20 Feb

Q. 35. What is sanctification?

A. Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.

What an assurance it is to know that the God who saves us does not stop at justification, or adoption, but also grants us our sanctification.  To know that God has given us “a new heart, and a new spirit” that causes us “to walk in my [God’s] statutes and obey His rules (Ezekiel 36:26-27)” allows us to confidently press on in our Christian life.

Just as our justification and adoption are guaranteed in the Gospel, so to is our sanctification.  God promises to work and to will within us as we work out our salvation (Phil. 2:12-13).  There is a tension here that causes us to pursue conformity to the image of God, and also to trust and pray that God will work this in us.

I cannot lie.  This is a tough subject to grasp.  Yet, it is vital that we do so, because there is no sanctification apart from God’s work in us through His Spirit.  We, on our own, are incapable of conforming ourselves to the image of Christ.  Thus, we must bank on the promises of God to work this in us, and in light of the fact that this is something God grants us in Christ, seek to live according to the calling which God has given us. Fight sin, and pray that God would enable you to fight sin.  Pursue good works, and trust that God will lead you in the good works He has planned for you.

At the end of the day, we have the guarantee that God will work out our sanctification in us, and that our lives will progressively reflect that of Christ’s until one day we are glorified in the presence of our returning King.  Press on, knowing this promise is for you in Christ, and seek to live to His glory!

How does knowing your sanctification is wrapped up in your salvation (guaranteed in Christ’s finished work) help you in your daily life?
In what ways can this help you face things you struggle with?
How does this truth impact the way in which you view God and His character?


The next post will be the final in the series: Glorification


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