Are You Frustrated in Your Christian Life? “If sanctification is not my priority it should not surprise me if I find my Christian life dogged with frustration. For in this case I am seeking, consciously or not, to withstand the eternal purposes of God. I am missing out on the central privileges of the Christian life, namely glorifying God and enjoying him” (17).
How God Uses Trials to Make Us Holy: “Most of us do not like tests—especially if they involve pain. Nor do we enjoy suffering. But growth requires it. The point that Peter is making [in 1 Peter 1:6-7] is that difficulties, trials, opposition, suffering, together constitute one of the chief instruments that God uses in the process of refining, sanctifying, and strengthening his people. He throws them into the fire of affliction, like God in a refiner’s furnace, in order to bring impurities to the surface, and to draw them off” (26).
Holiness and Our Desire for Heaven: “Despise [holiness] now and we will despise it then too. Or, to put this the other way round: if we do not desire heaven as a world of holiness and freedom from the presence of sin, a world of delight in Jesus Christ here and now, what possesses us to think we will love it and enjoy it—or him—then? There could surely be no greater self-delusion” (29).
The Centrality of Union with Christ in our Sanctification: “Thus, through the Spirit’s uniting us to Christ we have been connected to the source of our salvation. His justification—God’s declaration that he was righteous—is our justification; his sanctification—since he sanctified himself for our sakes—is also ours. Thus, everything Christ did he did for me in obedience to his Father. All that he has done is therefore mine as a gift. He gave himself for me, in his love to me; and now through the Spirit all that he did is mine” (59).
The Need for Universal Obedience: “Essential to dealing with any particular form of sin is a willingness to deal with all sin” (153).