Email to Paul Dohse about Sanctification Through Faith

The following is an email I sent to Paul Dohse in response to his contention that justification is a “done deal” so that we no longer need to live our lives as believers by faith alone in Christ alone. His statements at least make it appear that he believes that we believed once for justification, and we live the life of what he calls sanctification by merely learning and obeying. Apparently, in his view, faith is not necessary for obedience. It seems strange, doesn’t it, that all the obedience mentioned in Hebrews 11 was prompted by faith?


I would be interested in knowing if you believe in sanctification apart from faith. It seems to me the clear teaching of the NT Scriptures is that we cannot please God apart from faith. The problem with the Hebrews was not a failure to adhere to the works of the law, but a tendency to succumb to an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.

If you are right, Paul could not have been writing about justification in Galatians 2:20, since he writes about “the life that he NOW lives in the flesh.” If, for him, justification was a “done deal,” [and in the sense that a believer is never more righteous in God’s sight than he was the first moment he believed, it is a finished work], how could he be referring to anything other than his current life in sanctification? The only way he could have been talking about his current faith in reference to justification is with the biblical understanding that once a genuine believer begins to trust in Christ alone for justification, he never stops trusting in him alone. It is not that we must be re-justified. The declaration of justification has been fully and finally accomplished for the true believer. It is simply that the genuine believer will persevere in trusting Christ alone. On his best day, his best obedience is not sufficient to form the basis for his justification. On his worst day, his most grievous sin is not sufficient to overwhelm the grace of God [“where sin overflowed, grace overflowed all the more” (Rom. 5:20)] and separate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.



1 Response to “Email to Paul Dohse about Sanctification Through Faith”

  1. January 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    What Dohse means by what he writes is one of those mysteries that perhaps only Mary – Undoer of the knots (www.maryundoerofknots.com) can solve 🙂

    Of course, we know that justification is a one-time deal, but living by faith in Christ is the result thereof and no man can please God apart from that faith. Why is this so difficult to believe or understand? What does the Word of God say about those who are unable to comprehend spiritual truths?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: