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Posted By: Pilgrim What is our main Motivation in sanctification? - Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:34 AM
What do you think is the biblical basis for sanctification? Put another way, What should be the main motivation to seek after holiness? scratchchin
Posted By: Tom Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:28 AM
Originally Posted by Pilgrim
What do you think is the biblical basis for sanctification? Put another way, What should be the main motivation to seek after holiness? scratchchin

Good question.

The best way I can think of that answers this question is by quoting something I am sure you are very familiar with.


Quote
Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31), and to enjoy him for ever (Ps. 73:25-26).


Q. What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify him?
A. The Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (Eph. 2:20; 2 Tim. 3:16) is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify God and enjoy him (1 Jn. 1:3).

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:25 AM
Tom,

Thanks for responding. But I think that first Q&A from the Westminster Shorter Catechism really shows us WHAT; the "rule" and thus HOW we are to live before God, i.e., to glorify Him. I'm really asking WHY one would desire to glorify Him. What is the MOTIVE that would have a person go to the Scriptures to learn how to live a life of holiness? What is the reason someone would desire to be sanctified? grin
Posted By: Robin Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:56 AM
One who has been raised from death, translated from the kingdom of sin and death into the kingdom of God, liberated from the penalty and power of sin; one to whom is promised the inheritance of the new heaven and new earth in a new, perfect, immortal body is pleased to live for God. It also simply makes good sense to live for Him now that we can, having been freed from slavery to sin even while in sinful bodies in a sinful world!

Quote
What benefit were you deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have fruit to sanctification; and the outcome, eternal life (Romans 6:21-22).

Why exchange slavery to one master for slavery to another? Because one master is cruel and obedience to him is shameful and brings only death. My new Master loves me as His own child; obedience to Him is natural, joyful, infinitely satisfying, and brings eternal life.

My obedience also makes me more and more like my Master (Romans 8:29), who loves so deeply that He willingly died the torturous death of the cross to buy my freedom. And that's what I want more than anything - to be like Him; to love as He loves, and to live this life as righteous and holy as He is.

Plus, I must confess that I really relish in the "foolishness" of all this. A small, meek servant who shames a clever, experienced, and mighty warrior. The lowly, self-confessed chief of sinners who is chosen over the loftiest of the world's elite to humble them; to nullify all boasting in human wisdom and human strength and human invention, leaving everyone with nothing to boast but my Master and His wisdom, power, love, mercy, and justice (1st Corinthians 1:26-31).

One contented slave,
Robin
Posted By: muchforgiven Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:49 PM
Good topic Pilgim. I believe the motivation for growing in Holiness is Love. We love because He first Loved us.
The mission of the church we attend here in Chattanooga is to learn to enjoy Jesus. Simple. As I learn more about Him and I see the beauty and excellency of His character, I want more and more to be like Him and to be with Him forever. Scripture says "Without holiness, no one will see the Lord" Heb.12;14
I could go on and on but I won't. As St. Augustine said,"Thou hast made us for thyself O Lord, and our hearts will never rest until they rest in thee."
My humble thoughts.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:42 AM
I think you have gotten to the essence of the matter. grin Our motivation unto sanctification is grounded in our new found love for God and all that is holy and right. Robin did a wonderful job of expanding on this with his reply. My perspective is that by nature, we are all God haters and rebel against all that is good due to our corruption of nature inherited from our first father Adam. However, when the grace of God comes upon a sinner and the Holy Spirit works regeneration in our souls, we are given a new nature. This change is a radical change indeed for with it comes not only a conviction of sin, i.e., we are given to see our corruptness but also but a love for God and a true desire to do all that pleases Him. Our inclination is toward becoming like Christ, to put on the new man which is for righteousness, holiness and in true knowledge.

Our union with Christ is similiar to that union which He has with His Father albeit imperfect. What a glorious privilege we have being delivered from darkness to light.
Posted By: John_C Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:24 PM
Tom's is the true and safe answer.

I'll like to add more to what is meant by glorifying God as it relates to sanctification. I'll probably just ask more questions than answering. Paul says that we should work out our salvation in Phillipians. I think he is referring to our sanctification with the statement, not our justification.

So glorifying God as part of the sanctification process (work) includes our obedience, our dependence, our desire to follow God's commands which demonstrates our love, though we will fail miserably in doing so as we still have our sin nature. One of the commands is being use as a means for furthering His Kingdom. Therefore a part of our sanctification is involvement in discipleship, and growing the Kingdom.

