Final Sanctification and the Flesh vs. the Spirit

In a recent conversation with a Protestant friend, I was explaining the doctrine of purgatory, what Catholics actually believe, and its scriptural basis. I pointed out to my friend that many Protestants believe that after death God completes the sanctification of the soul so that a person may be made perfect and enter heaven, and that this is extremely similar or identical to non-temporal purgatory, which Catholics are free to believe.

He countered that he believes that the soul is made completely righteous upon regeneration, and that it is the flesh that remains sinful and impure during our lives. Upon death, our souls are freed from the impurities of the flesh, and therefore fully righteous, and will be reunited with our glorified bodies on the last day.

This seems awfully close to Gnosticism to me, and I stated that, but it didn’t seem to hit home. Does anyone have suggestions for pointing out the flaws in this perspective? Examples from scripture and the Church fathers would be especially helpful.

Could I add to the discussion 2 Corinthians 5:8-10.

Ask him to provide his references **properly referenced **of course. If he can’t do that then ask him on what authority does he believe what he believes.

Blessings wk11


JUSTIFICATION and SANCTIFICATION in the Scripture some verses refer to


6:11; Hebr.10:10; Hebr.10:29.

Some Bible verses indicate that JUSTIFICATION and SANCTIFICAION is an ONGOING

PROCESS, such as Phill.2:12-15; Eph.4:22-24; 1 Thess.4:1, 3; Hebr.2:11.


On the increase of Justification received.

“He that is just, let him be justified still; and again, Be not afraid to be justified even to death.” End quote.

To understand the economy of our salvation, we must understand the reason that our

JUSTIFICATION and SANCTIFICATION is a past completed event and an ongoing

process throughout all our Christian life.

The following Bible verses might help us to understand **the reason **that our

JUSTIFICATION and SANCTIFICATION is a **past completed event **and an **ongoing

process **throughout all our Christian life.

2 Cor.4:16; “… Even our OUTWARD MAN (our corporal part: flesh/body) is perishing, yet the

INWARD MAN (our non-corporal part: spirit + soul) is being renewed day by day.”

Eph.3:16; “… to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the INNER MAN.” (spirit + soul)

Luke 11:39; “… Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your

INWARD PART (spirit + soul) is full of greed and wickedness.”

Rom.7:22; “For I delight in the law of God according to the INWARD MAN (spirit + soul).”

Rom.7:23; “But I see another law in my MEMBERS (flesh/body), warring against the law

of my MIND (spirit + soul), and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my MEMBERS (flesh/body).”

Rom.7:24; “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this BODY of death?

Rom.7:25; “I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the MIND (inward man = spirit + soul) I myself serve the law of God,

but with the FLESH (outward man= flesh/body) the law of sin.

Rom.8:23; “… eagerly waiting for the ADAPTION (salvation), the REDEMPTION

(salvation) of our BODY (outward man).”- Our bodies not yet saved.

2 Cor.5:8; “… to be ABSENT from the body and to be PRESENT with the Lord.”


  1. At our baptism our INWARD MAN (spirit + soul) redeemed/saved when baptized into the Body of Christ.

  2. At our baptism our OUTWARD MAN (flesh/body) did not redeemed/saved, that will be a future event. – Rom.8:23

Why then those who have been baptized and die immediately after baptism go instantly to Heaven?

Because our INWARD MAN (spirit + soul) is ready to go to Heaven and the body goes to the grave

on earth. – To be ABSENT from the body and to be PRESENT with the Lord.

The salvation of our inward man (spirit + soul) is completed at baptism when baptized into the Body of Christ.

The sins of the body does not penetrate into the Body of Christ, the Body of Christ is Perfectly Holy.

We are (our inner man = spirit + soul)** perfectly holy in the Body of Christ**.

If the sins and the stains of the sins of the flesh **could penetrate into the Body of Christ **

then the Body of Christ would be spiritually corrupted.

The law of sin and our sins is in the flesh/body **when we sin we need to ask forgiveness

**. – Our present bodies will never goes to Heaven.



1 Cor.15:42; “… The body is SOWN in corruption, it is RAISED in incorruption.”

1 Cor.15:43; “It is SOWN in dishonor, it is RAISED in glory. It is SOWN in weakness, it is RAISED in power.

1 Cor.15:44; “It is SOWN a natural body, it is RAISED a spiritual body.”

Phil.3:20-21; “… Lord Jesus Christ will change our lowly body to be like His glorious body.”

