Faithlife Sermons

Gospel Sanctification

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 4 views
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Galatians 3:3 NLT
How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?
Can an unbeliever please God?
Can a Christian please God? Does everything that we do please God?
When it comes to sanctification, we tend to focus on works. But would like to help us with this a little bit. The focus of justification is faith, but the focus on sanctification is also faith. So I ask…
Do we believe that the same message that saved us is the same message that sustains us? Let’s have some fun today.
Ephesians 2:8–10 NLT
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Definition of Sanctification
Dr. Wayne Grudem - Sanctification is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.
I. The Two Thieves on either side of Christ - Tertullian said, “Just as Christ was crucified between two thieves, so this doctrine of justification is ever crucified between two opposite errors.”
A. Legalism
1. An easy way... one is saved by embracing Christ in faith and obedience.

2. Obedience is a condition, even subtle, for our justification. This is the pressure put in us in our sanctification. No performance in sanctification then no justification. Making our position with Christ conditional on our works is a direct attack on our justification.
3. We are not saved by works, but we are sustained by good works. We are saved by both faith and good works. Like Screw tape letters... Christianity And. Instead of beings saved by grace through faith and works being a fruit of faith. It is faith and works. Our Roman Catholic friends and … surprise, Wesley.
*A plain account of Christian Perfection – John Wesley. Many will say that I misunderstand him, but after reading this little book. I don’t think I am. He really seems to be urging sinless perfection as the evidence of a true Christian. But this is where the reformers departed from Rome. Yet it remains in today’s evangelicals. You might be surprised of how many.
B. The other extreme. Antinomianism. This is what I am accused of
. Which remember… Martin Lloyd Jones said if you are preaching the gospel correctly, people will accuse you of being antinomian. No more law. Some dispy’s.
1. Saved by grace alone... not by works... and works according to the law have no place in our lives at all.
2. When we become Christians, we are released of any obligations to uphold any of the moral laws of God.

3. I got friends who are antinomians... this is for real. But, today we will focus more on the legalism stuff. Why? Because if you are an antinomian then you are not supposed to care about what I say next.
II. What are Good Works?
Heidelburg Catechism: Question 91 - what are good works?
Only those which proceed from a true faith, are performed according to the law of God, and to His glory; and not founded on our imaginations or the institution of men.
A. You gotta actually have faith true faith in Christ. This is made clear in Cain and Abel. According to Hebrews Cain was rejected because of lack of faith not because of his sacrifice (Grain offerings). Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Sadly, salvation is many times justified by Works not Faith.
Hebrews 11:6 NLT
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
- But moreover…anything that does not come from faith is sin.
Romans 14:20–23 ESV
Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
Dr. John Piper - The most penetrating and devastating definition of sin that I am aware of in Scripture is the last part of : "Whatever is not from faith is sin." The reason it is penetrating is that it goes to the root of all sinful actions and attitudes, namely, the failure to trust God. And the reason it is devastating is that it sweeps away all our lists of dos and don'ts and makes anything, from preaching to house-painting, a candidate for sin. In the original language, this is stressed even more than in our versions: it says, "Everything which is not from faith is sin." Anything, absolutely any act or attitude which is owing to a lack of trust in God is sin, no matter how moral it may appear to men. God looks on the heart.
Hebrews 11:15 NLT
If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back.
Hebrews 11:5 NLT
It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God.
Hebrews
So do you now see why I keep pressing the issue. FAITH FAITH FAITH. But the premium for the church today is WORKS WORKS WORKS. No matter what your work… no belief no way.
B. It actually has to be for His glory and not our benefit. God will not help us to live a holy life unless you use the means that He has given us to live that life. Why? Because God has chosen the means of sanctification that will bring Him alone glory.

2 Timothy 2:5 NLT
And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules.
C. It actually has to be those that God required. Jesus summarized them in the Great Commandment. These are the good works.
1. On the legalism side. If we do not know what good works are then we will continue to create new laws. This is what we have been doing for years.

2. My confession... the 1689 LBC with the Westminster Confession. We are not bound to any inventions of man’s zeal... no matter how good the intentions may be. Secular music. Christian music. The way we were to dress at church. Drinking alcohol. Many good intentions and good ideas, but we are binding the conscience of the people to laws invented by men. And people feel like they are under condemnation before God because they break men’s laws.

Ezekiel 18
Ezekiel 18:25–29 NLT
“Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you? When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die. And yet the people of Israel keep saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what’s right, not I.
- Some may be very good, but we cannot bind them as laws of God. They are the laws of men. The 10 commandments
5. On the antinomian side – who cares.
C. But we need to have these laws to keep people from breaking the real laws. People will then fear the laws of man more than the laws of God. And we will punish for the laws of men and not for the laws of God. People will fear man more than God.
will then fear the laws of man more than the laws of God.
D. But more interesting... this is where we are more susceptible. We make new laws we can keep because we know that we can’t keep the 10 commandments. We bind our people’s consciences to laws that are not God’s. Easier and so they believe that they are doing good, when they are not. Sermon on the mount. We do this sometimes don’t we. Are we not making up laws? Do the best you can, something is better than nothing.
E. But there is just something inside of me that desires to achieve righteousness by works... because it is true. We are saved by works, but not by ours.
III. Christian Good Works
- We are neither saved or sustained by our good works.
A. The performance of our good works are never the grounds for gaining a right standing and are never the grounds for remaining in right standing.
B. We have been saved by grace... it is a gift of God. The material principle of our salvation is Grace and the instrumental principle is Faith. Faith is the instrument. “Can I have some water... we need the cup. When God gives us the grace of water, he will also give us the cup of faith.
C. So how do we stay that way. In light of this...It is not our works. God both saves us and therefore sustains us by grace. It is not by works less anyone should boast
D. We are foolish if we think this. Lets go back to our passage
Galatians 3:1–3 NLT
Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?
IV. But we are to have works
- God did purpose that we should walk in good works.
A. Again … are they really good works? When before hand. It is already there before us. Adam and Eve. We are his workmanship, in Christ, God prepared what we were to walk in.
Ephesains 2
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
B. We are his workmanship – Our good works are the result of God’s gracious work. We are God’s workmanship because God created us and because He re-created us.
C. God will cause us to will and to do of His good pleasure. He is the author.
D. The basis of our good works is union with Christ. Apart from me you can do nothing. Only together can we bear fruit. The Holy Spirit works it in us. If that is true, then why is it that when we are not bearing fruit we spray our lives with miracle grow instead of seeking the vine. In other words, why is it that when we see no fruit we try to make fruit instead of seeking Christ. Because without Him, no matter what we have made, no matter how good it may appear to be, it is nothing.
it that when we are not bearing fruit we spray our lives with miracle grow instead of seeking the vine. In other words, why is it that when we see no fruit we try to make fruit instead of seeking Christ. Because without Him, no matter what we have made, no matter how good it may appear to be, it is nothing.
E. So... There is no salvation that begins with your good works, there is no genuine salvation where there is not good work being produced by the power of the Holy Spirit.
V. Some implications
1. You gotta want to.
2. You have to be assured of your Salvation.
3. You have to be sure of your eternity will be a good one.
4. You have to be enabled to both will and to do of His good pleasure.
1. Walter Marshall (Book I got from Gospel Coalition Blog) – The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification. We gotta have 4 things before we can do good works.
1. You gotta want to.
2. You have to be assured of your Salvation.
3. You have to be sure of your eternity will be a good one.
4. You have to be enabled to both will and to do of His good pleasure.
- All of these you have to receive from Christ.
2. In light of this, the question is not, knowing what is required, but how can we do what is required. The mystery is not the law. We know the law. Unbelievers know the law. We know that in order to be happy we gotta get to the moon, the next question is how?
3. Many of us are so concerned with what we are to do. What our people are to do, because we see good works as a means to an end. Good works is a way to gain something. The older brother of the prodigal son parable. Don’t believe me. When it is said that our works don’t get us anything... the response is then why should I do them. We are doing them to get something. That is our motive. But why should we think that? The parable of the unworthy servant... we only did what was expected anyway.
4. We pastors contribute to this problem. We spend a lot of time telling our people of what the law of God requires of them. Telling them what they are all supposed to do, without telling them how they are actually going to do it. Because if we are preaching the law correctly, that is the very question they should be asking. When they see the reality of the law of God, then they will wonder if they even have the ability to do good.
5. Our good works are just not good. My Challenge

My Challenge

1. You can actually obey someone you don’t love. 

2. You can do good things for a neighbor you do not love.

3. You can keep yourself from adultery and still commit adultery. 

4. Do you see that comparing our works against others is futile. We can argue about who got the highest scoring F, but it is all an F

5. We can be in the middle of the Pacific, boat sinks, and argue about who the better swimmer is, it does not matter, we are all going to die.

6. The Two L’s–We think he is a liar. He said in His word that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. So if we do good to keep it from happening do we not believe Him? He wants us to be assured, be if we are not and gotta do good to be assured, then do we not believe Him. Have we no faith? Our first step is already a sin.
- We think he is a loser. Do we think that highly of ourselves and that low of God to think that our works would be acceptable? Do we think that the president of the United states of America would love a gift of a bloody tampon from us?

7. If you adopt a child and you love him, but he kept trying to good things to gain your love. No matter how many times you tell him it does not matter, but keeps doing it. Does he not believe you? No faith? No trust? Not a good work.
8. Why is it that when we receive warning passages we always go straight to works? Why do we not question what we believe? What if the reason is that we really don’t want to do it? What if the problem is why we don’t want to do it?
9. We again are so consumed with what God wants us to do (the Law), that we neglect the how we can actually do it. How can we do it? The Gospel. That Jesus died...
John 6:28–29 NLT
They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
10. They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
10. I promise that if we really believe then we will really do the good works He has called us to.
Related Media
Related Sermons