Out of all that excellent reading, this one statement spoke to my heart the loudest. “My driving motivation now is not guilt but gratitude.”
I have a dispensational escatology. But, you should look at the Reformed blog, www.Cal.vini.st - that's it. Looks like the, "Italian Calvin" blog.
How sad that so many churches and people that call themselves Christian, Evangelical, and believe in Jesus Christ as their personal savior end up ensnared in legalism and performance based merits which is not Christian, is not Evangelical, and your savior ends up being you and not Jesus Christ which in the end is no Gospel at all. Either we are justified by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone by Grace alone which is the Gospel or we shall all perish by the law.
I overlooked that this article was about Sanctification and not Justification. However, it is part and parcel of Salvation as you pointed out in your sermon last Sunday:The Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647)Q31: What is effectual calling? A31: Effectual calling is the work of God's Spirit, whereby convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.Q32: What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life? A32: They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, and sanctification, and the several benefits which, in this life, do either accompany or flow from them.Q33: What is justification? A33: Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein He pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone. Q34: What is adoption? A34: Adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the Sons of God.Q35: What is sanctification? A35: Sanctification is the work of God's free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.Q36: What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification? A36: The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647)Chapter XIII.Of Sanctification.I. They who are once effectually called and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection,(a) by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them:(b) the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed,(c) and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified;(d) and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces,(e) to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.(f)(a) I Cor. 6:11; Acts 20:32; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5, 6.(b) John 17:17; Eph. 5:26; II Thess. 2:13.(c) Rom. 6:6, 14.(d) Gal. 5:24; Rom. 8:13.(e) Col. 1:11; Eph. 3:16, 17, 18, 19.(f) II Cor. 7:1; Heb. 12:14.II. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man;(g) yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part:(h) whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.(i)(g) I Thess. 5:23.(h) I John 1:10; Rom. 7:18, 23; Phil. 3:12.(i) Gal. 5:17; I Pet. 2:11.III. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much prevail;(k) yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome;(l) and so, the saints grow in grace,(m) perfecting holiness in the fear of God.(n)(k) Rom. 7:23.(l) Rom. 6:14; I John 5:4; Eph. 4:15, 16.(m) II Pet. 3:18; II Cor. 3:18.(n) II Cor. 7:1.
This reminds me of one of my favorite sermons by Mark Driscoll in which he comments (paraphrased): There are no 'good' or 'bad' people, churched or unchurched, better or worse, etc. All people are sinners, and the only difference between people are those who are repentant and unrepentant. The only reason this repentance means anything is because of what the Father ordained, Christ has done and the Holy Spirit continues working in us. This is a very well written piece...good stuff.
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