Living By Faith Blog


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10 Questions about Sanctification

question from compfight by Marco Bellucci

What is sanctification?

Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit overcomes our sin by increasing our desire for and joy in Christ which overflows in love for others. See 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Luke 18:27; Titus 2:11-13; Galatians 5:6; John 6:63.

How do we grow in sanctification?

We are sanctified the same way we are justified, by faith alone in Christ alone.  See Galatians 3:2,5; Hebrews 11:8; Romans 1:5; Romans 16:26; Galatians 5:6; 1 Timothy 1:5.

What is faith?

Faith means trusting all that God promises to be for us in Christ Jesus.  See Romans 4:18-22; 2 Corinthians 1:20; 2 Peter 1:3-4; Hebrews 11:6.

What does God promise to be for us in Christ Jesus?

God promises that if we are looking to Christ to forgive us, change us, and satisfy us, then through prayer he will provide everything we need, and orchestrate every event in our lives, in such a way that we receive the greatest amount of heart-satisfying joy in Christ forever. See Colossians 1:27; Matthew 7:7-11; James 1:5; Philippians 4:19; Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

How does faith sanctify us?

As we look to Christ by faith, the Holy Spirit will so satisfy our hearts in Christ, and give us such longing for more of Christ, that sin’s attractions lose their power. and we are motivated to obey.  See 2 Peter 2:20; 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1; Matthew 13:44; Philippians 3:7-11; 1 Corinthians 9:22-27.

How do we look to Christ by faith?

We come to him admitting our sinfulness, and trusting him to forgive us, change our hearts, and fully satisfy us in him. See Luke 18:13-14; Luke 18:38; Ephesians 2:8-9.

Then we pray for the heart-changing work of the Spirit, and meditate on the faith-giving word of God, until our hearts are changed so we desire Christ above all else, and long for others to have the joy of knowing him.  See 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 10:17; Philippians 3:8.

What should motivate our obedience?

All through the Bible what motivates obedience is the blood-bought, undeserved reward of more joy in Christ forever.  See John 14:21,23; Hebrews 11:6; Hebrews 11:26; Hebrews 12:14; Luke 14:12-14; Luke 6:35; Matthew 6:4,6,18.

What is the role of gratitude?

The Bible never says that gratitude is what should motivate us.  But gratitude does have an essential role.  It points us back in time to God’s past faithfulness, which then helps us trust that in the future God will be faithful to his promise of rewarding us with all-satisfying joy in Christ forever.  See Romans 8:32; Ephesians 2:1-5; Deuteronomy 5:15; Psalm 143:5-6.

Where does our own will-power come in?

Since everything we are called to be and do comes from faith in Christ, the focus of our will-power should be on strengthening that faith.  See John 6:29; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7; Hebrews 11:6,8.

As we strengthen our faith by praying for the Spirit’s work and meditating on God’s word, the Spirit will change our hearts so we desire Christ above all else, and long for others to share our joy in him.  See John 6:63; John 8:31-32; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:22-23.

How do we resist temptation?

By setting our hearts upon Christ until we once again see and feel him as infinitely superior to the pleasures of sin.  See 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1; 2 Peter 2:20; Jeremiah 2:12-13; Isaiah 55:1-3.

How do we motivate obedience?

By seeing and feeling Christ as our all-satisfying pleasure, and understanding that when we obey, God will mercifully reward our undeserving obedience with more joy in Christ now and forever.  See Hebrews 11:6; Philippians 1:21; Philippians 3:7-14; Hebrews 11:24-26; Colossians 3:23-24.

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(Picture is by Marco Belucci and found on compfight; it was cropped and shortened.)

Category: Motivation for Obedience


2 Responses

  1. Bill Schuler says:

    Wonderful Steve. Your explanations on the core of Christianity makes sense to me like no other teaching I’ve ever heard or read. You take what can be a very difficult thing, and make it clear attractive, and attainable. Thank you brother.

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