Tag Archive: sanctification

Embracing the Process

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”Romans 6:12-14

Preaching Christ CrucifiedRomans 6:12 is really the entrance into the PROCESS OF SANCTIFICATION for true Christian living. Though we are not under the law because we are certainly under grace (Romans 6:14), and because “old things are passed away [and] all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17), we are given a commandment to not let sin rule over us. The only way to be obedient to this commandment, however, is through the power of the Holy Spirit, who empowers us with the truth (as He is the Spirit of truth), through the partaking of His nature that is now in us. That new nature is only effectual in the soul of man through obedience to the will and good pleasure of God. Think about it; if Adam, who was made perfect, whose free will was unstable enough to forsake obedience to God’s will and move according to his own will and desire, how much more would we, who have inherited a corrupt nature need to rely on the new nature given us by God? How much more must we have reliance on and dependence upon the indwelling Holy Spirit?

Christian believer, over the next few weeks we will look upon the truth that makes us free from sin. We will recognize the struggle because of what we have understood thus far, and that truth will equip us to yield to God in obedience in order to bring Him glory by an exercise of faith. Surrender to the Spirit now, and continue to do so. Though we have not covered every detail yet, the Spirit calls us to yield, obey, and enjoy His presence.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 6:12-23,Being Made Free from Sin,” on November 15, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series,The Gospel of the Bondslave” (Romans 6:12).

Get Christian Behavior in Paperback

Reckoned Dead

“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”Romans 6:11

Preaching Christ CrucifiedA man is a soul who possesses a nature. We have a nature; we possess natural traits, attributes, and characteristics that have been passed down from generation to generation, beginning with Adam and Eve.

When Adam fell in disobedience, his living soul immediately died. It was separated from the Spirit of God, and his nature became radically corrupt so that death reigned in his mortal soul (Romans 5:12-14). Every area of that nature is stained with sin. Remember, the doctrine of total depravity does not say that man is as bad as he can be; it says that there is nothing truly and purely good that can come from man in his natural state. Why? It is because man’s state is bereft of the Holy Spirit. Adam passed that sinful nature down to every one of his decedents; that is, every one of us.

When a soul, dead in trespasses and sins, is justified by God’s grace through faith, the soul is quickened; made alive: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22; see also Ephesians 2:5). He is made alive to God so that he can love God and not hate Him; to trust God and not shun Him; to desire the truth of God rather than the deceit of the world.

Yet, when a man is saved, there has been no physical change in the man’s body. Remember, every single one of those that Jesus healed, and believed on Him in faith, died when nature ran its course. Their natural bodies still possessed the laws and principals that governed that human anatomy, a body that was tainted with death as a result of the curse of sin entering into the world. If we have been saved by grace, we still have the same body until the Lord’s return. We have the same memories and capacity for thought. We have a nature that, though redeemed from the bondage of sin, still abides by the natural laws and principals that surround us in a universe that has been turned upside down by Adam’s original sin. So what has happened that makes me a living soul and a new creation in Christ?

The Holy Spirit of God happened!

The very Person of God is imparted to us as promised by the Lord Jesus Christ, “for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:17). This is a simultaneous happening with faith, justification, repentance, regeneration, and initial sanctification. Why does it happen simultaneously? It happens simultaneously and instantaneously because it is an eternal event; it is a heavenly occurrence that takes place supernaturally in the eternal plane. Remember, eternity is not a long time; it is completely outside the space-time domain. Yet, for our understanding, it is given to us in this blessed and divine order by way of this Gospel According to Paul in the letter to the Christians at Rome.

When we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are made partakers of God’s nature. We have available to us the very nature of Jesus Christ. We are told in 2 Peter 1:3-4,

“seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of [the] divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” (NASB).

That word, “lust” in the New American Standard Bible is rendered “sinful desire” in the English Standard Version.

The word “the,” which precedes “divine nature” in that verse, is added by nearly all the English translators because it speaks of the very indwelling Spirit of God Himself; however, by being written in Greek without the definite article, it says that we partake, that we actually share, that we actually have as our possession and portion the very nature of God.

AND PLEASE NOTE: This doesn’t make us God or deity in any way, shape or form. Man possessing his fallen nature while simultaneously possessing the nature of God is infinitely different from the two natures of Christ. He was completely human, yet, without sin; and at the same time, was completely Divine, and co-equal and co-eternal with God in every respect.

Nevertheless, that as we have been given a second nature, this reveals to us the promise of God’s indwelling presence, as Jesus told the disciples the night He was betrayed, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17).

