Now, Now, O Fellow-Sinners

June 3, 2016

Sanctification is anything but passive. