A gospel bodhisattva is a noble being aspiring for full enlightenment in and into Christ, effected by grace through faith and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God the Father—enabling sentient beings to free themselves from samsara and priming them for salvation from primordial sin, by means of in-breaking grace of God in Christ, and henceforth co-labouring with fellow disciples in wisdom and compassion to enact the kingdom mission of the coming new heavens and new earth.
Such a gospel bodhisattva is consciously and intentionally growing, maturing, transforming, and liberating into the full stature of Christ. This mindful journey of sanctification is anything but unconscious. For if justification (reconciliation and restoration to right relationship with God) is conscious and intentional, how can the sequelae of sanctification (growing more deeply and fully into God-likeness) be unconscious? It would be as if one consciously chooses Christ and then immediately slumps into spiritual coma! That would be ludicrous in the extreme.
Some say that continual “hearing” of the word of God as interpreted and taught by the preacher is sufficient for sanctification, which happens unconsciously. I don’t think this is biblically coherent or attested. For should the disciple not only hear the word but do the word accordingly? (See James 1:22-25).
Programming one’s brain with fancy sound bites and erroneous doctrines of teachers with questionable credibility will not contribute an iota to sanctification. Rather than becoming holy, one might become full of holes in the fabric of one’s spiritual and intellectual growth. It is eerily similar to cultic mental programming, a recipe for spiritual degeneration not spiritual sanctity. Homo sapiens are highly complex conscious beings. Let us not opt for unconscious believing in the name of a pseudo-gospel that leads to cognitive devolution.
No, both justification and sanctification are conscious, intentional, soulful, and mindful processes. There is no egocentric fixation on how “holy” one is becoming by the day. For sanctification is not a narcissistic competition to be “better” than others. If anything, there is full and honest Christ-centred awareness of one’s fallibility and ongoing need for grace. The endpoint is the radiance, beauty, and sanctity of Christ-likeness, not spiritual decay and death in the comatose state of unconscious pseudo-grace believing.
Let us be gospel bodhisattvas mindfully journeying into the perfection of Christ. For the good of all creation. For our deepest joy. To the utmost glory of God in Christ.