Just some thoughts.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:42 PM
John,

I'm going to answer you as I did Tom. What you have stated is true as to the "What" in sanctification. But the question was asking "Why?" What is one's motiviation to do the "what?"
Posted By: muchforgiven Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:27 AM
You said it Pilgrim. What a glorious privilege it is to be translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. O my soul, when I comtemplate the riches of His grace to me, a wretch,it makes me weep. Amazing love how can it be, that thou my God would die for me. I would spend the rest of my days praising and thanking Him.
Posted By: Tom Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:15 AM
John

After concidering what Pilgrim said, I have to say that I agree with him.
In a way when you stated "our desire to follow God's commands which demonstrates our love", you actually proved his point. grin

Tom
Posted By: MarieP Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Tue May 04, 2010 1:47 AM
AMEN!!! Praise God for the New Covenant in Christ's blood, where God has written His law on our hearts and minds, given us His Spirit, and we love to run in the way of His commandments! (My pastor just preached on Jeremiah 31 last night from the perspective of "this is why you are the way you are" The good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth good things. Sure, we cry "oh wretched man that I am" like Paul, But we have the Spirit of God within us, Who makes us desire Christ more than anything and desire to please Him in all things because of that love.
Posted By: Robin Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Tue May 04, 2010 10:53 AM
One of the most awesome things about God's work of sanctification is that our desires and even needs change so radically.

I'm bothered that so many church leaders (at least in my experience), when seeking to "motivate" others, completely fail to truly give the Holy Spirit credit for His sanctifying work. Just a few examples:

* Show pictures of starving children in order to increase giving to missions

* Maintain an appearance of impending financial disaster in order to "motivate" people to give more.

* Attempt to shame people into serving as church officers or Sunday school teachers or nursery workers (don't even get me started on the age segregation thing).

Christians do not need to be "maneuvered" into serving God. They need not be cajoled, manipulated, pushed, pleaded with, and certainly not shamed into serving God.

Guilt is a completely illegitimate motivator for Christians, because Christians are not guilty!

It's the Galatian error all over again, and leaders who resort to this kind of manipulation are in fact, practicing witchcraft (that's the Apostle Paul's word for it, not mine - see Galatians 3:1). So this question of what motivates sanctification (and this wonderful thread) should be required reading for all church officers of all denominations.

Posted By: chestnutmare Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Tue May 04, 2010 11:16 AM
Doesn't the Christian have remaining sin to deal with? While, ultimately in Christ the Christian does not have guilt, the Christian still has to deal, daily and continually with the problem of remaining sin while still in this life so, in that sense, we do need to remind each other of what God requires. I know I do.
Posted By: chestnutmare Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Tue May 04, 2010 11:27 AM
In fact, yesterday I found this wonderful quote that speaks wisely to this very concern: "Sin aims always at the utmost; every time it rises up to tempt or entice, if it has its own way it will go out to the utmost sin in that kind. Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could, every thought of unbelief would be atheism if allowed to develop. Every rise of lust, if it has its way reaches the height of villainy; it is like the grave that is never satisfied. The deceitfulness of sin is seen in that it is modest in its first proposals but when it prevails it hardens mens' hearts, and brings them to ruin."

John Owen

Also, Robert Murray M'Cheyenne wrote this upon examination of himself.
http://the-highway.com/forum/ubbthr...t_Murray_M_Cheyene_s_Pers.html#Post44602

So if a pastor or someone speaks to issues of my remaining sin, I am thankful not resentful for the opportunity to repent of it and to do what God requires of me. I do agree with you, that guilt manipulation is not appropriate and I don't think it satisfies the teaching found in Ephesians 4:12.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Tue May 04, 2010 11:35 AM
Originally Posted by Robin
Guilt is a completely illegitimate motivator for Christians, because Christians are not guilty!
I can surely agree with your consternation over the way churches (done by persons of course grin) manipulate people to accomplish some goal or meet some alleged need.

But the quote above I find troubling, if I may put it that way. Oh yes, it is undeniably true that for those whom Christ died and whom the Spirit has regenerated and brought to Christ in repentance and a living faith and thus whom God has declared to be justified, there is no guilt in the forensic sense. Christ's atonement is fully sufficient and efficient in this sense. However, do you not believe that a truly justified individual still has guilt when he/she sins? Surely, there is the presence of a guilty conscience over the sin committed which naturally flows from the Christian's new nature and the indwelling Spirit, yes? And, are we not counseled, even commanded to confess our sins in order to be cleansed? A true Christian is no longer under condemnation in the forensic sense, i.e., there is nothing that a Christian will have to atone for which would bring eternal judgment. But, sin committed regardless of whether a person is clothed with Christ's righteousness or still dead in trespasses and sins brings about guilt.

I am confident you will understand my question and agree with my response. My intent is to make sure no one misconstrues what you wrote and possibly concludes that a professing Christian is "guilt free" to the point that they can go about rejoicing, "Let's sin that grace may abound!" (Rom 6:1) Or, that a Christian can do no wrong and thus there is no guilt. We all continue to sin... daily. And those sins make us guilty and liable to judgment, in and of themselves. But praise God that we are no longer under condemnation because all our guilt and the punishment due because of our sins has been dealt with by Jesus Christ on the cross. The true Christian can exclaim with the apostle Paul,

Galatians 2:20 (ASV) "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that [life] which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, [the faith] which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me."

