Chapter 43 - Sanctification
We emphasize so much that justification is NOT God making us holy, that we often underplay that God DOES make us holy. There is no salvation without the objective and historical work of Christ, but this brings about a change WITHIN us.
Holiness means God is different and separate from us, because He is righteous and good and we are not. Holiness for us is a fact (we are set apart by God) and a command (we are to be holy).
Sanctification is a continuing work, not a one time act. Its beginning is called definitive sanctification. In this sense we already have been sanctified, past tense, called to be saints (holy ones) and set apart as Christ's own. We are re-oriented in mind and heart to serve the Lord. Progressive sanctification is the ongoing process of rejecting sin. Though it isn't gone completely (Matt. 6:12; 1 John 1:8, 10) we do reject it as a lifestyle and pattern. We don't do this by letting go and letting God, but rather we have a spiritual battle to fight. Paradoxically, the Spirit does it, but using our effort (Philippians 2:12-13). We don't have to oppose these two, as if trying to obey means we don't trust the work of Christ on the cross.
How we are sanctified: Law, History, Experience
God calls us through Joshua (1:6-9), Jesus (Matt. 7:12) and Paul (Rom. 8:3-4) to obey all Scripture's commands. The Law does not only threaten and drive us to Christ, as most Lutherans insist. It also positively guides.
By reminding us of what God has done to save us, He sanctifies us (Exodus 20:1; Rom 6:1-4; Col. 3:1-4). We look especially to the cross and our union with Christ.
We are called to walk by, or keep in step with, the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). We can follow His leading in the present, into holiness and away from sin. We have the church, both members and leaders, to help us in our sanctification.
Active obedience and God's pleasure
Quietism is wrong - the view that we are mainly passive in our sanctification. Just think about the cross, just get used to being justified. No, we need to work out our salvation. Beyond our justification, God is pleased or not with our obedience, and we should seek to please Him (Colossians 1:10). It is good to remind ourselves of the gospel, but we are also called to simple obedience.