Friday, February 22, 2013

Sanctification always follows regeneration

In his book Holiness, J. C. Ryle makes it clear that sanctification, or growth in holiness, is not an option for the Christian. Ryle argues that without sanctification evidencing the Christian life, there is no reason to conclude that regeneration ever took place. Consider:
Sanctification, again, is the outcome and inseparable consequence of regeneration. He that is born again and made a new creature, receives a new nature and a new principle, and always lives a new life. A regeneration which a man can have, and yet live carelessly in sin or worldliness, is a regeneration invented by uninspired theologians, but never mentioned in Scripture. On the contrary, St. John expressly says, that “He that is born of God doth not commit sin - doeth righteousness - loveth the brethren - keepeth himself - and overcometh the world.” (1 John ii. 29; iii. 9-14; v. 4-18.) In a word, where there is no sanctification there is no regeneration, and where there is no holy life there is no new birth. This is, no doubt, a hard saying to many minds; but, hard or not, it is simple Bible truth. It is written plainly, that he who is born of God is one whose “seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John iii. 9.)

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