Good morning, ladies. Today we are going to be talking about one of my favorite topics – progressive sanctification. It’s a topic that, unfortunately, is the subject of lots of confusion and wrong teachings recently. But it’s so critical for our Christian walk. Hopefully I can bring some clarity and understanding. So WHAT IS THE DOCTRINE OF PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATION?
The doctrine of progressive sanctification is, in a nutshell, the life of a Christian. As believers, we are to be growing, maturing, and progressing in our Christian walk. Our sanctification is the will of God, as stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:3.
The Word “sanctify” is defined as “to set apart as or to declare as holy; to consecrate, to free from sin”.
Justification (when we were made right with God at salvation) is instantaneous and entirely a work of God. We contribute nothing to our salvation but the sin that makes it necessary, as Jonathan Edwards said.
Sanctification, on the other hand, is a process and it requires human effort, stemming from God’s enabling. And it only comes AFTER, being made possible by, conversion.
There are a few sad and troubling myths I see in the church surrounding the idea of sanctification.
▶️One is that Christians can’t or don’t need to change because grace covers everything. Paul crushed this idea when he said, “ Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1b,2).
▶️Another error involves the mistaken idea that sanctification just happens, that we are passive while the Lord does His work on us – let go and let God. But again, Scripture tears down this falsehood by repeatedly exhorting us to strive, to make every effort, to put to death the deeds of the flesh, to press on, to run with endurance. We’ll talk about the third popular sanctification myth later on today!