Confession - Justification - Sanctification

There are many people out there called "grace teachers." There are also many things they teach which bother me like ‘as believers we do not need to confess our sins,’ and sanctification being a one time process at salvation (putting justification and sanctification all into one basket). Another weird teaching would be that we do not need to repent.  Could I have your thoughts?

I don’t know if this will make sense…but much of this can be found in our Gospel Class Lesson 3 about salvation.

I believe that all of our sins have already been forgiven at the moment of the cross, so in one sense asking for forgiveness doesn't make sense, but confession does. 2 Cor 7:10 tells us that godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. Many of these teachers see repentance too closely resembling guilt (I believe) and misrepresent it...repentance is stepping away from what drug us into sin in the first place. We are to confess our sins to each other, as it will keep us accountable and help us to grow. Repentance is what we then do in our remorse for our sin...walk away from it. Because we have been forgiven doesn't give us the right to live as antinomians (those who believe everything is OK to do because we have been forgiven).

Element holds the position that sanctification could be defined as "salvation in present time." We are saved positionally, but are being made daily more into the likeness of Christ. Hebrews 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Through the blood of Christ we ARE holy, but are being remade and renewed, so to speak, everyday to be conformed to the likeness of the Son. God initiates, marks out, and secures our salvation, and it cannot be broken. What He begins, He is sure to end (bring to completion). 

We also hold that sanctification fuses man’s responsibility, God’s work, and the church’s equipping in the process of a believer’s growth in Christ.

  • Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
  • Philippians 2:12-13Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
  • Romans 8:28-30 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son,so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

The chain of salvation works like this:

  • Foreknowledge is God’s intimate knowledge of events and His people –before the foundation of the world He predestined, He knew us. This causes much controversy.
  • Called has to do with conversion or bringing of one to faith.
  • Justified means to be legally acquitted from wrongdoing (this is past tense for those in New Covenant relationship with Jesus).
  • Sanctification (salvation in present time) is the process of maturity as God conforms us to His Son’s image. As I said, sanctification fuses man’s responsibility, God’s work, and the church’s equipping in the process of a believer’s growth in Christ.
  • Glorification is the final completion of God’s purpose in salvation, which includes our death and resurrection.