More on Jillian and Sanctification

I am probably an idiot for writing a short blog on sanctification late last night.

Volumes can’t explain it. I had a good question that came about how God does all the work and we can not do it ourselves so I thought I might write a bit more. Here goes:

It is, I think, a delicate and mysterious thing.

Sanctification, the catechism says, is a work of God’s free grace whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God and enabled more and more to die unto sin and live unto righteousness.

I find many of us (including me) can fall into a mode of “Jesus, if you don’t change me, I will be the same” and under our breath we mutter, “So I will just sit here until you do something!!” “If I don’t change it is Jesus’ fault.”

Paul, however, in his letter to the Colossians says, “To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy which works so powerfully within me.”

The idea is that He has given us free will. We are free to fight against the sin in our lives. We can will to be obedient; knowing He gave us the will. We do need to take some sense of responsibility for our action, or lack thereof while knowing that it was Jesus who gave us the free will and He, at the root, empowers it.

Further, in a real sense, we don’t run to Him; He ran to us and still does. The idea of running to Jesus that may come to your mind is prompted by the Spirit convicting your new man. It is Godly sorrow that yields repentance. So, He gives us repentance too. It all comes from Him. The practical challenge with that is that we can become passive.

Part (a large part ) of our “work” is prayer. Asking Him to do a further work in us. Going to the means of grace is a great way for us to use our free will.

So when I said we labor to be sanctified, I meant that we have a part in the process. (Here is where I can be misunderstood) We are not to be passive. We are to use our free will to choose what is right and healthy. It is a new free will that He has given us.

If we find or see ourselves not moving, we should run to Him. That by the way, would only be because the Spirit had nudged us.

So, can I encourage you to press on, even as He takes hold of you this day? Blessings.