20 Quotes from Sinclair Ferguson’s New Book on Sanctification


The Weapon of a Clear Conscience

Part Three in our Series “Demolishing Your Strongholds”


Sanctification and How to Pursue It – Mike Riccardi


Don’t Worry about Sanctification

Le Ann Trees:

“The good seed cannot flourish when it is repeatedly dug up for the purpose of examining its growth” (J. C. Kromsigt).

One of my favorite things about trees, especially mature ones, is the way they provide shade and shelter from the natural elements. Yet, everyone knows a seedling doesn’t give much of either. Trees need a consistent supply of sun, water, and nutrients over a long period of time to survive and thrive. In the Bible, Jesus uses the image of plants to describe spiritual growth (Matt. 13:1–32; 17:17–20; John 15:1–7).

Christians often wonder whether they are growing in holiness. Sanctification is a slow process of dying to the flesh (mortification) and living unto God (vivification). Just as it is impossible to know exactly what a tree seedling is going to look like in ten years, it is futile and frustrating to evaluate a person’s growth in Christ over the short term.

Throughout the New Testament believers are encouraged to grow in long-term community with each other in the local church (Acts 2:42; Eph. 4:11–13; Col. 3:16). The apostle Paul describes this dynamic of growth within the body of Christ in his letter to the Ephesians:

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Eph. 4:15–16)

Jesus describes this organic union with his people by using the metaphor of a vine and its branches:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4)

The Bible instructs all believers to gather regularly to hear the preaching of God’s Word, receive baptism and the Lord’s Supper (these are also known as Sacraments), and pray together (Heb. 10:25; 1 Cor. 10:16). Christ is present in these means of God’s grace through the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 18:20; John 14:16–17, 26).

While the Holy Spirit is not limited to using Word, Sacrament, and prayer in his work of sanctification, these are God’s ordinary means of grace. Christians should be diligent to attend a church where they are properly bathed and regularly nourished with sound biblical preaching and teaching. Supplemental Christian resources (like this website) can be helpful aids, but they are not meant to be substitutes for regular participation in the local church community.

Christians don’t have to worry about whether they are being sanctified. God has promised to conform all his children to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29), for “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). Christians do need to obey God’s command to gather regularly with their fellow saints under the oversight of a faithful minister (1 Pet. 5:2–3). This is the way God has ordered his church on earth so that his sheep are properly cared for and guarded from the snares of the evil one (Heb. 13:17). You can be confident about your spiritual growth in Christ, because God is in control (Eph. 1:11–12).

Comment at: https://pjcockrell.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/dont-worry-about-sanctification/

John Piper and Tim Keller Discuss: We Are Saved By Faith Alone, But What About Sanctification?


A Christian Classic on Sanctification


A Prayer about Wholly Holy

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess. 5: 23)

Gracious Father, it’s a source of incredible comfort to know that you are tenaciously at work in changing us— in making us more like Jesus. For you’ve promised to bring to completion the good work you began in your children.

I’d despair if this wasn’t the case, for the disparity between Jesus’ beauty and my brokenness is overwhelming to me at times. The thoughts I think, the things I feel, the choices I make are so unlike Jesus. I could never be my own savior, and only a great Savior like Jesus is sufficient for someone like me.

But as the God of peace, you’re making me wholly holy, changing me through and through. You’re freeing every part of my being— spirit, soul, and body— from the effects and affects of sin. You’re not anxious about the process. You’re at peace, even when I’m not. You don’t roll your eyes, furrow your brow, clear your throat, or show any signs of a nervous twitch when you think about me. O kind Father, you rest in your love toward me in Jesus.

I will be wholly blameless and shameless at your second coming, Lord Jesus, only because you took my blame upon the cross and despised its shame for me. Even now, my life is hidden safely in you, and when you do return, I will appear with you in glory, for you are my life— my righteousness, holiness, and redemption (1 Cor. 1: 31; Col. 3: 4). I boast in you, for I have nothing in myself in which to boast. My hope is built on nothing less, nothing more, and nothing other than your blood and righteousness, Lord Jesus!

So I will actively trust in the righteousness I have passively received in you, Jesus. And I will actively surrender to the very active ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whom I’m sealed, with whom I’m indwelt, and through whom I will be safely delivered into your presence. I pray in your faithful name. Amen.

~Scotty Smith, Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith (Kindle Edition.