It’s been a long but rewarding day for me and Cheryl. We’re mentally decompressing from an awesome first day at Impact 2010 Bible Conference, sitting here reflecting on the day just gone.
The drive down was relatively uneventful- we left at 7 a.m., had a filling lunch at Pizza Hut, and made it to Riverbend Bible Church (where the conference is being hosted) before 3 p.m. Already we’ve bumped into brothers and sisters we’ve met at previous events (e.g. the STAND conference we hosted in April), and it’s been great to meet new folk as well. I’m looking forward to the rest of the conference – 4 more days of solid biblical teaching and fellowship!
There were two sermons today; one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. Once I have my notes up I’ll update the section headings below with more notes and quotes, here’s what I could type up for now.
General Session 1: Scott Ardavanis – Understanding the Relationship of Justification and Sanctification
Scott broke down the difference between justification (where we’re positionally made right with God) and sanctification (where we are made more and more holy like Christ).
- it’s defined as the legal act of God in which he declares a sinner righteous in the sight of a just and holy God.
- it means sin is removed: Scott explained it worked in a way analogous to one pressing the “Clear” button on a calculator (Psalm 32, Psalm 103:12)
- it’s through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:21-30)
- it’s only through faith in the finished work of Christ, not on account of it (i.e. it’s not the fact we have faith that saves us but what we have faith in). Scott pointed out that this is markedly different from the Roman Catholic view of justification which they believe is through Sacraments such as infant baptism, penance and other rituals. Instead of these, however, Romans 3:28 clearly denotes that justification is “apart from works of the law”.
- it’s where the righteousness of Christ is given. It’s not enough that our sin is removed – we need the Christ’s righteousness imputed onto us to be children of God
- Objective sanctification is where God has imputed holiness onto us (1 Cor 6:9-11, Acts 20:32)
- Progressive sanctification is the process of being holy in this life. It’s both a progressive work of God and a work of believers
The biggest point I took out of this sermon, though, was that justification and sanctification are inextricably linked: if you’ve genuinely been justified, you will be sanctified. An important bible doctrine to consider for many Christians who mix the two up or confuse them to the detriment of their assurance of salvation, or knowledge of it.
General Session 2: Ken Ramey – The Pursuit of Holiness
1. Context: 1 peter ch1:1
1.1. Supreme attribute of God is holiness. The setting for showing off the other attributes of God, as a crown shows off the jewels.
1.2. We must seek it. Be holy, because I am holy.
2. Definition of holy: in Hebrew or Greek – to be cut apart, set apart.
2.1. From creation. Holiness describes how he is infinitely unapproachable by us.
2.1.1. From evil. His eyes are too pure to look at sin. Cannot tolerate sin in his presence. Must punish sin.
2.2. How does God make us holy?
2.2.1. Through Jesus. Understanding our sinfulness (repenting) lets us understand his holiness. Curtain torn meant God is now accessible to us. Clothed in the holiness of Christ. Our holiness depends entirely on the work of Christ. God imparts his holiness to us through Christ.
2.2.2. A holiness we must pursue. Sanctification: being set apart from sin. #1 duty is to be different from what we used to be. Primary evidence of salvation is a decreasing frequency of sin, and an increasing sensitivity to sin.
As always, the food was great: chicken korma and rice for dinner tonight.
Alright, it’s time for bed – hope you are all well!
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UPDATE: Download the messages from the conference here: Impact 2010 messages