Romans 5:6; 1 Corinthians 1:25, 27; 4:10; 8:7, 10; 9:22; 11:30; 12:22; 2 Corinthians 10:10; Galatians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Hebrews 7:18; 1 Peter 3:7); aÓsqe÷nhma (Romans 15:1); and aÓsqe÷neia (Matthew 8:17; Luke 5:15; 8:2; 13:11–12; John 5:5; 11:4; Acts 28:9; Romans 6:19; 8:26; 1 Corinthians 2:3; 15:43; 2 Corinthians 11:30; 12:5, 9–10; 13:4; Galatians 4:13; 1 Timothy 5:23; Hebrews 4:15; 5:2; 7:28; 11:34).

Believers can grow spiritually weaker and backslide, as they can decay from states of spiritual quickening or liveliness, transformation, and renewal, because the believer’s indwelling sin remains within him a tendency to ever greater evil, as in the unregenerate their utter domination by the flesh leads them to ever greater iniquity and corruption of nature (cf. 2 Timothy 3:13). The supernatural power of sanctifying grace working within the saint by the Holy Spirit encounters this fleshly indwelling resistance to holiness that remains within all believers until glorification, and apart from the unceasing supply of spiritual strength given the saint by God, his spiritual life would decay and indeed even be lost, as the natural end result of both physical and spiritual sickness is death (cf. Revelation 3:2; Acts 9:37; 1 Corinthians 11:30; Philippians 2:26-27), in contrast to the natural end of spiritual strengthening, perfection (2 Corinthians 13:9). While spiritual weakness would, left to itself, lead to spritual death, the fact of the believer’s eternal security and the effectual character of the High Priestly ministry of Christ (cf. John 17:8, 17, 24; Luke 22:32; Hebrews 4:15) guarantee that neither spiritual life during the Christian’s earthly pilgrimage (John 10:27) nor life with God in the eternal state (John 10:28-30) are ever forfeited, as God’s faithfulness prevents all of His people from ever losing the entirety of their sanctification or forfeiting a place in heaven.

[18]         One is consequentely not surprised by the existence and use of comparative forms of the adjective aÓsqenh/ß, 1 Corinthians 12:22; 1 Peter 3:7.

[19]         Notice that in each of these pericopes the power of Christ proved greater than the human impotence. The Lord Jesus has the power to overcome all spiritual and physical inability.

[20]        The words in this group are morfo/w, morfh/, mo/rfwsiß, su/mmorfoß, summorfo/w, and metamorfo/w. The noun mo/rfwsiß, which means “the state of being formally structured, embodiment, formulation, form,” (BDAG), is not specifically used for progressive sanctification; it appears twice in the New Testament, once in reference to “the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law” and once to “a form of godliness” (paideuth\n aÓfro/nwn, dida¿skalon nhpi÷wn, e¶conta th\n mo/rfwsin thvß gnw¿sewß kai« thvß aÓlhqei÷aß e˙n twˆ◊ no/mwˆ:, Romans 2:20; e¶conteß mo/rfwsin eujsebei÷aß, th\n de« du/namin aujthvß hjrnhme÷noi: kai« tou/touß aÓpotre÷pou, 2 Timothy 3:5).

[21]         morfo/w(morfh/) 1 aor. ptc. morfw¿santeß (Just., A I, 9, 1). Pass.: aor. e˙morfw¿qhn; pf. ptc. memorfwme÷noß (Philo, Joseph.) (Aratus, Phaen. 375; Nilus: Anth. Pal. 1, 33, 1; Is 44:13 Q in margin and Aq.; Philo, Plant. 3; Ps.-Philo, De Mundo 13; SibOr 4, 182; Jos., Ant. 15, 329; Just., A I, 5, 4 touv lo/gou morfwqe÷ntoß kai« aÓnqrw¿pou genome÷nou; Ath., R. 3 p. 51, 16) to form, shape act. PtK 2 p. 14, 13. Pass. take on form, be formed (Theophr., CP 5, 6, 7; Diod. S. 3, 51, 3) in imagery as in the formation of an embryo (Galen XIX p. 181 K. e¶mbrua memorfwme÷na; Philo, Spec. Leg. 3, 117) me÷criß ou∞ morfwqhvØ Cristo\ß e˙n uJmi√n until Christ is formed in you Gal 4:19 (RHermann, TLZ 80, ’55, 713–26).—DELG s.v. morfh/. M-M. TW. (BDAG)

[22]         My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, tekni÷a mou, ou§ß pa¿lin wÓdi÷nw, a‡criß ou∞ morfwqhØv Cristo\ß e˙n uJmi√n. Note that “little children” (tekni÷on) is employed for younger Christians in 1 John 2:12-14.

[23]         morfh/, hvß f: the nature or character of something, with emphasis upon both the internal and external form — ‘nature, character.’ o§ß e˙n morfhvØ qeouv uJpa¿rcwn ‘he always had the very nature of God’ Php 2:6; morfh\n dou/lou labw¿n ‘he took on the nature of a servant’ Php 2:7. (Louw-Nida)

[24]         After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. Meta» de« tauvta dusi«n e˙x aujtw◊n peripatouvsin e˙fanerw¿qh e˙n e˚te÷raˆ morfhØv, poreuome÷noiß ei˙ß aÓgro/n.

[25]         6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

6 o§ß e˙n morfhØv Qeouv uJpa¿rcwn, oujc aJrpagmo\n hJgh/sato to\ ei•nai i¶sa Qewˆ◊, 7 aÓll∆ e˚auto\n e˙ke÷nwse, morfh\n dou/lou labw»n, e˙n oJmoiw¿mati aÓnqrw¿pwn geno/menoß:

[26]         su/mmorfoß, on ([Ps.-Lucian,] Amor. 39 al.) pert. to having a similar form, nature, or style, similar in form tino/ß as or to someth. (s. touv qana¿tou aujtouv Orig., C. Cels. 2, 69, 16; B-D-F §182, 1; Rob. 504; 528) su/mm. thvß ei˙ko/noß touv ui˚ouv aujtouv like his Son in form or appearance Ro 8:29 (JKürzinger, BZ 2, ’58, 294–99). Also w. the dat. (Nicander [II BC], Ther. 321 ed. OSchneider [1856]; Heraclit. Sto. 77 p. 102, 12 s. trisi« qeoi√ß of Agamemnon; B-D-F §194, 2; Rob. 528) su/mm. tw◊ˆ sw¿mati thvß do/xhß aujtouv Phil 3:21.—DELG s.v. morfh/. TW.

Compare also:

summorfi÷zw (only in Christian wr. but=summorfo/w below) to cause to be similar in form or style to someth. else, grant or invest w. the same form as, pass. summorfi÷zesqai÷ tini be conformed to, take on the same form as tw◊ˆ qana¿twˆ aujtouv=the style of Christ’s death, i.e. to be like Christ in his death Phil 3:10 [a critical text variant—the Textus Receptus has summorfo/w].—DELG s.v. morfh/. M-M. TW.

summorfo/w ‘to give the same form’, pass. take on the same form (s. two prec. entries; Libanius, Descript. 30, 5 vol. VIII 542, 10 F.; Menand. Protector [VI AD]: HGM II p. 67, 8) Phil 3:10 [TR]—DELG s.v. morfh/. (BDAG)

[27]         That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; touv gnw◊nai aujto/n, kai« th\n du/namin thvß aÓnasta¿sewß aujtouv, kai« th\n koinwni÷an tw◊n paqhma¿twn aujtouv, summorfou/menoß twˆ◊ qana¿twˆ aujtouv. Note that summorfou/menoß is a present participle which in this text indicates a progressive being made conformable to Christ’s death, and that Philippians 3:10 records the only appearance of summorfo/w in the New Testament.

[28]         Paul makes a close connection between enduring physical suffering for Christ’s sake and spiritual growth. Note 2 Corinthians 4:10-11: “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (pa¿ntote th\n ne÷krwsin touv Kuri÷ou ∆Ihsouv e˙n twˆ◊ sw¿mati perife÷ronteß, iºna kai« hJ zwh\ touv ∆Ihsouv e˙n twˆ◊ sw¿mati hJmw◊n fanerwqhØv. aÓei« ga»r hJmei√ß oi˚ zw◊nteß ei˙ß qa¿naton paradido/meqa dia» ∆Ihsouvn, iºna kai« hJ zwh\ touv ∆Ihsouv fanerwqhØv e˙n thØv qnhthØv sarki« hJmw◊n.). One’s soul and spirit become more like Christ as one becomes bodily like Him through enduring physical suffering for His name’s sake.

[29]         Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. o§ß metaschmati÷sei to\ sw◊ma thvß tapeinw¿sewß hJmw◊n, ei˙ß to\ gene÷sqai aujto\ su/mmorfon twˆ◊ sw¿mati thvß do/xhß aujtouv, kata» th\n e˙ne÷rgeian touv du/nasqai aujto\n kai« uJpota¿xai e˚autwˆ◊ ta» pa¿nta.

Philippians 3:21 and Romans 8:29 are the only New Testament references to the word su/mmorfoß.

[30]        However, the references to Christ (Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2) employ the aorist tense, since the transformation was instantaneous, while the references to the transformation of the believer (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18) employ the present tense, since their change is progressive.

