Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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SANCTIFICATION—A CONTINUOUS PROCESS
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
We must not think of sanctification as something that happens suddenly. People seem to think (and here they are logical, though they are wrong) that if it is a gift and to be received, then obviously it must be something that happens suddenly; when you receive a gift, it happens suddenly. But surely this is incompatible with the New Testament teaching on this matter. It is, rather, characteristic of the cults, of a man-made idea of sanctification.
We always like to do things suddenly and to have anything we want at once. So you find that those false teachings always offer a kind of short cut, and that is their appeal to the carnal mind, because we are always so impatient, always in such a desperate hurry. But this very verse that we are now considering makes it quite impossible for sanctification to be something that happens suddenly.“Sanctify them,” says our Lord, “through thy truth.”
Our Lord has already said the same thing in John 8:31-32. He said to certain men who appeared to believe, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” It is always the truth, therefore, that does it, and that is something that is progressive. We do not grasp the whole of the truth at once; we go through stages, from babies to full, matured age, from being a child to being an old man, as it were, in terms of faith. We see the same thing again in Philippians 2:12: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”—it is something you keep doing. “Not as in my presence only,” says Paul, “but now much more in my absence.” The exhortation in all these writings is to be steadfast, to progress, and to go on with the work.
A Thought to Ponder
John 17:17 makes it quite impossible for sanctification to be something that happens suddenly.
From Sanctified Through the Truth, pp. 61-62.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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