e-Treasure

13 June 2007

Gospel Sanctification 2 - What is it?

Gospel: The free gift of forgiveness of sin, and gaining of eternal life, all received through faith in Jesus Christ.

Sanctification: The process of becoming more like Jesus Christ throughout this life; personal growth in conformance to the law of King Jesus.

Gospel-sanctification: Conformance to the holy law of Christ through prizing the promises, performance, person and perfection of Jesus Christ freely given by means of His gospel. The process of seeking personal holiness through abiding in Christ and He in you to produce the inner holiness of a joyful and contented heart resulting in natural and unconstrained obedience to His commands.

Gospel sanctification is seeking to continually preach to yourself, and display to your conscience, all the treasures freely given to you in Christ and to ingrain yourself with an understanding of your right standing in Christ. This forms a sure foundation from which to grow in grace.
Believers are those that have a new nature in Christ and therefore desire and are enabled towards the enjoyment of Christ, to walk in the Spirit, glorify God and have the victory over sin. Therefore, believers are helped in this endeavor by the power of the Spirit through prayer, meditation and the Word.

While it is important to recognise the conflict within every believer dealing with their indwelling sin, it is equally important that you take care to not treat yourself, or other believers, as though this struggle with sin is the governing principle because the work of the Holy Spirit within is greater than any other influence in a believers life (1 John 4:4).

Gospel sanctification is aimed toward Spirit-powered holiness through treasuring Christ and abiding in Him. The opposite of Gospel Sanctification is will-power holiness: that is, doing the best that lies in your own power and trusting on the grace of God and Christ to help you in various resolutions of your own will.

Rather, the power of true holiness is received when we trust on Christ, to work in us ‘to will and do, by His own power, according to His own good pleasure’. Will-power holiness is a trusting on the flesh for holiness through acts of the will, resolutions, determination, and personal efforts, instead of trusting on Christ. Christ is to be enjoyed and trusted upon as the author and finisher of our faith.

This is why we encourage you toward ‘vertical’ effort for the achieving of ‘horizontal’ results; looking ‘up’ to behold Christ for achieving our spiritual growth ‘down’ here with benefits spreading ‘outward’ throughout our lives; savoring the sweetness of the Savior to sanctify the soul and sever the root of sin. Seek to learn the art of personal holiness through abiding in Christ and He in you to produce the inner holiness of a joyful and contented heart resulting in natural and unconstrained obedience to His commands.

True holiness is primarily relational and flows from your connection to Christ.

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4

Therefore, we encourage you to learn to linger: Through prayer, the word, and meditation we encourage you in the empowering reality of doctrine cherished and adored, in particular as it pertains to and flows from the gospel and person of our Lord Jesus Christ. True holiness is obtained and sustained by the grace of our Lord working in our hearts to prize all we have in the Lord Jesus.

We encourage external obedience to flow from satisfaction in God lest service for God be performed with a legalistic heart far from the Lord (Mark 7:6).

– // –

For a more technical discussion of Gospel Sanctification refer to Chad Bressen’s article linked below:

http://breusswane.blogspot.com/2006/07/imperative-command-is-grounded-in.html

Anyone struggling with this issue would benefit from reading the above linked article and then getting a hold of, and mastering, “Gospel Mystery of Sanctification”, by Walter Marshall. If you think you may find Marshall’s 16th century style a bit challenging as a modern reader, as an alternatively, I’d recommend you read the more modern equivalent, “Holiness by Grace” by Bryan Chapel. Another book that has been recommended (by Chad Bresson) is Jerry Bridges’ “Transforming Grace”. I’m sure mastering any one of these books will do you much good.

Enjoying grace!

Shane.

2 Comments:

  • Shane, this is a wonderful series.
    Many do, in the end see their sanctification as works maintained or sustained by behaviorism( which is really nothing more than the world's way of trying to be good).
    But Christ gave us the whole package. There is nothing to earn and nothing to look for. It is all there as a result of being in Christ.
    When we are living in a godly manner (for example demonstrating the virtues of 2 Pet.1:1-11) we are partakers of the divine nature. We are identified with Christ because we are able to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust, unlike the false prophets that Peter taught about in 2Pet 1&2, through the promises of Christ.
    These great and magnificent promises tell us that because of Christ we ultimately overcome sin and death and condemnation. Corruption is a gradual process. And even for believers their bodies may corrupt in the grave, but spiritually we are progressing toward glorification. We are new creatures in Christ and part of the everlasting New Covenant and it is a Spirit Covenant that gives life because where the Spirit is there is life and liberty not only in living but also from sin and death. There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. All of these things prove to us that we are incurable lovers of Christ and move us to know Christ more and as we do we will be displaying more of the divine nature which in turn displays more of the glory and excellence of Christ.
    Our escape from the corruptions in the world through lust is our knowledge and growing knowledge of Christ as we are partakers in the divine nature and live godly lives.
    We seize hold of the promises of eternal life by God’s grace and then we continue to seize hold of the promises of Christ as we partake in the divine nature that our salvation produces.
    The false prophets have no hope to offer and no promises that are found in Christ.
    The world holds out all kinds of false promises that only lead to corruption through lust, which is ungodliness. All kinds of false hopes are given in the promises of the world. It is tragic when that which says it is the church would rather cling to these promises than those of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    Resting in Him,
    Joe

    By Blogger Joseph G. Krygier, At 9:02 pm  

  • Thanks Joe and a hearty Amen to all you've said.

    "Many do, in the end see their sanctification as works maintained or sustained by behaviorism( which is really nothing more than the world's way of trying to be good)." That says it all.

    I like the way you say, "But Christ gave us the whole package." That is nicely put. Christ doesn't simply save us and leave us with a job to do - he equips, empowers, and see it all through with us from beginning to end.

    "We seize hold of the promises of eternal life by God’s grace and then we continue to seize hold of the promises of Christ as we partake in the divine nature that our salvation produces." True!

    Love in Christ-
    Shane.

    By Blogger Shane Becker, At 10:55 pm  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



<$I18N$LinksToThisPost>:

Create a Link

<< Home