A Unexpected Explanation of Sanctification

I’ve been studying a book, The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves, written by the same people who wrote Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box. That book led me to write Self-Deception and the Problems It Causes, and this one is no different.

The Arbinger Institute seems to use Biblical principles, and in their models in chapter two, I saw a way to explain sanctification. I don’t know if that was their line of thought but I have to share.

1st Model—Behavioral Model

Imagine a triangle, that’s a person’s behavior. Now put a circle at the top for the results of the behavior. Behavior drives the results.

This reminds me of our natural self-interests we have that fuel our choices to take care of ‘number one’. The flesh, as Paul puts it in Romans 8:5.

2nd Model—Mindset Model

The same triangle and circle, except now the triangle is divided horizontally. The bottom half is mindset, the top half is behaviors. The mindset chooses which behaviors are used for the results you want.

I can see it as an example of a saved person’s regenerated heart (Ezekiel 11:18-20). It does good, not because of rules or the Old Testament Law, but because of the heart itself. It naturally wants to do good.

3rd Model—Behavioral Push Model

The diagram has changed, now the mindset half of the triangle and the current results circle are on the left. On the right is new circle, target results. The behavior half of the triangle is under it, symbolizing the target behaviors.

How did it get there? A change in rules or procedure pushed the behaviors to change, without a change in the person. This leads to forced compliance and underlying resistance.

Just like following all of God’s laws won’t change you. The resistance is still there without the changed heart. The mindset is still focused inward on yourself.

4th Model—Leading With Mindset Approach

Two circles still, current results and target results, the same split triangle. Except now the bottom mindset half is moving, not pushed, toward the target results. The behavior half is naturally following it.

I can see the sanctification process in their models. Your mindset is changed, and the behaviors naturally, or more appropriately, supernaturally follow to get the desired results. The ultimate result is to be transformed into Jesus’ likeness (Romans 8:28-30; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

How Does This Work?

The natural person, driven by instinct and impulses, is the first model. The regenerated, supernatural person that is made in the likeness of Christ, is the second model. The first one’s current results is sin, the second’s is sinlessness, which won’t happen until their dead.

That’s why there is sanctification, which is the setting of something or someone apart. You can do it by rules or laws, which is the third model, but it doesn’t change the inside of a person. Even a murderer can be polite, just look at Jeffrey Dahmer, which is how he lured his victims into complacency before he struck.

Except the Law demands perfection. Everyone who is perfect in every way raise your hands. You in the back, put down your hand.

The fourth model requires a mindset change, turning away from the former way and towards Jesus ( Romans 6:23Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9Romans 8:1). Instantly the Holy Spirit regenerates your heart into one bent towards God (2 Corinthians 5:17). It leads, behaviors follow, old behaviors fall away, all towards becoming like Christ.

Only the perfect can stand before God, and only God can supernaturally make you perfect. This is sanctification in action.

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