The Apostle Paul is very clear in writing to the church at Corinth:
“And such [ungodly people] were some of you;
but ye are washed,
but ye are sanctified,
ye are Justified
in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).
Consider the different aspects of God’s gracious work in the life of the believer…
The justifying work of God is to reckon righteousness to our account, when in simple faith we look away from ourselves to see what Christ has accomplished FOR US in His finished work on the Cross.
God was fully satisfied with His work; it is not our enthroning Christ in our hearts but that He enthroned the Lord Jesus at His right hand in Heaven. So in justification, we become totally occupied with Him, and with what Christ did FOR US 2000 years ago on the Cross. Now our faith has an Object outside ourselves and outside our experience!
[“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom. 5:1]
The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is God’s work IN US when we receive Christ as our personal savior.
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God…”(John 1:12). Paul explains: “…He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). Just as it is difficult to explain the wind, so it is with the Holy Spirit’s coming into us at our new birth [John 3:8].
The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit is to set apart whatever has touched the altar (the cross).
Once we were “in Adam” but now because we were crucified, buried and resurrected with Christ on the cross, He sees us “in Christ.” Thus, we are set apart from our old world and unto God for His purposes. What God does WITH US—in separating us unto Himself—is first a crisis position in which we stand (1 Cor. 1:2) and becomes a process as we walk in sanctification and honor (1 Thess.4:4).
[“And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ,” John 1:16,17. Let respond in faith and gratitude for God’s gracious work!].
From Larger Window, DeVern Fromke, (Sure Foundation, 2002), 165. http://fromke.com/
Copyright by DeVern Fromke. Used with permission. Sequence of points and bracketed content edited by JBW. Biblical quotations are from the KJV.