Monday, August 23, 2010

Sanctification - Part 5

On Friday, I posted concerning the process of what is often called progressive or practical sanctification. That is, the daily process of spiritual maturation and living for God that all believers should be experiencing. At the conclusion, I wrote of three primary God-given provisions for that process:

"God provides for the believer the help needed in the process. There are three main provisions for the sanctification process: (1) Gospel-center dependence, (2) the ministry Holy Spirit, and (3) the intake of the Word of God."

Today, and the next few, I will unpack each of these a little more carefully. So first, the "Gospel-centered dependence." What does that mean when it comes to sanctification?

Simply. it means that our sanctification is centered in Jesus Christ. It begins with Him, it is maintained because of Him, and it will culminate with Him. Only becasue of Him can we be sanctified. This idea is at the heart of Paul's thinking when he writes to the Roman believers (Romans 8:28-39):

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

"For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
These are great words to mediate upon . . . . so I'll let that sit for today and pick up the Gospel-centered sanctifation discussion tomorrow.

3 John 8
Bill H.

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