[31]        Trench has some valuable comments on the distinction between suschmati÷zw and metamorfo/w in Romans 12:2, and upon the morfh/ group in general:

[The] words [morfh/ & schvma] are none of them of frequent recurrence in the N. T., morfh/ occurring there only [thrice] (Mark xvi. 12; Phil. ii. [6-7]); but compare mo/rfwsiß (Rom. ii. 20; 2 Tim. iii. 5); schvma not oftener (1 Cor. vii. 31; Phil. ii. 8)[.] . . . Morfh/ is ‘form,’ ‘forma,’ ‘gestalt’; schvma is ‘fashion,’ ‘habitus,’ ‘figur’; i˙de÷a, ‘appearance,’ ‘species,’ ‘erscheinung.’ [These words], which, occur not unfrequently together (Plutarch, Symp. [Page 262] viii.2.3), are objective; for the ‘form’ and the ‘fashion’ of a thing would exist, were it alone in the universe, and whether there were any to behold it or no. . . .

We may best study the distinction between morfh/ and schvma, and at the same time estimate its importance, by aid of that great doctrinal passage (Phil. ii. 6-8), in which St. Paul speaks of the Eternal Word before his Incarnation as subsisting “in the form of God” (e˙n morfhØv qeouvuJpa¿rcwn), as assuming at his Incarnation “the form of a servant” (morfh\n dou/lou labw¿n), and after his Incarnation and during his walk upon earth as “being found in fashion as a man” (sch/mati euJreqei«ß wJß a‡nqrwpoß). The Fathers were wont to urge the first phrase, e˙n morfhØv QeouvuJpa¿rcwn, against the Arians (thus Hilary, De Trin. viii. 45; Ambrose, Ep. 46; Gregory of Nyssa, Con. Eunom. 4); and the Lutherans did the same against the Socinians, as a ‘dictum probans’ of the absolute divinity of the Son of God; that is, morfh/ for them was here equivalent to oujsi÷a or fu/siß. . . . Doubtless there does lie in the words a proof of the divinity of Christ, but this implicitly and not explicitly. Morfh/ is not oujsi÷a: at the same time none could be e˙n morfhØvqeouv who was not God; as is well put by Bengel: ‘Forma Dei non est natura, divina, sed tamen is qui in forma, Dei extabat, Deus est;’ and this because morfh/, like the Latin ‘forma,’ the German ‘gestalt,’ signifies the form as it is the utterance of the inner life; not ‘being,’ but ‘mode of being,’ or better, ‘mode of existence’; and only God could have the mode of existence of God. But He who had thus been from eternity e˙n morfhØv qeouv (John xvii. 5), took at his Incarnation morfh\n dou/lou. The verity of his Incarnation is herein implied; there was nothing docetic, nothing phantastic about it. His manner of existence was now that of a douvloß, that is, of a douvloß touvqeouv: for in the midst of all our Lord’s humiliations He was never a douvloß aÓnqrw¿pwn. Their dia¿konoß He may have been, and from time to time eminently was (John xiii. 4, 5; Matt. xx. 28); this was part of his tapei÷nwsiß mentioned in the next verse; but their douvloß never; they, on the contrary, his. It was with respect of God He so emptied Himself of his glory, that, from that manner of existence in which He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, He became his servant.

The next clause, “and being found in fashion (sch/mati) as a man,” is very instructive for the distinguishing of schvma from morfh/. The verity of the Son’s Incarnation was expressed, as we have seen, in the morfh\n dou/loulabw¿n. These words which follow do but declare the outward facts which came under the knowledge of his fellow-men, with therefore an emphasis on euJreqei÷ß: He was by men found in fashion as a man, the schvma here signifying his whole outward presentation, as Bengel puts it well: ‘schvma, habitus, cultus, vestitus, victus, gestus, sermones et actiones.’ In none of these did there appear any difference between Him and the other children of men. This superficial character of schvma appears in its association with such words as crw◊ma (Plato, Gorg. 20; Theoetet. 163b) and uJpografh/ (Legg. v. 737 d); as in the definition of it which Plutarch gives (De Plac. Phil. 14): e˙sti«n e˙pifa¿neiakai« perigrafh\ kia» pe÷raß sw¿matoß. The two words are used in an instructive antithesis by Justin Martyr (1 Apol. 9).

The distinction between them comes out very clearly in the compound verbs metaschmati÷zein and metamorfouvn. Thus if I were to change a Dutch garden into an Italian, this would be metaschmatismo/ß: but if I were to transform a garden into something wholly different; as into a city, this would be metamo/rfwsiß. It is possible for Satan metaschmati÷zein himself into an angel of light (2 Cor. xi. 14); he can take the whole outward semblance of such. But to any such change of his it would be impossible to apply the metamorfouvsqai: for this would imply a change not external but internal, not of accidents but of essence, which lies quite beyond his power. How fine and subtle is the variation of words at Rom. xii. 2[.] . . . The Authorized Version is the first which uses ‘transformed’ here; Wiclif and the Rheims, both following closely the Vulgate, ‘transfigured,’ and the intermediate Reformed Versions, ‘changed into the fashion of.’ . . . ‘Do not fall in,’says the Apostle, ‘with the fleeting fashions of this world, nor be yourselves fashioned to them (mh\ suschmati÷zesqe), but undergo a deep abiding change (aÓlla» metamorfouvsqe) by the renewing of your mind, such as the Spirit of God alone can work in you’ (cf. 2 Cor. iii. 18). Theodoret, commenting on this verse, calls particular attention to this variation of the word used, a variation which it would task the highest skill of the English scholar adequately to reproduce in his own language. Among much else which is interesting, he says: e˙di÷dasken o¢son pro\ß ta» paro/ntathvß aÓrethvß to\ dia¿foron: tauvta ga»r e˙ka¿lese schvma, th\naÓreth\n de« morfh/n: hJ morfh\de« aÓlhqw◊n pragma¿twn shmantikh/,to\ de« schvma eujdia¿luton crhvma. . . . For the very different uses of one word and the other, see Plutarch, Quom. Adul. ab Amie. 7, where both occur.

At the resurrection Christ shall transfigure (metaschmati÷sei) the bodies of his saints (Phil. iii. 21; cf. 1 Cor. xv. 53); on which statement Calov remarks, ‘Ille metaschmatismo/ß non substantialem mutationem, sed accidentalem, non ratione quidditatis corporis nostri, sed ratione qualitatum, salva quidditatis, importat:’ but the changes of heathen deities into wholly other shapes were metamorfw¿seiß. In the metaschmatismo/ß there is transition, but no absolute solution of continuity. The butterfly, prophetic type of man’s resurrection, is immeasurably more beautiful than the grub, yet has been duly unfolded from it; but when Proteus transforms himself into a flame, a wild beast, a running stream (Virgil, Georg. iv. 442), each of these disconnected with all that went before, there is here a change not of the schvma merely, but of the morfh/ (cf. Euripides, Hec. 1266; Plato, Locr. 104 e). When the Evangelist records that after the resurrection Christ appeared to his disciples e˙n e˚te÷raˆ morfhØv (Mark xvi. 12), the words intimate to us how vast the mysterious change to which his body had been submitted, even as they are in keeping with the metemorfw¿qh of Matt. xvii. 2; Mark ix. 2; the transformation upon the Mount being a prophetic anticipation of that which hereafter should be; compare Dan. iv. 33, where Nebuchadnezzar says of himself, hJmorfh/mou e˙pe÷streyen ei˙ß e˙me÷.

The morfh/ then, it may be assumed, is of the essence of a thing. We cannot conceive the thing as apart from this its formality, to use ‘formality’ in the old logical sense; the schvma is its accident, having to do, not with the ‘quidditas,’ but the ‘qualitas,’ and, whatever changes it may undergo, leaving the ‘quidditas’ untouched, the thing itself essentially, or formally, the same as it was before; as one has said, morfh\fu/sewß schvma eºxewß. Thus schvmabasiliko/n (Lucian, Pisc. 35; cf. Sophocles, Antig. 1148) is the whole outward array and adornment of a monarch— diadem, tiara, sceptre, robe (cf. Lucian, Hermot. 86)—all which he might lay aside, and remain king notwithstanding. It in no sort belongs or adheres to the man as a part of himself. Thus Menander (Meineke, Fragm. Com. p.985):

pra◊on kakouvrgo/ß schvm∆ uJpeiselqw»n aÓnh\r

kekrumme÷nh kei√tai pagi«ß toi√ß plhsi÷on

Thus, too, the schvma touv kosmouv passes away (1 Cor. vii. 31), the image being here probably drawn from the shifting scenes of a theatre, but the ko/smoß itself abides; there is no te÷loß touv kosmouv, but only touv ai˙w¿noß, or tw◊n ai˙w¿nwn. For some valuable remarks on the distinction between morfh/ and schvma see The Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology, No. 7, pp. 113, 116, 121; and the same drawn out more fully by Bishop Lightfoot, their author, in his Commentary on the Philippians, pp. 125-131.

The use in Latin of ‘forma’ and ‘figura,’ so far corresponds with those severally of morfh/ and schvma, that while ‘figura forme’ occurs not rarely (‘veterem formae servare figuram’; cf. Cicero, Nat. Deor. 32), ‘forma figurae never (see Doderlein, Latein. Syn. vol. iii. p. 87). Contrast too in English ‘deformed’ and ‘disfigured. ’ A hunchback is ‘deformed,’ a man that has been beaten about the face may be ‘disfigured’; the deformity is bound up in the very existence of the one; the disfigurement of the other may in a few days have quite passed away. In ‘transformed’ and ‘transfigured’ it is easy to recognize the same distinction.

