Highlighting the Progression of Progressive Sanctification As the Means of Gracious Christian Fellowship

This is the longest title I could come up with to begin an attempt at what I would like to describe.  There is an understanding of human nature that establishes its unchanging essence.  We tend to ascribe a certain personality, character, or existence to a person whether they are ten years old or 100, and we stick it to them as if this is who they will always be for eternity.  This sort of pessimistic personality pinning is detrimental to true Christian fellowship.  It leads to gossip, hypocrisy; it gives no room for Christian growth, no room for conformity to Christ; it is as if God had not put His Spirit in our hearts for the great goal of conformity to Christ in every possible way throughout this life; it cannot be that we think that one is perfected at conversion; it must be that we have so little patience towards one another, and so little hope and faith in God to produce spiritual children.  Love is lost in this view; perhaps, it is not even a view that is realized as a view; nevertheless, many people, many believers act towards one another as if this is the reality.  The domino effect of this is that rather than bear with one another patiently, praying for one another that God would graciously change a particularly unbiblical trait, etc., building up one another in and by God’s Word, realizing that none of us will be perfected ’til we see Christ face to face, we speak ill of one another, slandering one another, having no hope for one another, forgetting our own sinfulness, we speak without full knowledge, we become less inclined to confront and work with one another towards the goal of Christ-likeness, we lose the notion and essence of sanctification – that it is a progressive work of God in us.  I have often gone to older journals from the beginning of my Christian walk, and have laughed and sometimes cringed at things that I had written – but God is gracious, and therefore, was gracious towards me in moving my thinking Christward, and hopefully, my actions too; but I am not yet there, I have not yet attained it, nor had the apostle Paul.  So, I confess this much!  I am saved, yet a sinner; a sinner still, and yet saved, and God is working in me to make me like His Son, Jesus Christ.  I hope, then, to have a realistic view of others as well – not to scoff at their lack of understanding, or the care with which they conduct their lives; not to speak ill of one who is going through exactly what I am going through – sanctification; but to come alongside them, encourage them, confront them, walk with them, love them, and help them towards Christlikeness; and I pray that they would take the same biblical approach towards me.  What good does it do to talk poorly of a brother or sister in Christ behind their back (even if they could have spoken or acted more wisely than they did, etc.), when you could have kindly spoken with them and pointed them Godward with love?  

We are not yet what we will be – there is great hope in this; and a call for the utmost humility in dealing with one another; let us remember that we are all walking along the Way of holiness by the grace of God; let us help one another, talk to one another, lovingly embrace and pray for one another that we may build up one another until that day when we see our Savior face to face, when we shall be like Him, even as He is.  We must realize sanctification in ourselves; then we will be more apt to realize it in others and to help them to attain the prize of perfection in the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  This is progressive; let us bear with one another.

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One Response

  1. dude, are you a puritan? That title reminds me of opening up a puritan book. Just kidding. Very encouraging and well thought.

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