Second-Best to Sanctification
Self-help is really the best that the world has to offer us. Self-help cleans up the outside and either hopes that it works its way into the inside or at least covers up what’s going on in the inside. It’s what the Pharisees were after: an external form of godliness without internal righteousness.
Sanctification is not just right actions—it’s right motives joined with right actions.
Sanctification is not just right actions—it’s right motives joined with right actions. The only way to have right motives is to have a changed heart. I can’t do that part. That part has to be done for me by the Holy Spirit, which means that only the Christ-follower is even capable of godly obedience in the truest sense—that combination of right motives and right actions. There’s no such thing as a truly right motive for those who have not submitted themselves to the lordship of Christ.
The Origin of True Change
Sanctification is way better because it is showing you that right actions work their way out from the inside and not the other way around. The world presents us with an upside-down gospel that says Fix the outside and let the inside deal with itself.
But the true gospel says: The inside needs to be fixed. You can’t do that. But, once it is, it begins to work its way out to what your hands are doing, and what your lips are saying, and all the way through what your thoughts are thinking. It’s a complete transformation, rather than just a makeover.
- An Open Letter to Those Apathetic about Their Sanctification (David Powlison)
- An Open Letter to Those Frustrated by Their Progress in Sanctification (David Powlison)
- Sanctification: An Often Painfully Slow Process (Jen Wilkin)