Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ponder your privileges to support your sanctification

In the twelfth chapter of The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, a Puritan classic on the subject of sanctification written by Walter Marshall, the author indicates one of the purposes of the chapter by stating,
The second thing proposed was to lay before you some necessary instructions, that your steps may be guided aright to continue and go forward in this way of holiness, until you be made perfect in Christ.
Marshall is concerned, at this point, with giving practical, applicable instructions that will aid the Christian in sanctification. The author offers many advantageous admonitions, and the sixth in the series of suggestions was encouraging to me this morning. Marshall proposes,
Consider what endowments, privileges or properties of your new state are most meet and forcible to incline and strengthen your heart to love God above all, and to renounce all sin, and to give up yourself to universal obedience to His commands; and strive to walk in the persuasion of them, that you may attain to the practice of these great duties.
Marshall calls us to consider, to mull over, to think and meditate upon the privileges we have in Christ as a result of being born again. This purposeful pondering will result in an invaluable increase in our sanctification. Specifically, it will strengthen our love for God and our renouncing of sin. This is powerful. So, what are these priveleges and and endowments which we should consider? Marshall lists them,
  • you have fellowship with the Father and Son 
  • you are the temple of the living God 
  • you live by the Spirit 
  • you are called to holiness, created for good works in Christ 
  • your old man is crucified 
  • you are dead to sin and alive to Christ 
  • you are being made free from sin 
  • you have become a servant of righteousness 
  • you shall have eternal life and appear with Him in glory
By no means is this list exhaustive, but it certainly offers and good start to our meditations upon what we inherit when we are regenerated by the Spirit.

Finally, Marshall encourages the reader with this,
Such persuasions as these, when they are deeply rooted, and constantly maintained in our hearts, do strongly arm and encourage us to practice universal obedience, in opposition to every sinful lust; because we look on it, not only as our duty, but our great privilege, to do all things through Christ strengthening us: and God does certainly work in us both to will and to do by these principles, because they properly belong to the gospel, or New Testament, which is the ministration of the Spirit, and the power of God unto salvation (2 Cor. 3:6, 8; Rom. 1:16).
Reflect, reconsider, ruminate, and respond to these truths today!

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