Anyway, we were still in the midst of Dr. Morecraft's exposition of sanctification and just facing the six basic truths concerning the basis, nature, and dynamic of sanctification.
First, it is God Himself who sanctifies His people (Lev. 20:8; 21:15; 21:23; 22:16, 32). Until God sanctifies the sinner, that sinner is “unclean” morally, and outside the covenant community and covenant promise. (144)
Second, to be holy is to be purified by God and set apart for His purposes (Lev. 20:23–26). A sanctified people is a holy people; and a holy people is a people who have been purified from sin and moral corruption by God, and who are set apart for His purposes and pleasure.
...God has “separated you from the peoples” is so that these “separated” people will “be Mine.” (144-145)
Third, those whom God has sanctified for Himself are called thereby to be saints, i.e., holy people, consecrated to God, who live in obedience to God’s Law out of gratitude for redemption in Christ. (145)
Fourth, the necessary reason and pattern for our sanctification is the holiness of Jehovah, who says, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Pet. 1:14–16). (147)
Fifth, the motive for our striving after holiness is gratitude that Jehovah is our Redeemer, who has made us His own (Lev. 11:44, 45; 26:6–13), as well as our Lord (19:3–37). (147)
Sixth, the basis of our sanctification is the atonement of Jesus Christ, of which the sacrificial system of the Old Testament was a type and symbol (Lev. 1:4; 4:20, 26, 31, 35, 36; Heb. 9:11–15; 9:27, 28; 10:10–26)....Israel’s standing as God’s people was not based on any merit in them, but was based solely on the atoning sacrifice of Christ, symbolized in the Old Testament sacrificial system, by which He accomplished eternal redemption and reconciliation with God with everyone for
whom He died (Heb. 9:12). (148)
"The work he came to do is finished (Jn 17:4; 19:30). Consequently, he who is our great High Priest is no longer “standing” but “seated” in sovereign glory at the right
hand of God.… But His work of sacrifice is done. Its absolute perfection means that it is a single sacrifice for sins and that its effectiveness is for all time, and thus it can never be added to or repeated. “A seated priest,” says F.F. Bruce, “is the guarantee
of a finished work and an accepted sacrifice.” 202. Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1977), 400–01. (149)
In summary, Leviticus 11:44–45 relates God’s holiness, God’s sanctification of believers, and the believers’ sanctification of themselves: “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy.… For I am the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, to be your God; thus you shall be
holy for I am holy.” (150)
First, faith in Jesus Christ, our redeemer:
First, faith in Christ is the instrument of sanctification. The risen Christ sent Paul to the Gentiles “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light… so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among them who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18). (150)
We cannot possibly live for God in obedience to His Law without faith in Jesus Christ. ...
Faith nourishes itself on Christ by the means of grace and salvation which God has appointed in the Bible, each of which is of great and indispensable use in our sanctification: (1) The whole Word of God—“Sanctify them in the truth; Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17); (2) Prayer and worship (John 14:13–17); (3) Providential discipline by the Father (John 15:2; Rom. 5:3–5; Heb. 12:5–7); and (4) The sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:42).(151)
Faith joins us in union with Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:13). It lays hold of Him who is the Sanctifier (1 Cor. 1:30). Faith is the mouth that feeds on Christ (John 6:53). Faith puts us in contact with Him who is the source of all spiritual power (1 Cor. 1:30).
Christ sanctifies His own through the channel or by the means of faith....We must never look to ourselves, our faith, our worship,our sincerity, or our obedience to God’s law for salvation. Christ is our only Savior. (151)
The believer does and produces nothing good in thought, character, behavior or
activity in his own strength. (154)
True saving faith includes true repentance from sin, both of which are gifts of God (Eph. 2:8–9; Acts 11:18) which seeds, along with other spiritual graces, are planted in the heart by the Spirit in regeneration. These two spiritual gifts—faith in Christ and repentance of sin—are always effective as means by which the heart and
life are sanctified. They are not only “twin graces,” they are the “mother graces” of all other gifts and graces.
