[Reply to Bruce, in post: Gospel-Punch-Packed Sermon; 04-06-08]
What I continue to find interesting is how little is said from many pulpits regarding this important correlation between faith and sanctification.
Act 26:18 …that they may receive …a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
Somehow, much of what’s said about sanctification tends to place the accent upon our striving (which of course is a facet of the whole) and not upon God’s ongoing sanctifying work in us (1Th5.23), understanding that the latter brings about the former, not merely by focusing upon the former.
As John Murray put it: “We must also appreciate the fact that there is an agency on part of the Holy Spirit that far surpasses analysis or introspection on our part.” (_Redemption Accomplished and Applied_; pg.147)
It gets shuffled aside, that, we were first raised through faith in the powerful working of God demonstrated in Christ’s resurrection (Col 2:12), and that such a life in Christ continues by faith in the same (Rom.1.17; Heb.10.38; Gal.3.2-3).
Our striving need be in *remembering* that Christ dwells in our hearts through faith (Eph 3:17), that our faith might rest in the power of God alone (1Co 2:5), which is manifest in the Gospel as ‘a’ word and ‘the’ Word (Rom.1.16; Heb.10.14).