PATRICK J. BRADY, THE PROCESS OF SANCTIFICATION IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. An Exegetical-Theological Study of 1Thess 4,1-8 and Rom 6,15-23
The role of sanctification in the Christian life lies at the center of many Christian controversies. How does it relate to salvation? Is it a gift that requires responsibility? Does it have any connection to the moral life? This thesis explores Paul's understanding of and the implications of "sanctification" (άγιασμός) as reflected in two significant pericopes (Rom 6,15-23 and 1Thess 4,1-8). Other relevant texts are incorporated into this order to arrive at a sound interpretation.
Paradoxically, only God sanctifies, however, humans who willingly submit to God, conform to Christ, and are empowered by the Spirit grow in sanctification. This willing inner obedience of true faith—obedience from the heart—finds expression in human works this concrete expression of an internal submission necessitates a Christian ethics. Choices that willingly refuse to acknowledge God as Lord or refuse submission to him lead to death; whereas, those who are open to his inner working receive the gift of life. Nonetheless, Sanctification cannot be reduced to ethics. It remains rooted in relationship with God. Those gathered in the one Lord are called to be one people. The call to be holy is a call to walk with God and all those called to his family.
PATRICK J. BRADY is a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the United States of America. He attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary for his priestly formation and was ordained in 1993. He has served as a parochial assistant in several parishes and taught in High School. He obtained a licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and a doctorate in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Currently, he is an assistant professor of Sacred Scripture at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
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