Summary: Grace justifies us and leads to and empowers sanctifciation
Grace is amazing. John Newton, slave trader was saved by it, knew the breathtaking enormity of it and penned the fabulous him Amazing Grace!
Let's review where we have got to in this mini series
* We have been rescued from being by nature objects of God's wrath to become objects of God's mercy. One of the theological words Paul uses is propitiation - God's wrath at our sin has been permanently turned away.
* Now no condemnation. Same again, we are no longer condemned now and forever more.
* Dead to sin - not under it's power, with the inevitable consequence of temptation blowing it again. We are more than conquerors. Positioned to reign as more than conquerors!
* Set free from dead works - not trying to gain approval from God by our own efforts. Not saved BY works, but for works. He's got great things for us to do, empowered by Him. But not to impress Him or be approved by Him.
* United with Christ. When he died, we died, when he rose again, we rose again. We've been bought at a great price and
* Our old nature has died of supernatural causes.
Turn with me to Romans 8:29-30
"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."
God had a plan in mind from eternity past -
1. He foreknew you and predestined you to be one of His.
2. He called you - the Spirit knocked on the door of your heart when someone explained the Gospel to you and you responded.
3. He justified you - declared you righteous, holy, because of what Jesus did on the cross and the resurrection.
4. He glorified you - interesting; it's in the past tense. Even though Jesus hasn't come back yet and you have not yet received your glorified new body, Paul writes that you are glorified. It is that sure.
Theologians call those verses the unbroken chain of salvation. There is such security in it. No ifs, no buts. Those God has predestined, he calls. Those He calls, he justifies, those he Justifies He glorifies.
That's a great promise to live by!
Why isn't sanctification on that list? Paul as ever wants us to settle who we are in Christ, before telling us how to live in the good of it. He wants us to settle justification and glorification in our hearts before we think of the practical outworking of grace in sanctification.
Sanctification is a topic that is getting mightily confused in our generation. As it has at times in the past too! There's nothing new under the son.
Sanctification is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.
2 Cor 7:1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
We have looked at the promises - sanctification is living in the good of them and seeing them grow in outworking by the grace and power of God in our lives as we yield to Him.
Bible shows us essentially there are three elements to sanctification.
1) We are sanctified at conversion!
Paul tells those wild Corinthians "But you were washed, you were sanctifed, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of out God". Similarly in Acs 20:32 Paul refers to all Christians as those who are sanctified.
2) The New Testament shows us that there is a process that continues.
2 Cor 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Phil 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus
The bit he has not yet taken hold of is achieving all the purposes for which Christ saved him.
Heb 12 lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely"
Heb 12:14 "Strive for peace and holiness without which no one will see the Lord."
Peter in 1 Peter 1:15 "Be holy yourselves in all your conduct"
3) Sanctification is completed at Death and when the Lord returns!
When Jesus comes he will "change our lowly body to be like His glorious body" Phil 3:12