February 20, 2012

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" In Sanctification - PMNotes

Some excellent articles on Christian Sanctification from Pastor Matt Richards:

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" In Sanctification (Part 1)

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" (Part 2)

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" ~ Spontaneity (Part 3)

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" ~ Taking Care (Part 4)

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" ~ Vocation (Part 5)

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" ~ Truthfulness (Part 6)


In particular I loved this quote by Gerhardt Forde which is pretty much the entire post #6 there.
The talk of progress and growth we usually indulge in leads us all too often to do just that. But if we are saved and sanctified only by the unconditional grace of God, we ought to be able to become more truthful and lucid about the way things really are with us. Am I making progress? If I am really honest, it seems to me that the question is odd, even a little ridiculous. As I get older and death draws nearer, it doesn‟t seem to get any easier. I get a little more impatient, a little more anxious about having perhaps missed what this life has to offer, a little slower, harder to move, a little more sedentary and set in my ways. It seems more and more unjust to me that now that I have spent a good part of my life “getting to the top,” and I seem just about to have made it, I am already slowing down, already on the way out. A skiing injury from when I was sixteen years old acts up if I overexert myself. I am too heavy, the doctors tell me, but it is so hard to lose weight! Am I making progress? Well, maybe it seems as though I sin less, but that may only be because I'm getting tired! It's just too hard to keep indulging the lusts of youth. Is that sanctification? I wouldn‟t think so! One should not, I expect, mistake encroaching senility for sanctification! But can it be, perhaps, that it is precisely the unconditional gift of grace that helps me to see and admit all that? I hope so. The grace of God should lead us to see the truth about ourselves, and to gain a certain lucidity, a certain sense of humor, a certain down-to-earliness. When we come to realize that if we are going to be saved, it shall have to be absolutely by grace alone, then we shall be sanctified. God will have his way with us at last."
also see Tullian Tchividjian's blog post "Rethinking Progress" from April 2011, over at The Gospel Coalition.