Progressive Sanctification

Sanctification is God’s work in our lives to make us holier gradually. We must understand...
June 6, 2022

Sanctification is God’s work in our lives to make us holier gradually. We must understand God’s work in sanctification to understand our role in discipleship.

1 Goal

  • God’s goal is to make us holy like He is holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16).
  • Through the gospel, we trust in Christ’s holiness rather than attempting to prove our own.
  • Jesus went to the cross with our sin upon His record, and we have been credited with His perfect performance upon our account.
  • For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).

2 Dangers

  • Legalism
    • Legalism is a trap requiring someone to do good works in order to earn God’s approval.
    • Wielding a list of religious rules, legalists bar anyone from walking with Jesus until they have cleaned up their act by their own volition.
    • While most legalists start with a conviction for holiness, eventually, they find themselves even more strict than God’s Word by supplementing the Bible with additional rules that they hold as equivalent to commandments.
  • Easy-Believism
    • Many people and churches despised the pharisaical ditch so much, they actually overcompensated and swerved to far over to the opposing ditch.
    • This trap teaches that Jesus loves you so much that you never have to change anything in your life.
    • Many people who had an emotional experience wrongfuly assume they had a spiritual transformation.

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.

Matthew 12:33

3 Components

  • Justification – the declaration of holiness
    • Once you responded to the gospel, you were justified because Christ was willing to pay the sentencing for you.
    • Your scandalous rap sheet has been dealt with, and you exit out of the courtroom without any offense of sin on your record.
  • Sanctification – the process of holiness
    • Sanctification represents every critical day in between believing the gospel and beholding the Savior.
    • From a heavenly perspective, sanctification is God’s process of making you more holy.
    • From an earthly perspective, discipleship is our effort in the process of becoming more holy.
  • Glorification – the completion of holiness
    • When you reach heaven, you are wholly holy.
    • With eternity to enjoy, we say good riddance to the unholiness of our lives and that which is present in this current world.
  • The Differences
    • Justification is entirely the work of God and happens in a moment.
    • Glorification is entirely the work of God and happens in a moment.
    • Sanctification is entirely the work of God and us and happens over a lifetime.

The Starting Line

  • Salvation is the starting line – not the finishing line.
  • If there is a true profession of faith, there should be a true progression of faith.
  • Be encouraged that God Almighty isn’t through with you yet (Phil. 1:6), and He is wholly committed to seeing you through it all (Eph. 2:10).
  • Once a person is saved by grace through faith, the journey is just getting started (Eph. 2:8-10).