Our Identity – Part 6 “God’s Not Done”

As we have been looking at the progression of how God takes us from death to life once we come into His fold He’s not done with us.  At the moment of salvation justification takes place.  Once again this is the legal act of God by which He declares the sinner righteous on the basis of Jesus perfect righteousness.  Justification removes the guilt of sin and restores the sinner to all the rights of a child of God.  Then the believer begins to move into the sanctification process.  The following are notes taking from Louis Berkhof “Manual of Christian Doctrine” on sanctification.

  1. Sanctification – is the gracious and continuous operation of the Holy Spirit by which He purifies the sinner from the pollution of sin, renews his whole nature in the image of God, and enables him to perform good works.
  2. God and not man is the author of sanctification. This does not mean, however, that man is entirely passive in the process.  He can and should co-operate with God in the work of sanctification by a diligent use of the means that God has placed at his disposal. (2 Cor. 7: 1, Col 3: 5-14, 1 Pet. 1: 22)
  3. Sanctification is not, like justification, a legal act of God, but a moral and re-creative activity, by which the sinner is renewed in his inner being and made to conform ever-increasingly to the image of God.
  4. It is usually a lengthy process and never reaches perfection in this life. In cases in which regeneration and conversion are soon followed by death, the process may, of course, be very short.
  5. Sanctification takes place in two parts: “Killing the old man” is gradually crucified (Rom 6: 6, Gal 5: 24) and the “New man becoming more like Christ.” (Rom 6: 4-5 Col 2: 12, 3: 1,3)
  6. Sanctification takes place in the heart and affects the whole man. From the heart to the outer part of the man. (Rom 6:12, 1 Cor. 6: 15, 2 Cor. 5: 17, 1 Thess. 5: 23)
  7. Man must co-operate in the work of sanctification. (Rom 12: 9, 16, 17, 1 Cor. 6: 9-10, Gal 5: 16-23)

One thing we have to remember is this processing is a life long process that never reaches perfection on this side of Heaven.  God loves us enough that He doesn’t want us to stay the same.  He wants us to be more like His Son and through the Holy Spirit God takes us through the sanctification process to change us to be more like His Son Jesus.

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