When a believer is saved a lot of wonderful things happen. Not only have we been given a sentence of ‘justified’ in God’s courtroom (as we looked at previously Cf. Rom 5:8-9; Eph 2.8), we are also joined to Christ (Eph 5:31-32), sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13-14), bought out of slavery to sin (Rom 6:6, 14), and adopted into God’s family (Gal 4:4-7). God the Father then begins working in the lives of His adopted children through sanctification to make them more like Christ. Let’s look at the believer’s present blessing of salvation: sanctification.
The New Hampshire Baptist Confession defines sanctification:
We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressive work; …begun in regeneration; …carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit…in the continual use of the appointed means – especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. (Article X)
Our Father’s goal for us is Christlikeness. He uses ‘all things’ in our lives for this ‘good’ goal (Rom 8:28-29).
Our Father enables us to live godly lives through the indwelling Spirit’s power and leading (Gal 5:16-24). We deny ourselves from indulging in sinful desires (Eph 4:17-24) while striving to imitate God and ‘walk in love’ (Eph 5:1-2). Note Paul’s human effort and God’s divine enablement worked out in the life of Paul.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” (1 Cor 15:10, ESV)
Please note that the believer’s efforts are not to obtain salvation: that’s only by God’s grace through faith in Jesus (our justification). The believer’s grace enabled efforts are motivated by our desire to fulfill God’s goal for us to be like our Savior, who gave Himself for us so that we might live for Him (our sanctification).
Note our past justification (‘has perfected‘) and present sanctification (‘are being‘) in Hebrews 10:14 “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (ESV)
As a believer, you are being saved from the power of sin.
Further reading: Heb 12.10; 1Cor 1:18; 1Pet 1:14-15; Rom 6:6-14
David Harris is the Senior Pastor at Faith Baptist Church. A former programmer, in his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife Kim and trying his hand at the illusive craft of smoking meat.