So, though we continue to have this original nature, that is dying according to the laws and principles that are inherent to it, we should reckon it, consider it dead in our estimation because we have been saved by grace, justified by faith, and identified with Christ as we examined earlier in Romans 6:11. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

How can we reckon that nature dead? By the power of the new nature that we now have as an eternal possession; that is, by the very power of the living God that raised Jesus from the dead, as it is written, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Philippians 3:10).

Though this portion in Philippians means much more than what I’m about to write concerning it, I would like to point out that Philippians 3:10 actually provides a kind of outline for Romans 6-8.

Number 1IDENTIFICATION

“That I may know Him…” (Philippians 3:10a). This is IDENTIFICATION with the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:1-5).

Number 2REGENERATION

“…and the power of His resurrection…” (Philippians 3:10b). This is REGENERATION and NEWNESS OF LIFE (Romans 6:6-11).

Number 3SANCTIFICATION

“…and the fellowship of His sufferings…” (Philippians 3:10c). This is living and struggling through this SANCTIFIED LIFE in the midst of a world that is still turned upside down by original sin (Romans 6:12-7:25).

Number 4GLORIFICATION

“…being made conformable to His death…” (Philippians 3:10d). This is walking in the blessed victory of a life surrendered to the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-39).

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 6:12-23,Being Made Free from Sin,” on November 15, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series,Experiential Sanctification” (Romans 6:12-23).

468X60

Experiential Sanctification

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” —Romans 6:16

Preaching Christ CrucifiedIn examining the text of Romans 6:1-11 in the past few weeks, it has allowed us to look at the NEWNESS OF LIFE that a Christian possesses through IDENTIFICATION with Christ, specifically identifying with His death, burial and resurrection as the certain reality of the miracle that made possible a believer’s REGENERATION and REPENTANCE through faith. Another way we might define this is by calling it POSITIONAL SANCTIFICATION: that moment, when justified by grace through faith, we are made new creatures in Christ.

At this point, we will begin approaching portions of scripture that speak to the continued reality of sanctification. We might define our portion today by calling it EXPERIMENTAL or EXPERIENTIAL SANCTIFICATION. Experiential sanctification is the change a sinner experiences at initial salvation, as well as the process of increasing holiness a saved soul experiences in his being conformed to the image of Christ throughout his life until either the Lord returns or the Lord takes him home. A simple outline for these following portions may be expressed in this way:

Romans 6:12-23 Surrender as a Bondslave Romans 7:1-25 Struggle of the Bondslave Romans 8:1-39 Spiritual Victory for the Bondslave

Just as we defined certain terms and concepts in articles past, we will define them again, I pray for a better understanding unto the reality of a true and blessed spiritual salvation for God’s greatest glory:

Number 1 - Sanctification DefinedSANCTIFICATION means to be made holy. It is initially immediate by the declaration of God’s justification and the miracle of regeneration. The soul that has faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ is made new by regeneration. That soul is born-again. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). That person is holy by virtue of being miraculously changed into a new creation in Christ.

There is also an ongoing work of sanctification that grows as a person matures in Christ. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). It is this second aspect of sanctification that we are dealing with from this point on.

For the following definitions I will attempt to give, as plainly as I can from my own understanding, terms that define the doctrine of REGENERATION. To me, these definitions make sense of what is truly going on in the process of our sanctification as we are being made holier by God; and therefore, I believe these terms help us to understand the struggles that we face with sin, as well as the conflict the flesh wages against our spirits; and in understanding this struggle, we can more effectively call upon the graces God has give so that we may have victory through the truth by the power of the Spirit of Christ.

Number 2SOUL— the soul is who we are. A human being is what I am, but my soul is who I am. Like the late Dr. E.W. Johnson, I like to say that man is essentially singular. There is a controversy among scholars whether man is soul and spirit (dichotomy, two parts) or whether man is body, soul, and spirit (tri-chotomy, three parts). Though the dichotomy and tri-chotomy are both true and Biblical within the context and framework by which they are used, we will look at the idea of calling the essence of man a mono-chotomy or uni-chotomy (one part), and that is defined as the soul. It was the breath of life that made Adam Adam when he was formed from the dust of the ground: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). As Dr. Johnson put it: “If I were asked, ‘Do you believe that man has a soul?’ I would reply, No I don’t believe man has a soul. I believe man has a body and he has a nature, but man is a living soul.”

Number 3BODY— this one is fairly simple. Just as in Genesis 2:7, man was formed from the dust of the ground and so he has a body. The body that we have now is not eternal; therefore, I would say that it does not define who I am, who you are. A body is what I possess; that is, my body is what I have.

