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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATION

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV)

HolinessThe spiritual life of a Christian is progressive in its character. A continuing growth in the grace of Christ is the best confirmation of its authenticity. Genuine sanctification increases and shows that its foundation is deep by its steady progress towards holiness. Holiness may be slow in appearing. Advancement may not be visible from one day to the next, but in time the increase becomes apparent. In the various seasons of life, the development of sanctification may often seem delayed, diminished, or weak. God, however, will give us help in our time of need. He will lead us by the hand and with His right hand He shall uphold us. (Psalm 139:10 ESV) For the work that God has begun will certainly be brought to completion. (Philippians 1:6 ESV)

SANCTIFICATION

SanctificationStrive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14 ESV)

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: (1 Thessalonians 4:3 ESV)

Two words that are not used often in our modern culture are the words “sanctify” and “sanctification”. These words leave a bad taste in the mouths of many. They invoke images of people who act “holier than thou”. The world is quick to label Christians as “hypocrites”.

However, the subject of sanctification should be important to every Christian. For the Christian, sanctification begins with regeneration. Once we have been born again, there will be a definite moral change. We no longer desire to yield to the slavery of sin and we are no longer under the dominion of sin. We are sanctified in Christ, but “progressive sanctification” will continue throughout our lives. We must now yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit to become more like Christ.

Continuing growth in sanctification, however, is no guarantee of moral perfection in this lifetime. Paul writes to the Romans: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” (Romans 6:12-13 ESV) Continue reading

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