1 Cor.15:51-52; “… We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be CHANGED – in a moment,

in the TWINKLING OF AN EYE, … dead will RAISED incorruptible, and we shall be CHANGED.”


  1. When we die our NATURAL corrupt bodies go to the grave in dishonor.

  2. At the resurrection our SPIRITUAL glorious incorruptible bodies raised from the grave in power.

  3. If we alive at that time, we shall all be CHANGED – in a moment, in the TWINKLING OF AN EYE.


  1. We have a standing in the Body of Christ INNER MAN (spirit + soul). – In the Body of Christ our salvation is completed.

  2. We also have a standing in ourselves OUTER MAN (flesh/body). – The salvation of our bodies is a future event.

At our baptism we have received by faith:

  1. God’s completed gift of our justification.

  2. God’s completed gift of our sanctification.

  3. God has completely washed us clean, (1 Cor.6:11; etc.).

  4. God’s completed gift of our salvation.

  5. God’s gift of everlasting life.

Our salvation (spirit + soul) is completed at our baptism, it is God’s perfect and completed gift.

Form this point on we can add nothing to our salvation and we cannot improve on it.

If we die the next minute after our baptism we go instantly to heaven.

At our baptism God has made us (our spirit + soul) ready to go to Heaven.

In the Body of Christ we are (our spirit + soul) **perfectly just and holy, perfectly washed

clean and our salvation is completed, it is God’s free gift, received by faith**.

This is above our standing in the body of Christ. – INNER MAN (spirit + soul)

We have a different standing as we are ourselves.


In ourselves (flesh/body) we are not completely just and we are not completely holy.

So, we have to work out our salvation by our co-operation with the grace of God by

working on our justification and our sanctification.

This is a continues process in our Christian life.

As we working on our justification and sanctification progressively we become more just and more holy.

Gal.5:17; “For the flesh lust against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these

are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

**Progressively the spirit takes control over the flesh. – This is working out our salvation.

Also we do the different kind of Christian works**.

All the above works are our supernatural merit – if we do it out of love for the glory of God. – NOT FOR OUR SALVATION!

The above works are conditional. We work out our salvation (justification and

sanctification) and we do the different kind of Christian work if we have time to do.

If we die one minute after our baptism we go instantly to Heaven, so we have no time to
do the above works.

In the Body of Christ we have (our spirit + soul) God’s gift of our completed salvation.



Blessings wk11,

Quote from:
Part 1-…ghtly.html?m=1

Part 2.…poral.html?m=1

I think that if one can get their head around **the idea that Purgatory may be

an instantaneous encounter with Christ’s love**, which **the Catholic Church

speculates as possible**, then perhaps the doctrine of Purgatory is not so far

fetched for the Evangelical reader.

In closing I would like to end with a quote from Pope Benedict the XVI

regarding this doctrine, in his encyclical Spe Salvi I believe he sums it up

in a beautiful way that even an Evangelical reader can appreciate and

hopefully recognize as not just plausible, but likely.

**Some recent theologians are of the opinion that the fire which both burns

and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Savior. **The encounter with him

is the decisive act of judgment. **Before his gaze all falsehood melts away.

This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing

us to become truly ourselves**. All that we build during our lives can prove

to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it collapses. Yet in the pain of this

encounter, when the impurity and sickness of our lives become evident to

us, there lies salvation. His gaze, the touch of his heart heals us through an

undeniably painful transformation “as through fire”. But it is a blessed

pain, in which the holy power of his love sears through us like a flame,

enabling us to become totally ourselves and thus totally of God. In this

way the inter-relation between justice and grace also becomes clear: the

way we live our lives is not immaterial, but our defilement does not stain

us forever if we have at least continued to reach out towards Christ,

towards truth and towards love. Indeed, it has already been burned away

through Christ’s Passion. **At the moment of judgment we experience and

we absorb the overwhelming power of his love over all the evil in the

world and in ourselves. The pain of love becomes our salvation and our joy.**

Emphasize added.



I think the process is this. Death, soul stands before judgment seat of Christ. Then He sends to purgatory, where purgatory is the work of the Holy Spirit.

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