As Trench mentions, the morfh//schvma distinction is well set forth in Apology of Justin 1:9, Justin Martyr:

All∆ oujde« qusi÷aiß pollai√ß kai« plokai√ß aÓnqw◊n timw◊men ou§ß a‡nqrwpoi morfw¿santeß, kai« e˙n naoi√ß i˚dru/santeß, qeou\ß proswno/masan: e˙pei« a‡yuca kai« nekra» tauvta ginw¿skomen, kai« Qeouv morfh\n mh\ e¶conta, (ouj ga»r toiau/thn hJgou/meqa to\n Qeo\n e¶cein th\n morfh\n h¢n fasi÷ tineß ei˙ß timh\n memimhvsqai:) aÓll∆ e˙kei÷nwn tw◊n fane÷ntwn kakw◊n daimo/nwn kai« ojno/mata kai« sch/mata e¶cein. Ti÷ ga»r dei√ ei˙do/sin uJmi√n le÷gein, a± th\n u¢lhn oi˚ tecni√tai diatiqe÷asi, xe÷onteß kai« te÷mnonteß, kai« cwneu/onteß kai« tu/ptonteß; kai« e˙x aÓti÷mwn polla¿kiß skeuw◊n dia» te÷cnhß to\ schvma mo/non aÓlla¿xanteß kai« morfopoih/santeß, qeou\ß e˙ponoma¿zousin. ›Oper ouj mo/non a‡logon hJgou/meqa, aÓlla» kai« e˙f∆ u¢brei touv Qeouv gi÷nesqai, o§ß a‡rrhton do/xan kai« morfh\n e¶cwn, e˙pi« fqartoi√ß kai« deome÷noiß qerapei÷aß pra¿gmasin e˙ponoma¿zetai. Kai« o¢ti oi˚ tou/twn tecni√tai aÓselgei√ß te, kai« pa◊san kaki÷an, iºna mh\ katariqmw◊men, e¶cousin, aÓkribw◊ß e˙pi÷stasqe: kai« ta»ß e˚autw◊n paidi÷skaß sunergazome÷naß fqei÷rousin. ‹W thvß e˙mbronthsi÷aß, aÓnqrw¿pouß aÓkola¿stouß, qeou\ß ei˙ß to\ proskunei√sqai pla¿ssein le÷gesqai, kai« metapoiei√n: kai« tw◊n i˚erw◊n, e¶nqa aÓnati÷qentai, fu/lakaß toiou/touß kaqista¿nai: mh\ sunorw◊ntaß aÓqe÷miton kai« to\ noei√n h£ le÷gein aÓnqrw¿pouß qew◊n ei•nai fu/lakaß.

And neither do we honor with many sacrifices and garlands of flowers such deities as men have formed and set in shrines and called gods; since we see that these are soulless and dead, and have not the form [morphe] of God (for we do not consider that God has such a form [morphe] as some say that they imitate to His honor), but have the names and forms [schema] of those wicked demons which have appeared. For why need we tell you who already know, into what forms the craftsmen, carving and cutting, casting and hammering, fashion the materials? And often out of vessels of dishonor, by merely changing the form, and making an image of the requisite shape, they make what they call a god; which we consider not only senseless, but to be even insulting to God, who, having ineffable glory and form [morphe], thus gets His name attached to things that are corruptible, and require constant service. And that the artificers of these are both intemperate, and, not to enter into particulars, are practised in every vice, you very well know; even their own girls who work along with them they corrupt What infatuation! That dissolute men should be said to fashion and make gods for your worship, and that you should appoint such men the guardians of the temples where they are enshrined; not recognizing that it is unlawful even to think or say that men are the guardians of gods.

[32]        The believer “is progressing ‘from glory to glory’ as increasingly he is ‘transformed into the same image,’ that is to say, as his Christianity advances (2 Corinthians 3:18); for the glory of the Son is the glory of the [true] Image [of God]. The bond of union between [Christ as the] Glory [cf. James 2:1] and the Image is plainly set forth also in Hebrews 1:3, where the Son is in the same breath designated [‘the brightness of [God’s] glory’ and ‘the express image of his person]” (pg. 45, The True Image, Hughes).

[33]        The verb katoptri÷zw in 2 Corinthians 3:18 means to “look at something as in a mirror, contemplate something . . . the noun ka¿toptron is the most common term in the papyri for [a] mirror” (BDAG). The New Testament employs the related noun e¶soptron exclusively for the mirror of the Word (1 Corinthians 13:12; James 1:23).

[34]        Notice that proving “what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2) is a result of the inward transformation wrought by the Spirit (metamorfouvsqe . . . ei˙ß to\ dokima¿zein uJma◊ß ti÷ to\ qe÷lhma touv Qeouv to\ aÓgaqo\n kai« euja¿reston kai« te÷leion).

[35]        Specifically, the verb katarti÷zw and the nouns kata¿rtisiß and katartismo/ß. Consider the definitions of the three words in BDAG:

katarti÷zwfut. katarti÷sw; 1 aor. kath/rtisa, mid. kathrtisa¿mhn, 2 sg. kathrti÷sw. Pass.: aor. kathrti÷sqhn LXX; pf. pass. kath/rtismai (aÓrti÷zw, ‘get ready, prepare’, s. next entry; Hdt. et al.; ins, pap, LXX; TestSol 5:12 H).

                  1. to cause to be in a condition to function well, put in order, restore.

a. restore to a former condition, put to rights (since Hdt. 5, 28; 106; Dionys. Hal. 3, 10) ti« someth. nets (by cleaning, mending, folding together) Mt 4:21; Mk 1:19 (cp. GWynne, Exp. 7th ser., 8, 1909, 282–85). Fig. k. tina¿ restore someone e˙n pneu/mati prauŒthtoß in a spirit of gentleness, i.e. in a gentle manner Gal 6:1. Pass. katarti÷zesqe mend your ways 2 Cor 13:11.

b. put into proper condition (cp. Epict. 3, 20, 10 of a trainer who adjusts parts of the body), adjust, complete, make complete ti« someth. katarti÷sai ta» uJsterh/mata t. pi÷stewß uJmw◊n to fix up any deficiencies in your faith or to complete what is lacking in your faith 1 Th 3:10. tina¿ someone: uJma◊ß e˙n panti« aÓgaqw◊ˆ make you complete in every good thing Hb 13:21. kathrtisme÷noi e˙n tw◊ˆ aujtw◊ˆ noi«∂ kai« e˙n thvØ aujthvØ gnw¿mhØ adjusted / made complete in the same mind and the same conviction 1 Cor 1:10. e˙n mia◊ˆ uJpotaghvØ IEph 2:2. e˙n aÓkinh/twˆ pi÷stei ISm 1:1. Abs. 1 Pt 5:10. kathrtisme÷noß (fully) trained, practiced (Polyb. 5, 2, 11 t. ei˙resi÷aiß kathrtisme÷noi) k. pa◊ß (maqhth\ß) e¶stai wJß oJ dida¿skaloß aujtouv when fully trained, the pupil will be like the teacher Lk 6:40. S. Betz, Gal. 297 n. 43.

                  2. to prepare for a purpose, prepare, make, create, outfit.

a. act. and pass., of God (w. poiei√n) B 16:6. (W. kti÷zein) ta» pa¿nta Hm 1:1. Pass. oJko/smoß kathrti÷sqh Hv 2, 4, 1; also oi˚ ai˙w◊neß (s. ai˙w¿n 3) rJh/mati qeouv Hb 11:3. kathrtisme÷noß ei¶ß ti made, created for someth.: skeu/h ojrghvß kathrtisme÷na ei˙ß aÓpw¿leian vessels of wrath, designed for destruction Ro 9:22. a‡nqrwpoß ei˙ß eºnwsin kathrtisme÷noß a man set on (lit. made for) unity IPhld 8:1.

b. mid. (PGM 4, 1147) katarti÷zesqai÷ ti÷ tini prepare someth. for someone sw◊ma Hb 10:5 (Ps 39:7 codd.: BSA). W. reflexive mng.: for oneself kathrti÷sw ai•non you prepared praise for yourself Mt 21:16 (Ps 8:3).—DELG s.v. aÓrari÷skw. M-M. TW. Spicq.

kata¿rtisiß, ewß, hJ (s. prec. entry; Plut., Alex. 667 [7, 1] ‘training’; cp. idem, kata¿rtusiß Them. 112 [2, 7] w. paidei÷a) the process of perfecting, maturation eujco/meqa th\n uJmw◊n k. we pray for your maturation (for the perfecting of your characters Goodsp.) 2 Cor 13:9.—DELG s.v. aÓrari÷skw. TW.

katartismo/ß, ouv, oJ (s. prec. two entries; as medical term [Soranus 150, 8]: ‘setting of a bone’, etc. But more gener. PTebt 33, 12 [112 BC] ‘preparation’ aujlhvß; cp. CMRDM 1, 121 s. New Docs 3, 70, no. 42; PRyl 127, 28; Sym. Is 38:12 ‘restoration’) ext. fig. sense (not found in ins or pap) equipment, equipping ei¶ß ti for someth. pro\ß to\n k. tw◊n aJgi÷wn ei˙ß e¶rgon diakoni÷aß to equip God’s people (lit. ‘the holy ones’) for service Eph 4:12, though training, discipline (L-S-J-M) deserve consideration as glosses for k.—DELG s.v. aÓrari÷skw. M-M. TW.

[36]        Note that the text does not affirm that their works are made “perfect,” but that the believers themselves are made perfect (“make you perfect,” katarti÷sai uJma◊ß). The person is made perfect “in every good work.”

