Posted in Sin, Sin, tagged sanctification, sin on June 12, 2011 |
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I am preaching on Mark 9:43-48 in part this morning. Here Jesus commands us to deal ruthlessly with sin and dillydally with it. I found these three articles helpful as I thought about the fight against sin that we must wage until we arrive in heaven!
Jared Moore’s on the armor of God and wartime mentality:
We must wear this armor constantly. We should never take it off. We should wear it to bed as pajamas. We should make sure we’ve got it on first thing in the morning by turning to the gospel as immediately as possible. This is wartime. Don’t take the armor off. You don’t try putting on your seatbelt when you see the Mack truck bearing down on you at 60 mph; you put it on before you pull out of the garage. Likewise, don’t wait for the enemy to show himself before you start suiting up.
You don’t know when the attacks will come; best to sleep with your boots on and your sword by your hand.
Kevin DeYoung on “Make Every Effort”
It is the consistent witness of the New Testament that growth in godliness requires exertion on the part of the Christian. Romans 8:13 says by the Spirit we must put to death the deeds of the flesh. Ephesians 4:22-24 instructs us to put off the old self and put on the new. Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the full armor of God and stand fast against the devil.Colossians 3:5 commands us to put to death what is earthly in us. 1 Timothy 6:12 urges us to fight the good fight. Luke 13:24 exhorts us to strive to enter the narrow gate.
Christians work–they work to kill sin and they work to live in the Spirit. They have rest in the gospel, but never rest in their battle against the flesh and the devil. As J.C. Ryle put it, the child of God has two great marks about him: he is known for his inner warfare and his inner peace.
Obviously, even when we work, it is never meritorious. Our effort can never win God’s justifying favor. In fact, whatever we manage to work out is really what God purposed to work in us (Phil. 2:12-13; cf. Heb. 2:11). The gospel is truly the A-Z of the Christian life.
But let us not misunderstand what it means to be gospel-centered. As gospel Christians, we are not afraid of striving, fighting, and working. These are good Bible words. The gospel that frees us from self-justification also frees us for obedience. In fact, 1 Corinthians 6 and Galatians 5 and 1 John and Revelation 21 and a dozen other passages make clear that when we have no obedience to show for our gospel profession, our conduct shows we have not understood the gospel.
God did not tell the Israelites, “Work hard and I’ll set you free from Egypt.” That’s law without a gospel. Neither did God tell them, “I love you. I set you free by my grace. I ask nothing more except that you believe in this good gift.” That’s gospel with no law. Instead, God redeemed the people by his mercy, and that mercy made a way for obedience. Gospel then law. Trust and obey.
Let us not make the mistake of Keswick theology with its mantra of “let go and let God.” Justification is wholly dependent on faith apart from works of the law. But sanctification–born of faith, dependent on faith, powered by faith–requires moral exertion. “Mortify and vivify” is how the theologians used to put it.
When it comes to growth in godliness, trusting does not put an end to trying.
Tullian agrees but wants to make sure we are working hard in the right direction.
Sanctification involves God’s attack on our unbelief—our self-centered refusal to believe that God’s approval of us in Christ is full and final. It happens as we daily fight (with blood, sweat, and tears–”making every effort”) to receive and rest in our unconditional justification. As G. C. Berkouwer said, “The heart of sanctification is the life which feeds on justification.” It is in this context that I’ve said before how sanctification is the hard work of getting used to our justification.
Sanctification, as someone once put it, is not something added to justification. It is, rather, the justified life.
Click links above to read entire articles. You won’t be wasting your time.
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