Repentance of sin is inseparable from faith in Christ, and therefore is a means of sanctification, because faith not only receives, it severs. (154)
...those whom God has saved by His lovingkindness, God’s commandments are a
delight, for they know that as they obey them from a heart of faith and gratitude, they walk in liberty and righteousness. (156)
Biblical Law is the way of holiness and the rule of sanctification. It is the tracks upon which sanctification runs. The relationship between holiness and law is crucially important. There can be no holiness of life or sanctification without the guiding direction and instruction of Biblical Law and joyful obedience to it for Jesus’ sake....The Law never was intended to be a way of justification; but it is definitely the way of sanctification for all the justified...God’s Law provides a structure for the
believer’s life, within which he can live and love safely, maturely and under God’s blessing. (156)
The Hebrew word for Law is “torah,” which means direction or instruction. Therefore, a lawless life is a directionless life, and a directionless life is a meaningless life; because there is no meaning to existence apart from God and His revelation. (157)
The gospel does not annul the Law of God, rather it establishes it (Rom. 3:31), and confirms it (Matt. 5:17). Christ placed Himself under the Law for us (Gal. 4:4–7), lived in perfect obedience to it in our behalf, satisfied all its demands in life and death, and bore its curse (Gal. 3:13–14). Hence, believers are free from the indictment, condemnation, curse, and aggravation of sin, which the Law brings against the sinner, because of what our Great Substitute and Redeemer has done
in our place....Faith proves itself in delighting to obey the revealed will of God....The moral law of God retains its force forever. (158)
Nevertheless, the Bible does place the human life of Jesus before us as a model for us to follow. This “imitation of Christ” by believers is not simply a form of sanctification, it is the essence of sanctification....God’s purpose for His elect is that they be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). And in resurrection, God will “transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of
His glory” (Phil. 3:21). (161-162)
What is He asking people to do in following Him?...He is calling upon His hearers to take up their cross and to choose Him as their Master and to continue to choose Him
regardless of the crises that may come upon them because of their choice. (162)
Throughout this section of his epistle, Peter is calling for believers to manifest submission to God, to civil authorities, to their human masters and employers, although they may be harsh and overbearing (vs. 18), because if a believer suffers injustice and patiently endures it for the sake of the Lord, “he finds favor with God”
(vs. 19–20). (164)
A believer is to “please his neighbor for his good, to his edification,” precisely because “Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached Thee fell upon Me’” (Rom. 15:3). We are to be generous in our giving to the needs of the church, because “though He [Christ] was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). We are to be patient with one another and forgive one another freely, “just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you” (Col. 3:13). We are to walk in love with one another, “just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us” (Eph. 5:2)....We are to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving toward one another, “even as God also in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32). (166-167)
By “means of grace,” we have reference primarily to the reading and preaching of the Word of God, worship and prayer, and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper....As believers diligently observe these outward means of saving grace in hope and faith, God brings His presence and His blessings into their lives.
He works sanctifying grace into believers as they diligently use the means He has instituted, hence they are said to be “means of grace.” They are powerful instruments of sanctification in God’s hands because He makes them effectual to the elect for their salvation. (168-169)
Means of grace are not only Christian duties performed in obedience to God, who instituted them as the way He desires to be approached by His creatures, they are also promises from God by which He assures His people of His presence and His blessing... (169)
Larger Catechism Q. 153 emphasizes that our use of the means of grace must be diligent to be beneficial to us. We must not use them in a careless, haphazard or indifferent manner, as though we neither expected nor desired to receive anything from God through them. (169)
God’s providence is a powerful means of our sanctification: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God” (Rom. 8:28). Providence is a means of sanctification in that it has the power to impress upon the
conscience the truths of the Bible, bringing them home to our hearts, by working with the Word and Spirit, on our mind and emotions. (170)
The Larger Catechism tells us that all the effects of sanctification in the believer result from the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them. (171)
By virtue of our union with Christ in His death and resurrection, we have died to the tyranny of sin over us and have been raised spiritually to newness of life, in which life we are no longer slaves to sin, but are, rather, slaves to God and to righteousness from a glad and willing heart (Rom. 6:18, 22). (171)
First, in justification God imputes or credits the righteousness of Christ to us as the basis of our standing with Him (Rom. 4:6), and in sanctification the Holy Spirit infuses or imparts grace in us, enabling us to live righteously (Ezek. 36:27).
Second, in justification God pardons our sins because of Christ (Rom. 3:24–25), and in sanctification God subdues our sin because of Christ (Rom. 6:6, 14). The former takes away sin’s guilt, the latter its reigning power.
Third, in justification all believers are equally freed from the revenging wrath of God in this life, and what is more all believers are completely and perfectly saved in Christ from God’s anger in this life here and now: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). In sanctification, however, all believers are not sanctified to the same degree, nor are any perfectly
sanctified in this life before death; rather, all believers continue to grow up and mature toward perfection, which is a life-long process completed only at death and resurrection... (173)