Progressive Sanctification

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).