“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth)… And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:8,9,18
Twofold Aspect of Sanctification
It will be observed that Sanctification includes
- the act of dedication, which is instantaneous,
- and transformation, which is a process, never ending
- until Glorification is realized.
[“With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.” J.B. Phillips Translation]
With this in mind, let us follow the working of the Holy Spirit at this crisis.
The regenerated one has begun to see that a life of victory is impossible; old habits assert themselves much to the grief of the person; resolutions are made but prove ineffectual in the hour of temptation. The condition of the believer is well described in Romans 7:22-24.
[“For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”]
The Holy Spirit has succeeded in causing a realization of need; now He whispers,
“Look again to Calvary. See, not only did Christ suffer for your sins, but He took you with Him to the Cross. Your old self was nailed there with Him; with Him it was laid in the tomb, and that was its termination; for only the Life of Christ arose. Will you let His risen, victorious Life be lived out in your personality?”
There is hesitation for a time as visions of possible future suffering and loss are presented to the mind, but the yearning love of Christ conquers, and then the irrevocable, inclusive yes is said. From the depths of the being comes the
One great Eternal yes
To all my Lord shall say;
To all I know or yet shall know
Of all the untried way.
This is a blessed moment in the life of a child of God, for now the Holy Spirit is free to enter upon the transforming work which will eventually cause complete conformation to the Image of Christ…
[“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Rom. 8:28,29]
Part 1 of 2
An excerpt from Mary E. McDonough’s study, God’s Plan of Redemption (1922).
Bracketed content added – JBW
Biblical quotations (unless indicated otherwise) are from The New King James Version (copyright by Thomas Nelson).
In a sermon posted on February 13, 2018 Pastor Jim Cymbala uses four scriptures as a starting point for a challenging message about experiencing real change in the Christian life (John 8:28-29; Romans 6:5; Romans 8:5; Galatians 2:19-20). The audio message can be heard online or downloaded here: https://www.brooklyntabernacle.org