Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sanctification - Growing In Grace To Be More Like Christ

I’ve discussed with some of my friends what I believe to be an oft-neglected area of teaching in the church – the Doctrine of Sanctification.

What is it? It is the growth of Christians in Christ; separation to God and His purposes (set apart to God); and God-pleasing conduct (becoming more like Christ).

John Murray, in his book Redemption Accomplished and Applied, says that (1) all sin in believers is the contradiction of God’s holiness [I Pet. 1:15-16, I John 2:16, and I John 3:2-3], (2) the presence of sin in believers involves conflict in their hearts and lives [Rom. 7:15, 21-23], and (3) though sin still remains it does not have mastery [Rom. 8:2-4].

Anthony Hoekema, in Five Views On Sanctification, defines sanctification as: “that gracious operation of the Holy Spirit, involving our responsible participation, by which He delivers us as justified sinners from the pollution of sin, renews our entire nature according to the image of God, and enables us to live lives that are pleasing to Him.”

What say you? What emphasis have you placed in your life in the area of holiness/sanctification and/or the study thereof? How important do you believe this is (or has been) to you in your life right now? What do you see in your study of the Lord's sanctification work in your life that you'd like to share?

Recommended Reading Sources:
Beeke, Joel R., Holiness: God's Call to Sanctification
Beeke, Joel R., Overcoming the World: Grace to Win the Daily Battle
Bolton, Samuel, True Bounds of Christian Freedom
Murray, John, Redemption, Accomplished and Applied
Owen, John, The Mortification of Sin
Ryle, J.C., Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots

Various On-line Resources:
Sanctification / Growing in Grace


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