This is God’s Goal for all Who Follow Christ

The goal of sanctification is likeness to our Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul said in II Corinthians 3:18 that we “are being transformed into his likeness.”  In Romans 8:29 he said that God “predestined [all believers] to be conformed to the likness of his Son.”  Christlikeness is God’s goal for all who trust in Christ and that should be our goal also.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 98

The Relation of Justification and Sanctification

Justification is an act of God complete at once and for ever. Sanctification is a work of God begun in regeneration, conducted through life and completed at death.  The former is equal and perfect in all; the latter is not equal in all, nor perfect in any till they lay aside the flesh.  In justification God imputes [that is, credits] to us the righteousness of Christ; in sanctification he [imparts] grace, and enables us to exercise it.

– William Plumer

as quoted by Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 97

I Fear That One Day They Will Hear This…

Again I am concerned that there are thousands of professing Christians who think they have been justified, who think their sins are forgiven and that they are on their way to Heaven, who show no evidence of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  I fear for them that they will one day hear those awful words from the lips of Christ, “I never knew you.  Away from me you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:23)

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 96

When Does Sanctification Begin?

Sanctification actually begins at the time of our conversion, when by an act called regeneration, or the new birth, the principle of spiritual life is planted within us.  This work of regeneration is promised in such Old Testament prophecies as Jeremiah 31:33 and Exekiel 36:26-27.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 94

Let Us Defend the Name from Slander and Insult

Everything bad they [the ungodly] can seize hold of in our life is twisted maliciously against Christ and His teaching.  The result is that by our fault God’s sacred name is exposed to insult.  The more closely we see ourselves being watched by our enemies, the more intent we should be to avoid their slanders, so that their ill-will strengthens us in the desire to do well.

– John Calvin

as quoted byBridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 87

Three Words That Describe Our Duties as Christians

The Apostle Paul summed up our three-directional duties of the Christian life in three words: self-controlled, upright, and godly.  The context of his moral description of God’s saving grace, however, is a whole series of moral exhortations from Titus 2:1-3:2

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 86

Endeavor to Preserve Spiritual Affections in the Heart

Endeavor to preserve and keep up lively, holy and spiritual affections in the heart, and suffer them not to cool…For such as your affections such must your thoughts be…Indeed, thoughts and affections are…the mutual causes of each other (Psalm 39:3); so that thoughts are the bellows that kindle and inflame affections; and then in they are inflamed, they cause thoughts to boil.

– Thomas Goodwin

as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 127

Matthew Henry on Titus 2:12

Personal and relative duties must be done in obedience to his commands, with due aim at pleasing and honouring him, from principles of holy love and fear of him.  But there is an express and direct duty also that we owe to God, namely, belief and acknowledgement of his being and perfections, paying him internal and external worship and homage, – loving, fearing and trusting in him, – depending on him and devoting ourselves to him, – observing all those religious duties and ordinances that he has appointed, – praying to him, praising him, and meditating on his word and works.

– Matthew Henry, Commentary on Titus 2:12

as quoted by Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 85-86

Importance of the Fruit of the Spirit in the Life of a Christian

The Christian life, however, should also be directed toward the positive expressions of Christian character, what Paul called the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22.  In fact, all of Paul’s ethical teaching is characterized by this twofold approach of putting off the old self and putting on the new self (Ephesians 4:22-24).

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 84