[37]         ei˙ß to\ poihvsai to\ qe÷lhma aujtouv. The structure of ei˙ß to\ + infinitive gives the result, for even if the structure is classified as indicating purpose, the Divine purpose is accomplished with the result of doing God’s will.

[38]         touvto de« kai« eujco/meqa, th\n uJmw◊n kata¿rtisin.

[39]         katarti÷zesqe. Thee present imperative appears to be customary, like the ones that follow in the verse (parakalei√sqe, to\ aujto\ fronei√te, ei˙rhneu/ete).

[40]         pro\ß to\n katartismo\n tw◊n aJgi÷wn.

[41]        oujk e˙sti maqhth\ß uJpe«r to\n dida¿skalon aujtou: kathrtisme÷noß de« pa◊ß e¶stai wJß oJ dida¿skaloß aujtouv. Note the perfect passive participle.

[42]         Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Adelfoi÷, e˙a»n kai« prolhfqhØv a‡nqrwpoß e¶n tini paraptw¿mati, uJmei√ß oi˚ pneumatikoi« katarti÷zete to\n toiouvton e˙n pneu/mati praˆo/thtoß, skopw◊n seauto\n mh\ kai« su\ peirasqhØvß. Note the use of the present, not the aorist, imperative—not the beginning point of restoration alone is in view, but also the status of the person restored after those who are spiritual bring him back from sin.

[43]But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. oJ de« Qeo\ß pa¿shß ca¿ritoß, oJ kale÷saß hJma◊ß ei˙ß th\n ai˙w¿nion aujtouv do/xan e˙n Cristwˆ◊ ∆Ihsouv, ojli÷gon paqo/ntaß aujto\ß katarti÷sai uJma◊ß, sthri÷xai, sqenw¿sai, qemeliw¿sai.

[44]        skeu/h ojrghvß kathrtisme÷na ei˙ß aÓpw¿leian. Note that God is not expressed as the agent in the fitting of the lost to destruction, as He is in the perfecting and preparation of the saints, both in the context of Romans 9:22-23 and in other katarti÷zwtexts in the New Testament.

[45]         te÷leioß, teleio/w, telei÷wsiß, teleio/thß, telei÷wß, teleiwth/ß. The words found with some frequency in the New Testament, te÷leioß and teleio/w, are discussed below in their own paragraphs. The noun telei÷wsiß is found only in Luke 1:45 and Hebrews 7:11, the latter text being the only one dealing with progressive sanctification. Similary, teleio/thß appears in only two verses (Colossians 3:14; Hebrews 6:1), both of which deal with sanctification. The adverb telei÷wß appears only in 1 Peter 1:13, while the noun teleiwth/ß only in Hebrews 12:2. The conclusions reached from the more common te÷leioß and teleio/w, and affirmed by the study of Trench (cf. the following footnote), are supported by the less common words in the group.

[46]         § xxii. oJlo/klhroß, te÷leioß, a‡rtioß.Synonyms of the New Testament, Richard Chenevix Trench. Elec. acc. Accordance Bible Software.

[47]         On the sense in which ‘perfection’ is demanded of the Christian, there is a discussion at large by Jeremy Taylor, Doctrine and Practice of Repentance i.3. 40-56, from which this quotation is drawn.

[48]         Seneca (Ep. 120) says of one, ‘Habebat perfectum animum, ad summam sui adductus.’

[49]        The complete list of refences in the New Testament is: Luke 2:43; 13:32; John 4:34; 5:36; 17:4, 23; 19:28; Acts 20:24; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 3:12; Hebrews 2:10; 5:9; 7:19, 28; 9:9; 10:1, 14; 11:40; 12:23; James 2:22; 1 John 2:5; 4:12, 17-18. An examination of these texts supports the views set forth by Trench.

[50]        A number of texts demonstrate that the indwelling of God in the saint is not static, but deepens as he is sanctified. In addition to the context of John 17:17-23, John’s gospel presents this truth in 14:23, where the abode of the Father and the Son in the believer is associated with keeping God’s Words and growth in love by those who are already saved (14:22; cf. also 14:21, where the manifestation of God to the already justified is likewise associated with love and commandment keeping). Deeper abiding of the Son in the saint takes place as he eats Christ’s flesh and drinks His blood by faith (6:56; cf. 6:63). All believers already have the Trinity in them (Romans 8:8-10). Nevertheless, Paul wrote to the already regenerate members of the church at Ephesus: “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith [katoikhvsai to\n Cristo\n dia» thvß pi÷stewß e˙n tai√ß kardi÷aiß uJmw◊n] . . . that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God [iºna plhrwqhvte ei˙ß pa◊n to\ plh/rwma touv Qeouv]” (Ephesians 3:14-19).

In considering the development or growth of the Divine indwelling in the believer, one must keep a number of facts in mind. The Trinity is already omnipresent, so the fact of indwelling refers to the special presence of God in the Christian, in a manner similar to the fact that “Our Father which art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9) establishes the special presence of God in heaven, without in any way denying His omnipresence (or His special presence in the Old Testament tabernacle and temple, in the New Testament church, etc.). All believers have the special presence of the Father (John 14:23), Son (Colossians 1:27), and Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9) in them. A development or deepening of indwelling would thus involve a greater degree of special presence, as God’s special presence is in heaven in a greater degree than it is in the meetings of the church on earth, although His special presence in the congregation is clearly Scriptural (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16-19; Ephesians 1:23; Revelation 1:13). This greater degree of special presence would also be associated with a control of the believer’s inner being that is greater in both extent and degree, leading to greater obedience. The difference can be illustrated by the different levels of control and obedience in a natural man who is merely under the sovereign control of God and thus does His will, in a babe in Christ who is freed from the dominion of sin and thus does God’s will in a greater way than can any unbeliever, in a mature Christian whose obedience is greater in extent and degree than it was when he was newly regenerate, and in a saint in heaven who obedience in extent and degree is perfect, as he is as conformed to God to the absolute maximum level possible for a creature.

[51]         Certain writers on sanctification affirm that the indwelling of God in the believer refers only to the Holy Spirit. However, the Bible is very clear that the entire Trinity (which is, in any case, necessarily undivided in essence) dwells within the believer. In John 14:23 the Son, speaking concerning Himself and the Person of the Father, states, “we will come unto [the believer], and make our abode with him.” There is no reason to change statements such as “Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20) into affirmations about the Holy Spirit living within believers (as He certainly does as well, Romans 8:9). In some texts (e. g., John 17:23, “I in them,” in the context of John 17—Christ alone, not the Father or the Holy Ghost, is the High Priest for the elect) switching the Son’s indwelling to that of the Spirit is impossible. Indeed, some statements that have been made that confound the indwelling of the Holy Ghost with that of the Son have been dangerously modalistic (e. g., Watchman Nee—see Excursus V).

[52]         The complete list of NT references is: Matthew 5:48; 19:21; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:6; 13:10; 14:20; Eph 4:13; Phil 3:15; Col 1:28; 4:12; Heb 5:14; 9:11; James 1:4, 17, 25; 3:2; 1John 4:18.

[53]        Compare 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 and the Cessation of Miraculous Gifts,” R. Bruce Compton. Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 9 (2004) 97-144.

[54]         Cristo\ß de« parageno/menoß aÓrciereu\ß tw◊n mello/ntwn aÓgaqw◊n, dia» thvß mei÷zonoß kai« teleiote÷raß skhnhvß, ouj ceiropoih/tou, touvt∆ e¶stin, ouj tau/thß thvß kti÷sewß. Of course, in this passage the word refers to “a greater and more perfect tabernacle,” not to the Christian’s progress in sanctification. Nevertheless, it provides a definite exegetical basis for the existence of degrees of the te÷leioß sort of perfection.

[55]         oJlo/klhroß, on (o¢loß, klhvroß; Pla.; Polyb. 18, 45, 9; Ps.-Lucian, Macrob. 2; Epict. 3, 26, 7; 25; 4, 1, 66; 151; OGI 519, 14; SIG 1009, 10; 1012, 9 al., s. New Docs 4, 161f; PLond III, 935, 7 p. 30 [216/17 AD]; POxy 57, 13; LXX; Philo, Abr. 47, Spec. Leg. 1, 283; Jos., Ant. 3, 228; 278; 14, 366; Just., D. 69, 7) pert. to being complete and meeting all expectations, with integrity, whole, complete, undamaged, intact, blameless pi÷stiß undiminished faith Hm 5, 2, 3; GJs 16:2. In an ethical sense: oJl. uJmw◊n to\ pneuvma . . . thrhqei÷h may your spirit . . . be preserved complete or sound 1 Th 5:23 (PGM 7, 590 {p. 704} diafu/lasse÷ mou to\ sw◊ma, th\n yuch\n oJlo/klhron.—PvanStempvoort, NTS 7, ’60/61, 262–65: connects pneuvma and aJgia¿sai in 1 Th 5:23). W. te÷leioß Js 1:4.—B. 919. DELG s.v. o¢lo. M-M. TW. Spicq. Sv. (BDAG)

[56]         And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. kai« e˙pi« thØv pi÷stei touv ojno/matoß aujtouv, touvton o§n qewrei√te kai« oi¶date e˙stere÷wse to\ o¡noma aujtouv: kai« hJ pi÷stiß hJ di∆ aujtouv e¶dwken aujtwˆ◊ th\n oJloklhri÷an tau/thn aÓpe÷nanti pa¿ntwn uJmw◊n. BDAG states that the word refers to a “state of soundness or well-being in all parts, wholeness, completeness” and that it occurs as a variant reading in the LXX of Isaiah 1:6 (“From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”).

