Tag Archives: Sanctification

God Expects Holiness

Let’s look at another side of holiness. In a very real sense holy is also something we are exhorted to become(the goal and outcome of spiritual growth). Though a foundation of holiness has been laid in us by virtue of the fact that we are God’s possession, Paul makes it clear that something is still missing: “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you.”(Galatians 4:19)

Time and again in his writings, Paul admonishes believers to live a holy life, always adamant that the sins of the flesh be forsaken. This can only mean that an effort is required on our part.(Romans 3:14, Ephesians 4:22-24, Galatians 5:16, 1 Timothy 6:11) So there’s no question that living a holy (sanctified) life is expected. And if expected, it must be thoroughly attainable (not the impossibility of being sin-free, but definitely that of being self-controlled).

We must be aware, though, that the term sanctification has taken on its own peculiar meaning by many in the church. It has come to be known as the process by which we become more holy as we are gradually able to rid our life of sin, thereby making ourselves more acceptable to God.

While on the surface this view certainly seems to have merit, it is nevertheless out of balance. Why? Because God has already accepted us! Still, doesn’t Scripture time and again instruct us to attempt to please God by walking out our faith in a manner worthy of Him? Yes it does; it’s the whole point of living a godly life.(Ephesians 4:1) But pleasing God with our life is something far different than trying to become acceptable to Him.

Excerpted from: Free from the Power of Sin: The Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself


From Glory to Glory

It can certainly be disheartening when we finally come to realize that our longed-for transformation doesn’t simply materialize overnight. When you stop to think about it, though, how could being transformed into God’s image be anything but a life-long process? This fact is clearly evident in mature and godly believers, in whose lives work still remains to be done.

Some use the term sanctification to describe this process (a much more accurate use of this word than thinking of it as earning our way toward becoming more righteous, and therefore more acceptable to God).

God has designed the process of transformation to take place in degrees over time. It’s what being changed from “glory to glory” means (2 Corinthians 3:17). And moving from one degree of change to the next makes it that much easier for transformation to progress the way God planned. That’s why we must guard against slipping back into sin when tempted. There’s not a person among us who is immune to falling into sin through the weakness of our flesh.

As we discussed earlier, sin stands at the head of a trail leading in the wrong direction. Once we’ve set ourselves on that badly chosen path, it takes some doing to get back to the place we were before heading there. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to stop and evaluate our progress, even though we may be convinced that we’re moving in the right direction.(2 Corinthians 10:13)  In so doing, we place ourselves in the advantageous position of taking every opportunity for God to continue His refining work.

Excerpted from: Free from the Power of Sin: The Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself