Friday, May 14, 2010

Multiple Benefits. One Benefactor.

Much theological confusion can result in conflating justification and sanctification. These are separate "events." But both events are all of grace. Even our working out of salvation with fear and trembling is the result of God working in us. Our gracious Father prepared our good works beforehand, that we might walk in them.

From Sinclair Ferguson:
This first thing to remember, of course, is that we must never separate the benefits (regeneration, justification, sanctification) from the Benefactor (Jesus Christ). The Christians who are most focused on their own spirituality may give the impression of being the most spiritual ... but from the New Testament's point of view, those who have almost forgotten about their own spirtuality because their focus is so exclusively on their union with Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished are those who are growing and exhibiting fruitfulness. Historically speaking, whenever the piety of a particular group is focused on OUR spirituality that piety will eventually exhaust itself on its own resources. Only where our piety forgets about ourself and focuses on Jesus Christ will our piety nourished by the ongoing resources the Spirit brings to us from the source of all true piety, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
-- James 1:17

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