[57]         The word “blameless” (aÓme÷mptwß) in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 does not indicate absolute sinlessness, as its only other appearance in the New Testament, 1 Thessalonians 2:10, indicates: “Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe” (uJmei√ß ma¿rtureß kai« oJ Qeo/ß wJß oJsi÷wß kai« dikai÷wß kai« aÓme÷mptwß uJmi√n toi√ß pisteu/ousin e˙genh/qhmen). Certainly the apostle Paul and his associates behaved themselves in a holy, unblameable or blameless (aÓme÷mptwß) manner, but not a one of them were sinlessly perfect. The New Testament usage is consistent with that found in 1 Clement for church leaders “who have ministered to the flock of Christ blamelessly [aÓme÷mptwß], humbly, peaceably, and unselfishly, and for a long time have been well-spoken of by all” (44:3; cf. 44:4, 6; also 63:3, “trustworthy and prudent men who from youth to old age have lived blameless lives among us, a‡ndraß pistou\ß kai« sw¿fronaß aÓpo\ neo/thtoß aÓnastrafe÷ntaß eºwß gh/rouß aÓme÷mptwß e˙n hJmi√n). BDAG indicates that aÓme÷mptwß was used “used especially in the Greco-Roman. world of people of extraordinary civic consciousness,” thus meaning “blamelessly (with oJsi÷wß and dikai÷wß).”The fact that God’s faithfulness (1 Thessalonians 5:24) leads to all earthly saints being “blameless” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) does not mean that even one of them will be sinlessly perfect—but it does mean that they will all grow to be evidently, genuinely, and markedly different, both on the inside and on the outside (spirit, soul, and body). Of course, the completion of this sanctification takes place only at the moment of glorification, and not all believers attain to the same level of holiness.

[58]         Aujto\ß de« oJ Qeo\ß thvß ei˙rh/nhß aJgia¿sai uJma◊ß oJlotelei√ß: kai« oJlo/klhron uJmw◊n to\ pneuvma kai« hJ yuch\ kai« to\ sw◊ma aÓme÷mptwß e˙n thØv parousi÷aˆ touv Kuri÷ou hJmw◊n ∆Ihsouv Cristouv thrhqei÷h. pisto\ß oJ kalw◊n uJma◊ß, o§ß kai« poih/sei.

[59]         “[M]any [verses] contemplate the perfect holiness . . . of believers in common[.] . . . The work is begun here, and carried on, under different circumstances, as well as with various degrees of rapidity. Ere long it will be completed [in heaven]. . . . [P]rayers for perfection in holiness are scriptural and proper. . . . [A]ll such prayers, if offered in sincerity[,] will be answered. . . . [God] has begun to answer them, [although] the set time for answering them fully, has not yet arrived. . . . [On earth, Christian] desires [for perfect holiness] are fulfilled in part. The work has been commenced and is going forward. The period of the fulfillment is in progress . . . [believers] are enabled, by the grace of God, more and more to die unto sin and live unto righteousness. And, ere long, their triumph over sin and its influences will be complete . . . [at] the termination of the present life” (pgs. 56-62, The Scripture Doctrine of Sanctification, W. D. Snodgrass).

[60]a‡rtioß, i÷a, on (Hom.+; Epict. 1, 28, 3; IG XIV, 889, 7 a‡. ei¶ß ti; TestAbr A 8 p. 85, 12 [Stone p. 18]; Ath., R. 77, 4 aÓrti÷wß; Philo) pert. to being well fitted for some function, complete, capable, proficient=able to meet all demands 2 Ti 3:17.—DELG s.v. a‡rti. M-M. TW. (BDAG)

[61]         All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. pa◊sa grafh\ qeo/pneustoß kai« wÓfe÷limoß pro\ß didaskali÷an, pro\ß e¶legcon, pro\ß e˙pano/rqwsin, pro\ß paidei÷an th\n e˙n dikaiosu/nhØ: 17 iºna a‡rtioß hØ™ oJ touv Qeouv a‡nqrwpoß, pro\ß pa◊n e¶rgon aÓgaqo\n e˙xhrtisme÷noß. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

[62]e˙xarti÷zw(s. a‡rtioß) 1 aor. e˙xh/rtisa; pf. pass. ptc. e˙xhrtisme÷noß (late; Ex 28:7 v.l.).

            1. to bring someth. to an end, finish, complete (IG XII/2, 538; POxy 296, 7 [I AD] of documents; Jos., Ant. 3, 139) e˙. hJma◊ß t. hJme÷raß our time was up Ac 21:5 (cp. Hippocr., Epid. 2, 180 aÓparti÷zein th\n ojkta¿mhnon).

            2. to make ready for service, equip, furnish (Diod. S. 14, 19, 5 Vogel v.l.; Lucian; Arrian; Jos., Ant. 3, 43 v.l.; CIG II, 420, 13; Mitt-Wilck. I/2, 176, 10 [I AD]; pap, e.g. PAmh 93, 8; PTebt 342, 17) pro\ß pa◊n e¶rgon aÓgaqo\n e˙xhrtisme÷noß for every good deed 2 Ti 3:17 (with e˙xhrtisme÷noß pro/ß ti cp. Diod. S. 19, 77, 3 nauvß e˙xhrtisme÷naß pro\ß to\n po/lemon pro\ß th\n tw◊n ÔEllh/nwn e˙leuqe÷rwsin).—DELG s.v. aÓrari÷skw, s. also a‡rti. M-M. TW. Spicq. (BDAG)

The word is derived from aÓrti÷zw, “to get ready, prepare” (Lidell-Scott). The meaning of 2 Timothy 3:16 is listed in the Louw-Nida lexicon as “to make someone completely adequate or sufficient for something — ‘to make adequate, to furnish completely, to cause to be fully qualified, adequacy.’

[63]         aÓnakai÷nwsiß, ewß, hJaÓnakaino/w s. also aÓnakaini÷zw; not found outside Christian lit.; Nägeli 52.—kai÷nwsiß Jos., Ant. 18, 230, renewal; of a person’s spiritual rebirth metamorfouvsqai thvØ aÓ. touv noo/ß be changed by the renewal of your minds Ro 12:2. loutro\n aÓ. pneu/matoß aJgi÷ou washing of renewal through the Holy Spirit (w. paliggenesi÷a) Tit 3:5. aÓ. tw◊n pneuma¿twn uJmw◊n the renewal of your spirit of the imparting of a new spirit Hv 3, 8, 9.—TW.

[64]        See the section “Vivification as Transformation” above.

[65]        thØv aÓnakainw¿sei is an instrumental dative of means.

[66]        ei˙ß to\ dokima¿zein. ““Boyer . . . suggests, as [Daniel Wallace has] for the corresponding iºna-clause, that the [ei˙ß to + inf. structure] might do double duty [as purpose and result] at times. . . . [with] infinitives after prepositions, many . . . can go either way [as purpose or result]” (Daniel Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, pgs. 592-593).

[67]         aÓnakaino/w(kaino/w ‘make new’; act. Orig., C. Cels. 4, 20; mid. Heliod. Philos., In EN 221, 13) renew only in Paul, in pass., and fig. of the spiritual rebirth of the Christian (opp. diafqei÷rein) oJ e¶sw hJmw◊n (a‡nqrwpoß) aÓnakainouvtai our inner (spiritual) person is being renewed 2 Cor 4:16. aÓ. ei˙ß e˙pi÷gnwsin renew for full knowledge Col 3:10.—DELG s.v. kaino/ß. M-M. TW.

[68]         For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. Dio\ oujk e˙kkakouvmen: aÓll∆ ei˙ kai« oJ e¶xw hJmw◊n a‡nqrwpoß diafqei÷retai, aÓll∆ oJ e¶swqen aÓnakainouvtai hJme÷raˆ kai« hJme÷raˆ.

[69]         And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. kai« e˙ndusa¿menoi to\n ne÷on, to\n aÓnakainou/menon ei˙ß e˙pi÷gnwsin kat∆ ei˙ko/na touv kti÷santoß aujto/n.

[70]        Both the neo/w and kaino/w word families are employed to designate the newness of the people of God. Note the ne÷oß of Colossians 3:10; the aÓnaneo/w of Ephesians 4:23; the kaino/ß of Ephesians 2:15; 4:24; the kaino/thß of Romans 6:4; 7:6; and the aÓnakai÷nwsiß or aÓnakaino/w in Romans 12:2; Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Colossians 3:10.

[71]        God is touv kti÷santoß aujto/n . . . to\n ne÷on, the Creator of the new man, Colossians 3:10. Psalm 51:10 (“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me”; :y`I;b√rIqV;b vñé;dAj Nw#økÎnŒ Aj…wõr◊w My¡IhølTa y∞Il_a∂rV;b rwøhDfœ b∞El) connects the Divine work of creation of holiness within the believer with spiritual renewal (cf. Psalm 104:30; 2 Chronicles 24:12) in those already children of God—creative power is not limited to the impartation of new life at the moment of regeneration. Note that “a∂r;Db in the Kal is always used only of the divine production. The heart is the central organ of the whole religious moral life[.] . . . Steadfast (Nwkn) the spirit is called so far as it does not hesitate between good and evil” (pg. 443, “On The Biblical Notion of Renewal,” Warfield, citing Baethgen). Both the Old and the New Testaments indicate that inner spiritual renewal, a product of the creative power of the Almighty Jehovah, is part of God’s work of sanctifying His people, of progressively delivering them from the power of sin.

