Progressive Sanctification

God’s purpose is that each Christian should press onward in the life of holiness aiming at final perfection, like a runner in a race. God has made provision for each Christian to be a “perfect” runner.  In running a race, it is half the battle to make a good start.  And in the Christian race, it gives a tremendous impetus to the believer if he starts and continues with a clear, steady faith in Christ for full deliverance from sin.  What is the greatest hindrance to a Christian starting and continuing in this glorious race?  Surely it is indwelling sin.  But praise God, as we shall show, we may be set gloriously free from this indwelling, entangling hindrance, we may be made perfectly whole and clean within and filled with the blessed Holy Spirit. This is “Perfection the True.”  Thus we can, through grace, fulfill the command, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:1, 2) – Brockett

The unchristian world that walks by sight and not by faith and knows not the dignity of the Christian nor what the Christians are entitled to.  The Christian is favored by heaven and will be an inhabitant of that place where the unchristian as well as the antichristian person cannot go.  The unchristian and the antichristian alike will see Jesus with His frowns, the terror of His majesty and vengeance but the true Christian will see His smiles, the glory of His majesty, His beauty.  The impure will be terrified by His purity.  Those who hope to live with Him must strive to be more pure.  “It is the hope of hypocrites, and not the sons of God that makes an allowance for the gratification of impure desires and lusts.” – Matthew Henry

The work of the Holy Spirit in the progressive sanctification of the newborn soul is indirect: in opening the heart to receive the truth, the instrument of purification; in giving vigor to the spiritual life; in strengthening the will to resist temptation, and in diminishing the power of evil habits. It is repressive of depravity rather than totally destructive. 

The entire eradication of the propensity to sin is by the direct and instantaneous act of the Holy Spirit responsive to a special act of faith in Christ claiming the full heritage of the believer. It is in reference to this distinctive act of the Sanctifier that it is noted by an eminent expositor “that in the New Testament we never read expressly and unmistakably of sanctification as a gradual process.” This is said in view of the almost universal use of the aorist tense of the verbs to sanctify and to cleanse. – Dr. Daniel Steele

An excerpt from my soon to be released book “Jesus the Christ made a statement,” Pastor Ward

Jesus the Christ Made a Statement

It is somewhat understandable why many people mistrust certain Christians; however, there are other Christians whom it is quite dangerous to despise.  Those Christians and their way of living may make you feel a bit uncomfortable regarding the life-choices you have made or may be currently making but since they are actually embarking on the spirit-walk we are all called to travel in then it is wise to take note and move in the same direction and along the same pathway and in the same manner as they are.  “Blessed are the pure in heart ….” – Jesus.  And God commanded, “Be holy even as I am holy.”

Wherever a number of Christians have associated together, with the evident and exclusive aim of promoting purity of heart and life, they have prospered.  The most profound attention to the history of the general church will show the same unvarying truth.  Under the influence of apostolic purity, the early victories of the cross were as decisive in the reformation of individual character and public manners, as they were unparalleled in their extent and power.  But the gradual departure from primitive simplicity, and the immense accumulation of corruption in heart and life which followed, by slow degrees destroyed the power of the church to act as a reforming agent.  There are punctuated periods of pursuing heart purity throughout church history and we stand in dire need of another.  The possibility of the perpetual presence of the empowering Spirit of God is real but the spirit cools for whatever reason and the fervent flames of reformation fade until problems provoking punishment from the Supreme Moral Authority again multiply.  See 2nd Chronicles 7:13-15

The pure in heart — Those whose hearts are purified by faith; who are not only sprinkled from an evil conscience by the blood of Jesus, but cleansed by the Spirit of God from vain thoughts, unprofitable reasonings, earthly and sensual desires, and corrupt passions; who are purified from pride, self-will, discontent, impatience, anger, malice, envy, covetousness, ambition; whose hearts are circumcised to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, and their neighbours as themselves, and who, therefore, are not only upright before him, but possess and maintain purity of intention and of affection in all their designs, works, and enjoyments; serving him continually with a single eye and an undivided heart. They shall see God — Namely, in the glass of his works, whether of creation, providence, or grace, here, and face to face hereafter: they shall have fellowship with him in his ordinances, and shall endure as seeing him that is invisible, while they walk by faith on earth, and shall be admitted to the most perfect vision and complete enjoyment of him in heaven. – Joseph Benson

The above is an excerpt from my current book project

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

Blessed are the pure in heart is what our Lord said, He didn’t say pure in the head; men may have pure notions and impure hearts.  It was not in the hand, or action, or in outward conversation only.  The Pharisees were outwardly righteous before men but, we are told, inwardly they were full of impurity.  It is in the heart that we are to be pure.  Ever since the failure of Adam, the heart of man has been “naturally” unclean and it is not within our own power to make it clean or to be pure from sin.  Too many people stop right there just like John Calvin did.  Now, “The Bible is a holy book and woe to the man that would make it a minister of sin!” – Dudley Kidd.  Many people do carefully give consideration to the command of God, “Be ye holy, even as I Am holy….”  With such a command coming from our Creator, it seems that there should be a way for it to occur.  Guess what; Scripture reveals there is!  The preventatives against sin are not in us but in God.  Either the doctrine of God as related by the Apostle John or the practice of sin must be abandoned; they are incompatible with each other.  The ones who are wise will seek to find it while the foolish ones will not and they will tend to merely rely on the “lamp oil” they already started out with; initial sanctification.  Even they who’ve experienced the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit tend to find themselves desiring and following after ever more purity of heart, life, thought, and conversation; so happy and blessed they are for they shall see God, in this life and in the one to follow. – Ward Clinton, an excerpt from my current book project.