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.
THE KEY TO UNDERSTAND
JUSTIFICATION and SANCTIFICATION in the Scripture some verses refer to
JUSTIFICATION and SANCTIFICATION as a PAST COMPLETED event, such as 1 Cor.
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.
TRENT CHAPTER X.
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.”
SUMMARY OF THE ABOVE BIBLE VERSES
At our baptism our INWARD MAN (spirit + soul) redeemed/saved when baptized into the Body of Christ.
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
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.