[72]         “In Titus 3:5, Paul asserts . . . [that] ‘renewing’ signifies a gradual, protracted work of sanctification, ending only with life . . . a process by which . . . regeneration . . . is completed. . . . [T]his interpretation of [Paul’s] words to Titus is favored by [2] Corinthians 4:16, which [refers to] . . . a process of renewal . . . the process of sanctification . . . a growth ‘day by day,’ month by month, year by year, till the body is laid aside by death. This, too, [is taught in 2 Corinthians] 3:18 . . . [believers are] inwardly transformed from one degree of glory, or likeness to Christ, to another; and this progressive sanctification, through the truth of the gospel, [is] wrought by the Lord, the Spirit. . . . In obvious agreement with these passages is the language of Paul in Colossians 3:9-10 . . . the ‘renewal’ [is] conceived of by the apostle as continuous, progressive, and therefore incomplete in all those whom he was addressing” (pgs. 21-25, The Doctrine of the Higher Christian Life Compared With The Teaching of the Holy Scriptures, Alvah Hovey).

[73]         Both the verb aÓnakainouvtai in 2 Corinthians 4:16 and the participle aÓnakainou/menon in Colossians 3:10 are passive—the believer does not renew Himself, but God renews the believer’s inward man. Both the verb and the participle are present tense, because God renews His people inwardly “day by day.” BDAG notes that “hJme÷ra . . . [i]n the dative [is] answering the question, when? . . . The Hebrew has also furnished the expression hJme÷raˆ kai« hJme÷raˆ day after day (Esther 3:4 MwøyÎw Mwøy=LXX kaq∆ e˚ka¿sthn hJme÷ran; Mwøy Mwøy Psalm 68:20=LXX 67:20 hJme÷ran kaq∆ hJme÷ran) 2 Corinthians 4:16; Gospel of James 6:1.” The Lord renews His people daily in the same way that Jehovah, God of salvation, daily loads His people with benefits (Psalm 68:19, 68:20, Heb.) and the same way that Mordecai was harassed daily about his refusal to bow to Haman (Esther 3:4). The Koiné parallel to a child growing physically stronger day by day (Gospel of James 6:1, ÔHme÷raˆ de« kai« hJme÷raˆ e˙krataiouvto hJ pai√ß) is also noteworthy.

[74]        aÓnaneo/wfut. 3 sg. aÓnanew¿sei Job 33:24; 1 aor. aÓnene÷wsa, mid. aÓnenewsa¿mhn LXX; aor. pass. ptc. gen. pl. aÓnanewqe÷ntwn Ath., R. 58, 20 (aÓna-, ne÷oß, s. aÓnane÷wsiß; trag. et al.; ins [e.g. OGI 90, 35 (II BC); ÖJh 64, 1995, p. 72 (III AD)]; pap, LXX; TestBenj 9:1; Apc4Esdr fgm. d [mid.]; Jos., Ant. 12, 321; Ath., R. 58, 20).

            1. trans. renew. The act. is not found very oft. w. this mng. (in a dedication to Aristonous of Corinth [III BC] fgm. 2b Diehl2 [AnthLG II, 6 p. 139] Delfoi« aÓnene÷wsan ta»n pa¿trion proxeni÷an; M. Ant. 4, 3, 3 seauto/n; 6, 15, 1; Herm. Wr. 9, 6; ins; pap; Job 33:24; 1 Macc 12:1; Iren., 3, 3, 3 [Harv. II 11, 1]) aÓ. th\n zwh/n (of the angel of repentance) restore life Hs 9, 14, 3. Much more freq. (since Thu. 7, 33, 4) is the mid. (Diod. S. 33, 28a, 3 Dind.; 37, 15, 2; Chion, Ep. 16, 8; Appian, Maced. 11 §6; SIG 721, 13; 475, 10; 554, 6; 591, 53, cp. index; OGI 90, 35; Esth 3:13b; 1 Macc 12:3, 10, 16 al.; Jos., Bell. 1, 283, Ant. 1, 290), which seems not to have the reflexive sense ‘renew oneself’. Hence aÓnaneouvsqai tw◊ˆ pneu/mati touv noo/ß is better taken as a pass. be renewed=(let yourselves) be renewed in the spirit of your minds Eph 4:23 (on the figure Cornutus 33 p. 70, 10 aÓnanea¿zein e˙k tw◊n no/swn kai« e˙kdu/esqai to\ ghvraß). aÓnaneouvtai to\ pneuvma his spirit is renewed Hv 3, 12, 2; 3, 13, 2, cp. 3, 12, 3.

            2. intr. become young again mhke÷ti e¶conteß e˙lpi÷da touv aÓnanew◊sai Hv 3, 11, 3.—New Docs 3, 61f. DELG s.v. ne÷oß. M-M. TW. Sv. (BDAG)

[75]         aÓnaneouvsqai de« twˆ◊ pneu/mati touv noo\ß uJmw◊n.

[76]        Thus, the imperative aÓnaneouvsqai in Ephesians 4:23 is present passive—the renewal is progressive and God is the agent of it.

[77]        In the New Testament, aÓnaneo/w is also a hapax legomenon, and the emphasis upon the mind is validated by parallel texts such as Romans 12:2, by the etymology of the word, and, obviously, from the specific addition of twˆ◊ pneu/mati touv noo\ß. However, the LXX demonstrates that the verb aÓnaneo/w on its own was not limited to mental renewal (Esther 13:2; 1 Maccabees 12:1, 3, 10, 16; 14:18, 22; 15:17; 4 Maccabees 18:4; Job 33:24—peace, friendship, brotherhood, and even the body is renewed with aÓnaneo/w). The Shepherd of Hermas employs the verb for God renewing the spirit when it employs the passive voice, but employs the active for the restoration of youth or life (19:3; 20:2–3; 21:2; 91:3). Somewhat later Irenaeus employs the active of aÓnaneo/w for faith being renewed (Against Heresies, 3:3:3) and the passive for the renewal of man to incorruptibility in association with the the new heavens and earth (5:36:1), while Athenagoras uses the passsive for the renewal of human bodies in the resurrection (On the Resurrection 10).

[78]        Hebrews 6:6 employs the related verb, aÓnakaini÷zw for renew, speaking of the work of the Holy Spirit that brings an unconverted individual to repentance and salvation. Specifically, the verse indicates that a lost man who deliberately turns from the truth after coming to the place of maximum revelation and Spirit-produced conviction (cf. John 16:8-11) spoken of in Hebrews 6:4-8 will never thereafter be brought by God the Holy Ghost to the point where he can repent and be saved. Thus, Hebrews 6:6 adds to the evidence of Titus 3:5 that renewal begins at the same temporal instance as repentance, faith, regeneration, and justification. The fact that aÓnakaini÷zein in Hebrews 6:6 is a present infinitive seems to indicate that the verb includes the convicting and drawing working of the Spirit that leads a lost man to seek Christ (cf. Luke 13:24; Matthew 7:13-14; John 7:17) and temporally precedes the Spirit’s giving the responding sinner repentance and faith. Compare Lamentations 5:21, LXX: e˙pi÷streyon hJma◊ß ku/rie pro\ß se÷ kai« e˙pistrafhso/meqa kai« aÓnakai÷nison hJme÷raß hJmw◊n kaqw»ß e¶mprosqen, Turn us, O Lord, to thee, and we shall be turned; and renew our days as before.

[79]         “[R]egeneration . . . differs from sanctification as the beginning of a thing differs from its continuance. And the relation of one to the other is clearly set forth by an apostle, when he says, ‘He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ’ [Philippians 1:6]. The author of the work is the same in all its parts. He who begins it is the same agent who carries it on; and we have no reason to suppose that the influence which is exerted in its progress is different from that which operates at the commencement. It is one work, and the efficient power which is concerned in producing it is one, but it consists of different stages or degrees. It is not perfect at once, but passes from an [incomplete] state to one which is more perfect. It is not instantaneous, but progressive” (pgs. 11-12, The Scripture Doctrine of Sanctification, W. D. Snodgrass). In the words of Arthur Pink (pgs. 75-76, Doctrine of Sanctification):

[I]n one sense, the relation between regeneration and sanctification is that of the infant to the adult. . . . In likening the connection between regeneration and sanctification to the relation between an infant and an adult, it should be pointed out that we have in mind our practical and progressive sanctification, and not our objective and absolute sanctification. Our absolute sanctification, so far as our state before God is concerned, is simultaneous with our regeneration. The essential thing in our regeneration is the Spirit’s quickening of us into newness of life; the essential thing in our sanctification is that thenceforth we are an habitation of God, through the indwelling of the Spirit, and from that standpoint all the subsequent progressive advances in the spiritual life are but the effects, fruits, and manifestations of that initial consecration or anointing. The consecration of the tabernacle, and later of the temple, was a single act, done once and for all; after, there were many evidences of its continuance or perpetuity. But it is with the experimental aspect we would here treat.

At regeneration a principle of holiness is communicated to us; practical sanctification is the exercise of that principle in living to God. In regeneration the Spirit imparts saving grace; in His work of sanctification, He strengthens and develops the same. As “original sin” or that indwelling corruption which is in us at our natural birth, contains within it the seeds of all sin, so that grace which is imparted to us at the new birth contains within it the seeds of all spiritual graces; and as the one develops and manifests itself as we grow, so it is with the other.

