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God's Presence and Your Sanctification
Thursday, July 24, 2014
The Lord’s presence in the lives of His people is a major theme throughout redemptive history. He is not aloof or distant. In fact, this reality is so important in the mind of God that He takes the name Immanuel—God with us—upon Himself.
The Person and Power of God in Your Spiritual Growth
Monday, July 21, 2014
"Just let go and let God." If you’ve been around the church for any significant time, you’ve probably heard someone offer that passive maxim as spiritual advice. In fact, many believers might use that as shorthand to describe the process of sanctification. It’s the idea that God will do what He wants, when He wants, and believers are just along for the ride.
Your Spiritual Workout
Friday, July 18, 2014
What do you think of when you hear the words “work out”? You probably think of gymnasiums, weights, and all sorts of fitness equipment. Hard work, commitment, time, and resources are necessary to grow and strengthen our physical bodies. While exercise is popular in America today, it’s certainly nothing new.
The Gravity of Sin
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Christians are not meant to be spectators in the sanctifying process. Believers are commanded to strive against their flesh for the sake of holiness and spiritual growth. At the same time, true righteousness is only possible through the power of God. As we’ve seen in recent days, biblical sanctification is a cooperative work between the Lord and His people.
Obedience and Responsibility
Monday, July 14, 2014
Sanctification is work. Hard, work. But whose work is it? For the biblical answer to that question, we’ve been examining Paul’s teaching in Philippians 2:12-13, in which he highlights the cooperative nature of sanctification.
The Model and Motivation for Spiritual Growth
Thursday, July 10, 2014
There is a raging debate about sanctification—where it comes from, what its nature is, and how it is achieved. Some people will tell you that spiritual growth is entirely optional—that a believer can live whatever lifestyle he or she might choose after a simple confession of faith. Others will tell you that spiritual growth happens by virtual osmosis, as believers reflect on God’s grace in their lives and live accordingly.
Who Is Responsible For Your Spiritual Growth?
Monday, July 07, 2014
The Christian life is anything but a passive pursuit. The New Testament commands believers to “be all the more diligent” (2 Peter 1:10), to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5), to “strive to enter through the narrow door” (Luke 13:24), to “run” that we may obtain the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24), and to “work out” our salvation (Philippians 2:12). Our spiritual growth clearly involves human exertion. But what, then, are we to make of God’s sovereignty over our growth?
The Apparent Paradox of Sanctification
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
How do you overcome sin and live the Christian life? Is defeating sin something God does in you, or do you defeat it by obeying the commands of Scripture? In other words, is the Christian life an exercise in passive trust or active obedience? Is it all God’s doing, all the believer’s doing, or a combination of both? Those questions are as old as the church, and the varied answers have spawned movements and denominations.