Posted By: Robin Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Wed May 05, 2010 12:08 AM
Of course, Pilgrim, Chestnutmare, we are all completely agreed. When I fail the Lord, I am grieved because He is grieved. I feel guilt and sorrow and welcome His correction and restoration, especially when it comes through people who love me and offer correction gently and in a spirit of humility.

There was no consternation in my heart when I wrote my previous post, only sadness for the way that God is dishonored when His people manipulate one another. I'm not talking about correction, instruction, and discipline. I was writing about motivation by means other than reliance upon God to supply willing hearts to do His work, not reliance upon our own inventions to get people to do what we think they should.

I'm sorry if my post was unclear. Certainly when we fail and fall into error and sin, the Lord's correction and loving discipline is precious to those who love Him, and a source of resentment to those who don't.

From glory to glory,
Robin
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Wed May 05, 2010 12:32 AM
Robin,

Yes, I understood you to be focusing upon the psychological manipulation used by some (many?) in our day. As I stated, my response was with the intent that someone might not take it otherwise and think that there is no "guilt" when a Christian sins. grin

Of course, the Lord often uses means to confront a child of God who sins, e.g., Nathan with David (2Sam 12:1-10), the preaching of the Word (2Tim 3:16,17), a true friend who pricks the heart with loving, albeit sometimes firm probing and confrontation (cf. Ps 141:5; Prov 27:6).
Posted By: Tom Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Wed May 05, 2010 5:06 AM
Would you consider it "psychological manipulation" if a Church brought in a missionary from Africa to show the Church what is being done there and how they can get involved?
Personally speaking, although I think the leaders of the Church need to be careful that this is not done; I like it when such events like this happen. It shows how some of the Lord's money is being spent and it gives first hand knowledge of the missionaries we support and how we can get involved.

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Wed May 05, 2010 10:23 AM
Tom,

On its face, I don't find any fault with having a missionary bring a report of the work that is being done in the place of service. However, I have seen too many, I guess, that show films or photos which are obviously meant to evoke the emotions, e.g., pictures of starving children, extreme poverty, filthy children clinging to the missionaries, etc. We all know there are poor and needy in this world, as our Lord told us (Matt 26:11). And we should try and relieve their pitiful situation as we are able (Lk 18:22; Gal 2:20). But the main purpose of sending a missionary out into the world, whether that place is Uganda, Siberia, New York City or your own home town, is to preach the Gospel that all men may repent of their sins and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ in faith that they may be reconciled to God. More often than not, in my personal experience, missionaries have forsaken the true Gospel for something far different that will in the end allow them to show the "fruit of their labor" which will keep the money flowing in. Some will say how entire tribes have been converted and come to Jesus. But all too often, I fear, true conversions are rare if they have occurred at all.

So yes... I encourage missionaries to come and report of their work. And I want to know what is the Gospel they are preaching, if they are preaching at all. I want to know what they are teaching the people they are living amongst. And yes, I am interested in the temporal needs of the people as well. But what good is it if a child's belly is full but its destiny is eternal damnation? scratchchin
Posted By: Tom Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Wed May 05, 2010 9:22 PM
Agreed smile
Posted By: MarieP Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Thu May 06, 2010 11:02 AM
But there's a difference between "psychological manipulation" and conviction by the Holy Spirit. Sadly, there's a track record of not always being able to tell the two apart, both in conversion and in sanctification.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Thu May 06, 2010 4:30 PM
Originally Posted by MarieP
But there's a difference between "psychological manipulation" and conviction by the Holy Spirit. Sadly, there's a track record of not always being able to tell the two apart, both in conversion and in sanctification.
Marie,

Where do you think the "error in judgment" falls? Do you think it is on the side of presuming the genuineness of the conversion/sanctification (conviction of the Holy Spirit)? Or, do you think it is on the side of skepticism relegating things to "psychological manipulation? scratchchin
Posted By: MarieP Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Fri May 07, 2010 2:57 AM
Good question....both are bad.

I would say that the former error is the most prevalent in the church at large today. Instead of looking at fruit over the long-run in people's lives, they look at temporary results and numbers of "decisions made for Christ." Just because you walked an aisle or prayed a prayer doesn't make you a true disciple. Just because you gave a check at a missions dinner doesn't mean you gave sacrificially or from the heart as God desires.

On the other hand, if I heard that, at a good, Gospel believing church, 20 people came to the pastor after the sermon and said they were convicted of their sin during the sermon and received Christ as Savior and Lord, then I would rejoice in that. I would pray that their faith would be quickly shown in the bearing of much fruit, but also I would realize that some Christians grow in maturity faster than others. If there was a sermon on the importance of prayer and then prayer meeting the next week is doubled in size, wouldn't it be charity to believe that my brethren really were convicted and not manipulated?

I could make the second scenario more interesting by saying "20 lost people started asking 'What must I do to be saved?' before the pastor stopped preaching" Of course, the average non-Reformed church would say, "Just walk down the aisle." Not that I've ever seen anyone ever do that in a service before...
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Motivation in sanctification? - Fri May 07, 2010 8:25 PM
yep My thinking is along the same lines as what you have stated. BigThumbUp
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