This is the second part of a series of posts adapted from a paper I presented at a New Covenant Theology think tank in upstate New York in July 2010.
In the first article in this series, we looked at five propositions that Paul introduces in his epistles about our relationship to the law and its relationship to our sanctification:
First, law cannot cope with sin.
Second, it’s the love brought to the saint through the indwelling Holy Spirit that is fulfills the law.
Third, it is the Spirit that produces fruit in the believer, while the law in our remaining sinful flesh can only produce sin.
Fourth, sanctification – a growth in holiness — results from our union with Christ and Scripture’s exhortations about what it means to be Christ-like.
Fifth, that the imperatives Paul gives to us are not themselves laws and are not given as laws or in the category of law, because they flow from the indicative of our reliance upon Christ and our position in Christ.
Before we address those five propositions individually in future articles, we need to consider the eschatology of our sanctification. We will indeed be glorified, Paul promises (Romans 8:30). What is important now about that final and complete sanctification is what that state reveals about us – what that “not yet” tells us about our “already.”