Thursday, December 04, 2014

Christ, our?

When it is said that Christ is our sanctification, or our holiness, it is meant that he is the author of our holiness. He is not only the procuring cause, by his atonement and intercession, but by his direct intercourse with the soul he himself produces holiness. He is not the remote but the immediate cause of our being sanctified. He works our works in us, not by suspending our own agency, but he so controls our minds, by the influences of his Spirit in us in a way perfectly consistent with our freedom, as to sanctify us. And this, also, is received by faith.—Charles Finney

<idle musing>
Amen and amen! A very good summary of what sanctification/holiness is. We aren't some kind of zombie, possessed by a foreign spirit; we are filled with the Spirit of God, but at any moment can act against that Spirit—but why would we want to?!

Unfortunately, we sometimes do. We don't have to, but we can. That is where the tension of living the Christian life arises.

Of course, if we believe we have to sin, we won't even try not to sin. The illustration that I read years ago in Turkeys and Eagles is that of a person wearing a white tuxedo versus someone wearing a pair of overalls that they use to slop the hogs.

Which one is more likely to try to avoid the mud? The one in the overalls, dirty with mud and pig dung? Or the one in the white tux?

Exactly! If you see yourself as dirty with sin, you are more likely to fall into sin. But, if you see yourself as a saint (the biblical view of a Christian, by the way), you are more likely to try to stay clean. Remember, you are only clean by the saving act of Christ! You are not clean by any self-effort.
</idle musing>

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