Category: Sanctify

Behold the Beauty

2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” Imagine for a moment that you and the person you have been discipling for a long time are standing on the beach, looking out into the ocean. The sun is setting, and it is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. At that moment, you are caught up in the colors of the sky. There is a blend of pink...

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Mortification: Seven Phases Along the Sin-Killing Continuum

Mortification (noun): The Spirit-powered process of killing all of our propensities for sinful, self-destructive pleasures that compete for superior pleasure in the all-satisfying God. If we care about living then sin-killing (or the old school word “mortification”) is something we cannot afford to ignore: “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13 cf. Gal. 5:16-25). Sin-killing in the believer’s life may be thought of along a 7-phase continuum that looks something like this (try to figure out where you...

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Distinguishing Between Sanctification and Legalism

Fear of being accused of legalism has, in some circles of Evangelicalism, led to decreasing calls for personal holiness. This is, I believe, particularly true among younger Christians. Many of them have grown up in a form of hyper-fundamentalism that was marked by all sorts of legalism. One can appreciate, then, and even applaud their disdain for it. Yet, I am increasingly concerned that this fear has caused many of us to be suspicious of all holiness talk. We must remind ourselves that sanctification and legalism are not the same thing. The Hole in Our Holiness Several years ago...

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Eight Roadblocks to Spiritual Health

Pediatricians diagnose some children with FTT (failure to thrive). The causes of FTT are many and varied, including genetics, sickness, and poor nutrition. But the diagnosis itself is given in cases of arrested development — when a child’s growth measurements fall below a certain percentile. A similar condition is true for many Christians: a spiritual FTT. Rather than abounding in love (1 Thessalonians 3:12), knowing the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7), and rejoicing with joy inexpressible and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8), these believers are marked by inconsistent and unhealthy patterns of growth and regression. They...

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How the Gospel Frees From Lawlessness

We previously considered the pitfalls of legalism, and how the gospel lifts us out of them. Now let’s look at the dangers of lawlessness, and how the Gospel guards us against them. Just as we observed with legalism, lawlessness can be displayed in many ways. Lawlessness (or “antinomianism” as it is sometimes called) is the opposite of legalism though; whereas legalism seeks salvation through law, in one form or another, lawlessness seeks to escape the law in one way or another. Avoiding Lawlessness Let’s look at a few examples to help us identify lawlessness in our lives. 1) Minimizing...

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