16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
– Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
In the last post we started to consider God’s gracious support of believers in their walk down the narrow road to eternal life. In that post we pointed out that justification is a continual gift to the humble believer. When we stumble into sin, God does not immediately cast us off, but accepts us through the sacrifice of His Son. Nevertheless, we are responsible to confess our sins before the throne of grace where His mercies are new every morning. At the throne of grace we are not only offered mercy for sin, but also empowering grace to overcome and live in victory over the sins that often beset us. We will turn now to consider this gracious support.
The Pruning Process
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
– John 15:1-2 NKJV
Those that abide in Christ, those that trust, love and obey Him, will bear the fruit of holiness in their lives. Those who were once in Christ, but have walked away from Him back into a life of willful rebellion, will suffer eternal exile in hell. This is a frightening fact that should make us cling to Christ and thus bear godly fruit in our lives. This is our duty, we must abide in Christ. But God does not leave us to do this without His sanctifying grace.
Continue reading “The Father’s Discipline (Kingdom Salvation #10)”
Sanctification or Sanctification
In one sense justification is sanctification. When Christ pardons our sins we are set apart for him. As it says in Hebrews 10:10, “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.” In justification we are positionally sanctified; that is, we are set apart for God. But there is another sense in which sanctification is used in the New Testament. In other passages we note that sanctification is a process of change that is experienced in the life of the believer. We see this experiential sanctification in passages like Romans 6:22, “But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification — and the end is eternal life!” Continue reading “Understanding Sanctification (Sanctification Series #2)”
How do we practically walk out sanctification? Though the source of a holy life is God’s enlightening and empowering grace, there are three things we must do to be co-laborers with God in our sanctification.
“So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
First, we must believe that through the death of Jesus Christ we have died to sin, and through his resurrection we now live to God. This is not something we have to obtain by our own power or holiness, it is something we must believe by faith. If we don’t believe that Christ has already won the victory we will quickly quit the race. We will despair as we look upon our own weakness. But if we look to what Christ has done for us and believe that he has saved us from the power of sin by this death and resurrection we will be moved to pray and act accordingly.
Continue reading “The Essentials of Sanctification (Sanctification Series #5)”
Christ taught that he is the only Master. We are all called to be disciples of Jesus Christ. For this reason many people imagine that they can follow Jesus on their own. But Christ commanded us to “make disciples.” We don’t make them into our disciples in the sense that we are their Masters. But as Paul put it, we must call them to “follow us as we follow Christ.” Christ makes disciples through the Church. A person that has not been discipled through the Body of Christ, has not been discipled by Jesus Christ. A person that insists he will only follow Jesus Christ and not submit to any man, is not following Jesus Christ nor submitted to him. Continue reading “Make Disciples (Sanctification Series #9)”