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Sanctification 2

Last week we saw that sanctification is a break from our sinful past, turning by the power of the Holy Spirit from being a slave of sin to a slave of righteousness, Romans 6:16,18. We primarily see it as a continual state of holiness, improving from one degree to the next. The Westminster Confession of Faith in question #70, and #74, refer to justification and adoption as an act of God's free grace, whereas question #75 refers to sanctification as a work of God's grace. One is a one-time act; one is an on-going work. And these works and attitudes by God's grace that arise through sanctification are called fruit of the Spirit, seen in Galatians 5:22,23. But how does it get accomplished in us along our way to heaven?
In Christ's high priestly prayer in John 17, He says in verse 17,"Sanctify them in the truth, Your word is truth." The word of God will do that for us as we obtain a spiritual knowledge of the truth by the power of the Holy Spirit, and Who better to get it from than the Spirit Himself, referred to as the Spirit of truth. He will always be at work in us, but we will have to put forth effort as well. Phil.2:12,13. It is not let go and let God, but trust God and get going! We will always need to have complete faith in God and His word, and always show a determined, diligent, and dependence on personal effort, these two attitudes will always add up to success.
A.W. Pink states, "Internal holiness is hatred of sin and a love of that which is good, and external holiness is the avoiding of the one and the pursuing of the other. Wherever there be a change of heart fruits will appear in the conduct." Micah states in Micah 2:7,"Do not My words do good to the one who walks uprightly?" Paul writes in Romans 6:1,"How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" Why did Jesus die? Peter answers that in 1Peter 2:24,"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, SO THAT we might die to sin and live to righteousness." Our regeneration by the Holy Spirit will make us desire to obey His word and bear much fruit. Jesus states in John 15:8,"My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples." The Spirit's work in us should continue to bring forth fruit. the kind mentioned by Paul in Galatians 5:22,23.
Col.3:1,2,"Keep seeking the things above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God, set your mind on the things above, not on the things of the earth." Theologian John Frame states, "When we come to believe, Scripture becomes our sufficient norm. Scripture is sufficient in that it contains all the divine words that we need to do anything to the glory of God." And when we walk by the Spirit, when we pray in the Spirit, and are taught by the Spirit, we will glorify God, strengthen other's faith, and become conformed to the image of His Son. His word is just as relevant now as it was when it was written, always for our good. In Solomon's words in Ecc.12:13,"When all has been heard, fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole duty of man." May His word continue to increase in you to become more and more like Him whom we shall see one day face to face.
Elder Randy Slak