“Sanctification is a constant, progressive renewing of the whole man, whereby the new creature doth daily more and more die unto sin and live unto God. Regeneration is the birth, sanctification is the growth of this babe in grace. In regeneration, the sun of holiness rises; in sanctification it keepeth its course, and shineth brighter and brighter unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). The former is a specifical change from nature to grace (Ephesians 5:8); the latter is a gradual change from one degree of grace to another (Psalm 84:7), whereby the Christian goeth from strength to strength till he appear before God in Zion” (George Swinnock, 1660).

Thus, the foundation of sanctification is laid in regeneration, in that a holy principle is then first formed in us. That holy principle evidences itself in conversion, which is a turning away from sin to holiness, from Satan to Christ, from the world to God. It continues to evidence itself under the constant work of mortification and vivification, or the practical putting off of the old man and the putting on of the new; and is completed at glorification. The great difference then between regeneration and experimental and practical sanctification is that the former is a Divine act, done once and for all; while the latter is a Divine work of God’s grace, wherein He sustains and develops, continues and perfects the work He then began. The one is a birth, the other a growth. The making of us practically holy is the design which God has in view when He quickens us: it is the necessary means to this end, for sanctification is the crown of the whole process of salvation.

One of the chief defects of modern teaching on this subject has been in regarding the new birth as the summum bonum of the spiritual life of the believer. Instead of being the end, it is . . . a means to the end. Regeneration must be supplemented by sanctification, or otherwise the soul would remain at a standstill—if such a thing were possible: for it seems to be an unchanging law in every realm that where there is no progression, there must be retrogression. That spiritual growth which is so essential lies in progressive sanctification, wherein all the faculties of the soul are more and more brought under the purifying and regulating influence of the principle of holiness which is implanted at the new birth, for thus alone do we grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).

[80]        Pgs. 439, 450-452, 459-460, “On The Biblical Notion of Renewal,” Benjamin B. Warfield, in Biblical Doctrines, vol. 2 of Works of Benjamin B. Warfield. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003; reprint of 1932 Oxford ed. Article orig. pub. The Princeton Theological Review, v. ix, 1911, pgs. 242-267.

[81]         Philip E. Hughes (pgs. 27-28, The True Image: The Origin and Destiny of Man in Christ. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2001) wrote: “[I]n Christ . . . [t]he image marred by our fallenness is renewed in him who is the Image of God in which we were first formed. From the beginning he has been the key and the guarantee to a destiny more glorious than the beginning. The renewal of our humanity after the image of its Creator is already complete in the triumphant and glorious exaltation of the incarnate Son who is the Lord our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6; 1 Corinthians 1:30), and during the course of this earthly pilgrimage it is progressively taking place within us as with the Holy Spirit’s aid we increase in Christlikeness (2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 4:12, 16).”

[82]         a‡nwqenadv. of place . . . 1. in extension from a source that is above, from above . . . Esp. from heaven . . . 4. at a subsequent point of time involving repetition, again, anew . . . aÓ. gennhqhvnai be born again J 3:3, 7 (a‡. genna◊sqai in the physical sense Artem. 1, 13) is designedly ambiguous and suggests also a transcendent experience born from above. (BDAG)

[83]        As noted by a variety of writers (e. g., Buchsel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 1:671; gen. ed. G. Kittel & G Friedrich, 10 vol. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1976), in John gennhqhvnai is always used with a reference to the point of origin. Note e˙k touv Qeouv and e˙x aujtouv (1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18; John 1:13); e˙k Pneu/matoß (John 3:5, 6, 8); e˙x u¢datoß (3:5); e˙k thvß sarko/ß (3:6); e˙k qelh/matoß (aÓndro/ß/Qeouv 1:13); a‡nwqen (3:3, 7).

[84]         aÓpokue÷w1 aor. aÓpeku/hsa (because the aor. is found in this form [not aÓpe÷kusa] Js 1:18, W-H. Vog. M. in 1:15 accent aÓpokuei√; s. W-S. §15 p. 129); aor. pass. aÓpekuh/qh (Just., A I, 32, 14; 46, 5). (kue÷w or ku/w ‘to be pregnant’; Aristot., fgm. 76 Rose; Dionys. Hal. 1, 70 [interpol.]; Plut., Sull. 475 [37, 7]; Lucian, D. Mar. 10, 1; Aelian, VH 5, 4 et al.; Herm. Wr. 1, 16; BGU 665 II, 19 [I AD]; APF 3, 1906, 370 II, 4; Sb 6611, 15; PFamTebt 20, 15; 20; 22; 4 Macc 15:17; Philo, Ebr. 30 al.) give birth to

a. of delivery of that with which one has been pregnant, w. aÓpo/ retaining its force give birth to, o§ß e˙[k]uoforh/qh

[. . .. . .]. uJp∆ aujthvß wJß aÓpokuhvse (=eºwß aÓpokuhvsai) aujth/n, kai« gennhvsai [∆Ihsouvn] to\n Cristo/n who was carried (in the womb) by her (Mary) until she gave birth and bore [Jesus] the Messiah AcPl Ha 8, 27f.

b. otherwise in our lit. only fig., hJ aJmarti÷a aÓ. qa¿naton sin gives birth to (i.e. brings forth) death Js 1:15. But the term is not confined to the human female faculty (cp. Herm. Wr. 1, 9); of God (s. genna¿w) aÓpeku/hsen hJma◊ß lo/gwˆ aÓlhqei÷aß gave birth to us (brought us into being) through the word of truth Js 1:18.—C-MEdsman, Schöpferwille u. Geburt Jk 1:18: ZNW 38, ’39, 11–44.—DELG s.v. kue÷w I. M-M. TW. Spicq. (BDAG)

[85]        James draws a striking contrast with aÓpokue÷w—in those who are not begotten of God (aÓpeku/hsen, 1:18), sin is bringing forth death (aÓpoku/ei, 1:15).

[86]         aÓnagenna¿w1 aor. aÓnege÷nnhsa; pass. aÓnegennh/qhn (Just., Tat.); pf. pass. ptc. aÓnagegennhme÷noß (Philod., Ira p. 18 W.; Sir Prol. ln. 28 v.l.) beget again, cause to be born again fig. of the spiritual rebirth of Christians.—Of God oJ aÓnagennh/saß hJma◊ß ei˙ß e˙lpi÷da zw◊san who has given us a new birth for a living hope 1 Pt 1:3. aÓnagegennhme÷noi oujk e˙k spora◊ß fqarthvß born again not of perishable seed vs. 23 (in Herm. Wr. 13, 1 Sc. aÓgnow◊, w° trisme÷giste, e˙x oiºaß mh/traß a‡nqrwpoß aÓnagennhqei÷h a‡n, spora◊ß de« poi÷aß the rdg. aÓnag. is not certain, but Sallust. 4 p. 8, 24=FPhGr III, 33, col. 2, 6 uses the word in describing mysteries ga¿laktoß trofh/, w‚sper aÓnagennwme÷nwn).—Cp. RPerdelwitz, D. Mysterienreligion u. d. Problem des 1 Pt 1911, 37ff; HWindisch, Hdb. Exc. on 1 Pt 2:2 and the entry paliggenesi÷a.—DELG s.v. gi÷gnomai 222. M-M. TW. Sv. (BDAG)

[87]        The fact that both the new birth (James 1:18) and spiritual growth (John 17:17; 1 Peter 2:2) take place through the instrumentality of the incorruptible Word of God (1 Peter 1:23) means that those who employ corrupt Bible versions that are based on Hebrew and Greek texts other than the Old and New Testament Textus Receptus, literally and accurately translated (as they are in the King James Version), will have more difficulty both being converted and growing spiritually. The power of God, a product of the breath of God (qeo/pneustoß) that remains upon the Word both accurately copied and (in a derivative sense) translated (cf. “Are Accurate Copies and Translations of Scripture Inspired? A Study of 2 Timothy 3:16, by Thomas Ross; without which both regeneration and sanctification are impossible, will be absent from a Bible version to whatever extent it is corrupt.

[88]        And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. oJ de« ∆Ihsouvß ei•pen aujtoi√ß, ∆Amh\n le÷gw uJmi√n o¢ti uJmei√ß oi˚ aÓkolouqh/sante÷ß moi, e˙n thØv paliggenesi÷aˆ o¢tan kaqi÷shØ oJ ui˚o\ß touv aÓnqrw¿pou e˙pi« qro/nou do/xhß aujtouv, kaqh/sesqe kai« uJmei√ß e˙pi« dw¿deka qro/nouß, kri÷nonteß ta»ß dw¿deka fula»ß touv ∆Israh/l.

[89]        Compare the parallel drawn between cosmic and individual redemption in Romans 8:19-23.

[90]         Philip Hughes powerfully develops the relationship between individual and cosmic regeneration, and their mutual connection to the Lord Jesus Christ:

It is important to understand that what happened to the incarnate Son happened to our human nature. . . . His resurrection and his exaltation demonstrate to us that death has been swallowed up in victory, his victory, and assure us that God gives us this same victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).

