On January 2nd I posted a blog about my focus for the year 2018: To find out and execute how to be pleasing to God. https://grandmabethblog.com/2018/01/02/a-new-better-goal-for-the-new-year-2018/ By this I meant to be pleasing to God in cooperating with His grace in my progressive sanctification. My justification and positional sanctification are secure in Christ because I am trusting Jesus’ finished work on the cross to cover my sins. I have been studying about this a lot, and I’ve been watching myself to see whether I am choosing to obey/please God. On May 31st, I posted Pondering Practical Sanctification in which I tried to explain some of the things I am learning about my progressive sanctification. https://grandmabethblog.com/2018/06/01/pondering-practical-sanctification/ On June 11th I posted Why I Am Pondering Sanctification in which I explained why I am studying the doctrine of sanctification and why it is so important to me from my personal testimony. Today I am posting about embracing my sanctification. https://grandmabethblog.com/2018/06/11/why-i-am-pondering-sanctification/
I’ve completed my study of Jerry Bridges’ outstanding book Transforming Grace on this topic. I am finally understanding the doctrine of sanctification at a higher level than ever before. I am even more at peace with the fact that my progressive sanctification, which I like to call my practical sanctification or being obedient or pleasing to God, is indeed a life long process. Even though I am positionally right with God and am already declared pleasing to God, it is still paradoxically possible to please God by my practical every day choices. I am even more aware of and grateful for the grace of God in calling, choosing, redeeming, and sealing me for His purpose, and my confidence in my right standing with God has been boosted. I see more clearly now that my progressive sanctification (what my 2018 focus is about) is also dependent completely on the grace of God to work out in me. But, paradoxically, I also have the responsibility to choose to cooperate with God by knowing and obeying His Word. I realize that in the past I have tried to rely too much on my own strength, which will never work. I must rely on the Holy Spirit’s transforming power. Even though perfection can never be reached this side of eternity when sin is done away with forever by God, God wants me to press on in obedience as I rely on Him to change for the better. I must keep my eyes on Christ for transforming grace.
I created an overview/summary of Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges for my own meditations and use. If you would like a copy of this 7-page document, please be in touch and I will email it to you. Bridges gives these four principles for learning how to appropriate God’s grace:
- Prayer – asking God to give us grace and power to obey His Word.
- The Bible – regular study including meditation and memorization.
- Submission to God – trusting Him with trials, etc.
- Through the support/accountability and prayer of other believers.
For me personally, the fourth principle is the weakest in my life. I am desiring to form a support group for the purpose of receiving support, accountability and prayer with a few other women of like mind. And I need to constantly daily remind myself of and choose to do these four principles. I need to always remember how great my calling and salvation really are, and how secure it is, and how out of gratitude and love, I should obey God – never to try to earn right standing or blessing from Him. I likewise need to daily remind myself of the importance of taking responsibility for my every thought, word and deed to be honoring and pleasing to God, and ask for His strength, grace, and power to change daily – because in my own strength I will always fail. When I do fail, it is not because God’s power is lacking, but because I am failing to properly appropriate His grace. But I always have forgiveness if I repent, and I must press on.
Does anyone else struggle with their old sin nature? All believers do, but I think some of us are more willing to acknowledge it than others. I do not think it is wrong of me to take this focus this year. I believe God is pleased with me both positionally and practically this year as I am desiring to pursue more my practical personal holiness in the strength, grace and power He will provide. In fact, this needs to be my daily life focus. Prayers are appreciated.
How are you doing my believing in Christ friend? Do you need some support? I do. We all do.
If you haven’t found peace with God, what is stopping you? I’m praying for everyone I know and love to sense God’s call and to respond in faith. Please see my blog post Bad News/Good News which explains an overview of the gospel/good news of Jesus Christ. https://grandmabethblog.com/2018/03/20/bad-news-good-news/