5 Reasons Why Believers Do Not Grow
- Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I've read enough Lloyd-Jones to know that he often takes his readers/listeners back to justification (as he should). His book, Spiritual Depression, is mainly about applying the gospel of free grace to our pursuit of God. But Lloyd-Jones does not suggest that sanctification comes about only by recalling our justification:
"The New Testament calls upon us to take action; it does not tell us that the work of sanctification is going to be done for us. We are in the ‘good fight of faith' and we have to do the fighting. But, thank God, we are enabled to do it; for the moment we believe, and are justified by faith, and are born again of the Spirit of God, we have the ability. So the New Testament method of sanctification is to remind us of that; and having reminded us of it, it says, ‘Now then, go and do it'." (178, emphasis mine)
Remember the gospel indicatives. Then give full throat to the gospel imperatives.
These issues matter because, on the one hand, some Christians are beating themselves up to be more like Jesus when they first need to realize that in Christ they've already died to sin and been raised with Christ. And on the other hand, some Christians are stalled out in their sanctification for plain lack of effort. They are lazy and need to be told so.
And then there are those who are confused, wondering why sanctification isn't automatically flowing from their heartfelt commitment to gospel-drenched justification. They need to get up and, as one author put it, "just do something."
We all need God's grace to believe what is true and do what is right.
We died to sin in the death of Christ. Now we must put to death the deeds of the flesh.
Kevin DeYoung is Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. He is married to Trisha with four young children. This article originally appeared on Kevin DeYoung's blog, "DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed," at The Gospel Coalition website. Read the complete article here.
Used with permission.
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