In him, moreover, our human nature is exalted and brought to perfection. . . . Thus what Psalm 8 affirms about man generically is attained specifically in Christ Jesus. . . . The point that must not be missed is this, that Jesus is in absolute reality the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, of all God’s purposes for mankind and for creation (cf. Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13). What God started in creation he not only started in the Son, who is the Image after whom man is formed, but he also completed in the Son, who is the Image to whom all the redeemed are being conformed (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). . . . So real is this exaltation of our redeemed human nature in Christ, so complete is the reconciling and glorifying work performed for us, so genuine is the union of the believer with the incarnate Lord on high, that there is an authentic identity between the Redeemer and the redeemed. . . . The key expression in the communication of this truth is that which defines the existence of the believer as being in Christ, with its corollary that he is therefore with Christ—revitalized with Christ, raised with Christ, enthroned with Christ. Christ has always been the concentration point of God’s age-old purposes, before creation, at creation, and in the restoration of all things. . . .

In the teaching of the apostles the resurrection of Jesus is strikingly proclaimed as signalizing the rebirth of our humanity. It is in him, the conqueror of death and Satan, that the new creation comes into being. . . . The resurrection of Jesus, then, is the sign to the world (cf. Matthew 12:38-40) that declares the reality of the new beginning of the human race in Christ. The regeneration it proclaims is of such significance that it [leads to] the new heavens and the new earth (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1), which is the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21). As with the original creation, this is the work of God, who in Christ makes all things new (Revelation 21:5; cf. Genesis 1:1). It is the dynamic internalization of the creation principle, for God, who in the original creation said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” now dispels the darkness of ungodliness by causing the light of the knowledge of his glory revealed in Christ to shine in the believing heart (2 Corinthians 4:6). Hence the description of the person who is in Christ as a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and the instruction that those who are thus reborn are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). In this the continuity that relates the new to the original creation is evident, as also in the assertion that “the new man” or “the new humanity” put on by the Christian “is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:10), which betokens the recovery of the first principle of man’s creation, namely, his formation after the image of God, which, again, is after Christ who is the Image of God. Likeness to Christ, Christiformity, is the whole sum and purpose of man’s creation.

The reconciliation of man to God achieves also the reconciliation of all things, the reconciliation not only of man to God but also of man to man and of all creation. Through Christ, St. Paul says, God reconciles to himself “all things, whether on earth or in heaven, having made peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20). In the crucified, risen, and glorified Savior there is the healing of all enmity and incompatibility, personal, racial, and indeed of every kind; for Christ “is our peace, who . . . has broken down the dividing wall of hostility . . . that he might create in himself one new man [i. e., one new reborn humanity] . . . in one body through the cross, thereby bringing hostility to an end” (Ephesians 2:13-16). The restoration of harmony between man and God and between man and man inevitably effects the recovery of the harmony of all things. While the focus of the regeneration accomplished through the redeeming work of the incarnate Son is upon man as the head of the created order, the scope of this regeneration is in the end creation-wide. This expectation is altogether logical. Man’s fall, apart from its disasterous results for himself, has subjected the creation as a whole to futility—not, however, without hope; for, St. Paul explains, “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God,” when, at the return of the Son himself in glory, “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:19ff.). Man’s rebellion, in Adam, against his Creator led to his rebellious abuse and perversion of the dominion with which he had been entrusted over the earth; but the renewal of man, in Christ, leads to the renewal of the cosmos, and the glorification of man brings with it the glorification of that order of which he is the chief part. The actuality of rebirth which flows from the resurrection of the Crucified One from the dead therefore exerts a regenerative power that is cosmic as well as human in its comprehensiveness, as in Christ, through whom all things were created, the divine purpose in the creation of man and the world is brought to its glorious fulfilment. (pgs. 380-385, The True Image)

[91]         A confusion of categories would be involved in the conclusion, reasoning from the parallel between cosmic and individual regeneration, that progressive sanctification does not involve the Spirit eradicating indwelling sinfulness and imparting inward holiness because in the Millennium all those who enter the earthly kingdom are regenerate but by the end of the thousand year reign the many unconverted people who will have been born will rebel against Christ, so that greater human holiness is not present at the conclusion of the Millennial reign (Revelation 20:1-10). Even apart from the fact that there doubtless will be a vast number of glorious spiritual achievements and wonderful progress made in innumerable areas during the thousand years of Christ’s reign from Jerusalem, Matthew 19:28 and Titus 3:5 do not present a parallel with individual renewal, but with individual regeneration. The contrast between the present age under Satan’s rule and the Millennial kingdom under Christ’s rule teaches much about the nature of individual regeneration, but nothing about the nature of progressive renewal during the Christian life. No text of the Bible draws an explicit parallel between the unfolding events of Christ’s future earthly kingdom and the unfolding events of individual renewal in progressive personal sanctification.

[92]        See “Excursus V: Regeneration and Sanctification Are Connected with the Renewal of the Whole Person, Body, Soul, and Spirit—Not, as Watchman Nee Affirmed, with the Human Spirit Alone,” below. [93]         Regeneration affects all the faculties of the soul; that is, intellect, will, and affections, as well as all the members of the body which are appointed to be instruments of righteousness. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor 5:17). Everything is changed. The change is such that it is as if a dead person became alive and arose from the dead, as if a blind person received vision, as if a deaf person received hearing, and as if a crippled person walked. Nothing is changed perfectly, however, for the old nature remains, together with its motions and operations. This results in a battle between the flesh and the Spirit (cf. Gal 5:17; Rom 7:23).

Question: How is it to be understood that within one person there can simultaneously be an old and a new nature, light and darkness, life and death? Does each occupy or consist of a different portion of this man? Does each protect this part as its own and strive to evict the other from its part?

Answer: They do not each function independently, but are completely intertwined, as is true of light and darkness during dusk, or of cold and heat in lukewarm water. . . . Such is likewise the case here. Two things which are opposite to each other cannot exist equally to the highest degree within one subject. This is possible, however, when each party is in a mediate position. This will not be a peaceful coexistence, however, for the one will seek to drive out the other. One must thus not deduce his regeneration from the degree of perfection of this new life, nor from the measure in which it manifests itself, but rather from its genuineness. If genuine spiritual life, light, and faith are present, then one is regenerate. Let the old man be as strong as it may be, where there is life it will remain; and wherever there is inner life, it will manifest itself in these and similar fruits. (pgs. 250-251, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 2, Wilhelmus á Brakel)

[94]         “The spiritual life implanted in regeneration is similar to the natural life in that it must be nourished and strengthened for it to expand and grow. In other ways there is a great difference between them, of course, inasmuch as the spiritual life originates in God as Savior, is acquired by the resurrection of Christ, and is eternal life that can neither sin nor die. Nevertheless regenerate persons continually need to be ‘strengthened in their inner being with power through God’s Spirit’ (cf. Eph. 3:16). This strengthening of the spiritual life, like its beginning, originates with God and the riches of his grace. The life of spiritual persons, also after its origination, cannot for a moment be separated from God and his fellowship; in the same strict and particular sense in which this life is from God, it also is through and for him. It is he who nourishes and maintains it, never abandons it, prompts it to engage in certain activities, and not only bestows the capacity but also the willing and the working according to his good pleasure (Phil. 2:13; 2 Cor. 3:5). It is a life in communion with Christ. . . . [B]elievers are united with Christ, both in his death and in his resurrection (Rom. 6:5). They are in Christ, and Christ lives in them (2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 2:20). They cannot do anything if they do not remain in him as branches in the vine (John 15:4–5). They can only become strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might (Eph. 6:10) by the Spirit of Christ and in communion with him (Rom. 8:13, 26; 2 Cor. 13:13; Eph. 3:16). But in the case of the regenerate, that Spirit works from the center of their being to the circumference. This is both possible and proper since the ‘new person’ is not immediately perfected in ‘degrees’ but in ‘parts.’ In regeneration the whole person is, in principle, re-created. A person’s self dies and lives again in and by the power of Christ (Gal. 2:20). From the very start it is a new human (kaino\ßa‡nqrwpoß, kainos anthrōpos) who is created in Christ (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10), a creation that, though small and delicate, is nevertheless complete in all its parts. The Holy Spirit, accordingly, works at various aspects to make the new person grow evenly and proportionately in all one’s parts. He works as the Spirit of wisdom, holiness, and glory, and adorns believers with an array of powers and gifts and virtues (Rom. 15:13; 1 Cor. 12:3ff.; Gal. 5:2–3)” (pg. 98, Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 4, Herman Bavinck).

[95]         Note the use of participles for God’s work of the creation of the new heaven and earth in both Isaiah 65:17-18 (aóérwøb y∞InSa . . . h¡Dv∂dSj X®r∞DaÎw My™Iv∂dSj Mˆy¶AmDv aöérwøb y¶In◊nIh) and 66:22 (r°RvSa h%Dv∂dSjAh X®r°DaDh◊w MyIv∂dFjAh Mˆy∞AmDÚvAh h¢RcOo y¶InSa)—both texts thus employ forms expected for an action involving a process rather than one completed at a single instant in time (cf. Isaiah 66:22 (LXX), oJ oujrano\ß kaino\ß kai« hJ ghv kainh/ a± e˙gw» poiw◊, and 65:18, e˙gw» poiw◊). Note that Isaiah 66:22 also connects the certainty that the people of God will not be cast away with the certainty that the renewed cosmos will not be cast away. From the moment God’s renewing power enables a sinner to take the water of life freely until the ultimate consummation in the New Jerusalem, the Triune Jehovah can truly testify, ∆Idou/, kaina» pa¿nta poiw◊, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5; cf. 21:1-7).

[96]        Synonyms of the New Testament, Richard Chenevix Trench. Section xviii, pgs. 64-66.

[97]        “On The Biblical Notion of Renewal,” Benjamin B. Warfield, pgs. 454-457.

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