Sanctification: The Believer’s Transformation, Part 1 | John McArthur | YouTube

Sanctification: The Believer’s Transformation

Part One
John MacArthur 

(with associated passages and a personal note)

Biblical Passages:

Philippian 2:12-16 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always OBEYED, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 THAT ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, PERFECTING HOLINESS in the fear of God.

Ephesians 4:1-2 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that YE WALK WORTHY of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love..

Ephesians 4:17-24 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth WALK NOT AS OTHER GENTILES WALK, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That YE PUT OFF concerning the former conversation THE OLD MAN, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And BE RENEWED in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye PUT ON THE NEW MAN, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so NOW yield your members servants to righteousness UNTO holiness [hagiasmos: sanctification, holiness, consecration, purification.]”

Colossians 3:5-12 “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering…

1 Coringthians 6:9-11 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Personal Note (MCW3):

I often wonder if I was a false professor for most of my profession or just about as rock-bottom a true Christian as any true Christian can be. Not sure if it matters at this point; it isn’t the past that counts (as long a period as it may have been) but the current and the future. Thankfully, for the last few months, God has been using messages like the ones in this series to really drive home the error and grievousness of my slothful ways. More and more, I feel like Josiah when he found the book of the law, as we read in:

2 Kings 22:10-13 “And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying, 13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great [is] the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.

The law at issue in our day isn’t the Mosaic law (the law of ceremonies, observances, baptisms and other rituals, etc.) but all of the extant commandments and imperatives associated with the New Testament era. You see, even after I knew better, even after I intellectually rejected and spoke out against the errors of Antinomianism, Neo-Sandemanian, and the “Hyper-Grace” mind-set, my life saw little practical change. The realisation of the error, thought heartfelt as well as headfelt, was all head-knowledge as it related to my walk; it was all still hypocrisy. Yet lately, God has given me a real, experimental understanding of not only the error of my ways, and what a true Christian walk is, in light of true biblical salvation, but what it means to struggle, to strive to be obedient, and to strive to walk that walk. My desire is to submit to Him in all things, with mind and heart, though the resistant of this flesh is powerful. The blessing is that He has given me a will to fight, to not give in, to not make the kind of excuses that abound in the various hyper-grace circles (excuses I embraced to my hurt and no doubt to the hurt of my family). Thankfully, He has put in me a real desire now to “trust and obey,” a desire unlike I’ve ever had before, and I have come to see experimentally that there is no other way ‘to be happy in the Lord Jesus.’

Finally, I have a long way to go; I’ve fallen immensely short for two decades now, missing the mark greatly. My spiritual growth has been severely stunted, that is, presuming I was even alive to grow. The battle is on though, has been on for a few months now, and progress is nonetheless being made. I want to indeed progress in my manifest/experimental sanctification/holiness, not to earn anything, but out of thankfulness for the perfect justification and sanctification the Lord Jesus has already earned for me. I’m still nothing more than a sinner saved by grace; however, thanks be to God, I am indeed a true WIP (Work In Progress). All the glory goes to Him. I just pray for more grace/strength to grow, to press on, to fight the good fight… and not just talk, analyze, and intellectualize. We are called to work out our own salvation, mortifying the members/deeds of the flesh, cleansing ourselves practically, perfecting holiness, adorning the Gospel of Christ. May God richly bless all who are His in this regard.

To God be the glory, in Christ Jesus, forever and ever – amen.

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