Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sanctification - Part 8

Progressive sanctification is centered in the life and ministry of Jesus, and as discussed yesterday, the power for sanctification in the believer's life comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Today I conclude the section on progressive sanctification with a brief look at the instrument of sanctification in the believer's life: the Word of God. Paul tells Timothy (in 2 Timothy 3:14-17):

14 But as for you, continue in what you have
learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Thus, the instrument of sanctification for the believer is the Word of God. Jesus prays for his followers in John 17, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (v. 17), and Paul writes to the Ephesians, “that he might sanctify her (the church, and by implication, her members), having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (Eph. 5:26). Peter likewise stresses this same truth when he writes, “long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1 Pt. 2:2).

Practical sanctification does not happen without a steady and serious intake of God’s Word. This is the instrument of holiness development in the believer’s life. Why, because, "the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Heb. 4:12).

Tomorrow, I will turn to the final stage of sanctification: Glorification.

3 John 8
Bill H.

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