Number 4NATURE—a nature is also something that I possess, which is governed or influenced by forces that are either physical or spiritual; temporal or eternal. Some references to man’s nature may pertain to the body in certain applications and implications. Some references to man’s nature may pertain to his holy and regenerated creature, who is a new creation in Christ. Frankly, in the past, I have had a great deal of trouble with the term nature as my previous Bible teachers have taught me. It didn’t make sense because all of them expressed it in such a way as the new and old natures as being the very same thing as the soul; that’s because they believed that man has a soul rather than believing that man is a soul! This will be important to our understanding as we continue through the rest of Romans 6 and examine the texts all the way through Romans 7. Let’s examine clearly and plainly, by God’s grace, what the scriptures present about the old nature we once possessed and the new nature with which we, as Christians, are now endowed.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 6:12-23,Being Made Free from Sin,” on November 15, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series,Alive Unto God” (Romans 6:7-11).

Scottish Psalter

Set Apart From and For

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” —John 17:17

Charles Haddon SpurgeonPut these two things together, dedication to God and separation unto him, and you are nearing the meaning of the prayer. But, mark you, it is not all separation that is meant; for, as I told you in the reading there are some who “separate themselves,” and yet are sensual, not having the Spirit. Separation for separation’s sake savours rather of Babel than of Jerusalem. It is one thing to separate from the world, and another thing to be separate from the church. Where we believe that there is living faith in Jesus, and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, we are not called to division, but to unity. For actual and manifest sin we must separate ourselves from offender; —but we err if we carry on this separation where it is not authorized by the word of God. The Corinthians and Galatians were far from being perfect in life, and they had made many mistakes in doctrine, yea, even upon vital points; but inasmuch as they were truly in Christ, Paul did not command any to come out of those churches, and to be separate therefrom; but he exhorted them to prove each man his own work, and he laboured to bring them all back to the one and only gospel, and to a clearer knowledge of it. We are to be faithful to truth; but we are not to be of a contentious spirit, separating ourselves from those who are living members of the one and indivisible body of Christ. To promote the unity of the church, by creating new divisions, is not wise. Cultivate at once the love of the truth and the love of the brethren. The body of Christ will not be perfected by being rent. Truth should be the companion of love. If we heartily love even those who are in some measure in error, but who possess the life of God in their souls, we shall be the more likely to set them right. Separation from the world is a solemn duty, indeed it is the hard point, the crux and burden of our religion. It is not easy to be filled with love to men and yet for God’s sake, and even for their own sake, to be separated from them. The Lord teach us this.

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) Delivered Sunday Morning, March 8, 1886 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 32 Sermon No. 1890, “Our Lord’s Prayer for His People’s Sanctification”

1689-London-Baptist-Confess

Sanctified in Christ

“Sanctified in Christ Jesus…” —1 Corinthians 1:2

chspurgeon_youngerIn another sense we are sanctified through Christ Jesus, because it is his blood and the water which flowed from his side in which the Spirit washes our heart from the defilement and propensity of sin. It is said of our Lord, —“Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle or any such thing.” Remember again, “Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” “He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” I say, again, there are hundreds of texts of this kind. “Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.” In that memorable passage where Paul, struggling with corruption, exclaims, “Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” the answer is not concerning the Holy Spirit; but he says, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Space forbids the multiplication of texts; but there are many passages to the effect that our sanctification is the work of Jesus Christ. He is our sanctifier, for He filled the sacred laver of regeneration in which we are washed, filled it with the blood and with the water which flowed from his side, and in this by the Holy Spirit we are washed. There is no being sanctified by the law; the Spirit does not use legal precepts to sanctify us: there is no purification by mere dictates of morality, the Spirit of God does not use them. No, just as when Marah’s waters were bitter, Moses to make them sweet commanded them to take a tree and cast it into the waters, and they were sweet; so the Spirit of God, finding our natures bitter, taketh the tree of Calvary, casteth it into the stream, and everything is made pure. He finds us lepers, and to make us clean he dips the hyssop of faith in the precious blood, and sprinkles it upon us and we are clean. There is a mysterious efficacy in the blood of Christ not merely to make satisfaction for sin, but to work the death of sin. The blood appears before God and He is well pleased; it falls on us— lusts wither, and old corruptions feel the death-stroke. Dagon falls before the ark, and although the stump thereof is left, and corruptions still remain, yet Christ shall put an end to all our inbred sins, and through him we shall mount to heaven perfect even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) Delivered Sunday Morning, February 9, 1862 at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 8 Sermon No. 434, “Threefold Sanctification”
Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers:

buchmann_orh@mailxu.com