Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:
In the previous study, I set forth the view that the believer is born again in order to walk with God according to the obedience and righteousness of Christ, under the authority of the covenant of grace (otherwise called, the covenant of redemption). By virtue of the soul’s union with Christ, the life and graces of Christ flow into the soul. The life of Christ makes the regenerate sinner alive unto God; the graces of Christ enable the sinner to bear the fruit of the new nature (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, patience, faith, humility, etc). The good works of a believer are nothing other than the graces of Christ expressing themselves in thought, word and deed. The obedience of a believer is nothing other than the believer working out with fear and trembling, those graces of Christ which the Spirit of God is working in him/her. In this way, both the obedience of the believer and the good works done by him/her are credited to Christ and to the Holy Spirit, that, according as it is written, “He that boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”
It is on this basis that the fallacious doctrine of progressive sanctification is denounced. Progressive sanctification is the view that a believer advances towards higher levels of holiness according to his/her obedience to a legal code (whether it be that of the heart law, the moral law or the mere precepts of the New Testament scriptures). However, holiness is a characteristic of the new nature, rather than a fruit. I wish to repeat, the new nature is the soul’s union with Christ. In Ephesians 4:24, the Apostle Paul refers to the new nature as “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Righteousness and true holiness are characteristics of the soul’s union with Christ. They are absolute characteristics, precluding any notion of progression or advancement. The nature is either righteous or unrighteous; holy or unholy. Degrees or measures of righteousness and/or holiness are impossible. Henceforth, while the believer may grow in the fruit of the new nature which flow into the soul by virtue of the soul’s union with Christ (Galatians 5:22-25), yet he/she cannot progress or advance to higher levels of holiness or righteousness, as these are the characteristics of the new nature (Ephesians 4:24).
In a nutshell, there are two natures residing in the soul, one created in unrighteousness and unholiness, the other created in righteousness and holiness. The old nature cannot be reformed or improved, neither can the new nature be impaired or corrupted. That which is born of the flesh is flesh (old nature); that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (new nature). The flesh (old nature) lusts against the spirit (new nature), and the spirit (new nature) lusts against the flesh (old nature). These natures are contrary the one to the other, so that the believer cannot do the things that he/she would. However, if a sinner is led of the spirit (new nature), then he/she is not under the law (legal code, whether it be the heart law, moral law or mere precepts of the New Testament). Among the fruit of the spirit (new nature) is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against the soul’s union with Christ there is no law (legal code). They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh (old nature) with the affections and lusts. If, therefore, the believer lives in the spirit (new nature), let him/her also walk in the spirit (new nature). To walk in the spirit (new nature) is the gospel law. (See Galatians 5)
The sinner is born again in order to walk with God according to the obedience and righteousness of Christ, under the authority of the covenant of grace—for of God is he/she in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto him/her wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (5/11/2022)
Jared Smith served twenty years as pastor of a Strict and Particular Baptist church in Kensington (London, England). He now serves as an Evangelist in the Philippines, preaching the gospel, organizing churches and training gospel preachers.