Holiness: Sanctification Part 2
Not religious talk. 1 John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” Many people can talk like a Christian but they still serve sin and the world. Not religious feelings. Many people go to church services or conferences or revivals and have their emotions greatly stirred and may even respond in action but their hearts are not changed at all. Ryle calls this “a kind of animal excitement from the contagion of seeing others weeping, rejoicing, or affected.” He points to the parable of the soils, the casting out of demons out of a person only to have more return, not counting the cost or Lot’s wife who turns back. It is a dangerous place to be if you believe you are born again based on some religious feelings. Not outward formalism or external devoutness. Many people replace inward sanctification with outward activity. They never deal with their heart problem instead they increase the amount or severity of their actions. Not a retreat from society or social obligations. Becoming a monk does not automatically make you sanctified. Martin Luther testified to that. The devil can find you anywhere and the root of evil we carry in our hearts. Ryle says “True holiness does not make a Christian evade difficulties, but face and overcome them.” Jesus did not pray that we run and hide from the world. John 17:15 “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” Genuine sanctification shows itself in a habitual desire to live up to the biblical standard. A Christian will desire to follow all of the practical commands given like those found at the end of most of Paul’s epistles. Genuine sanctification shows itself in habitual attention to gracious actions exemplified by Jesus. For example, John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” Genuine sanctification shows itself in habitual attention to “passive graces”. That is things like gentleness, longsuffering, meekness, and forgiveness. Genuine sanctification is something that can be seen. These visible marks are seen in a sanctified person. They may not all be seen equally in every believer or be fully and perfectly shown but a person who knows nothing of them does not know God’s grace at all.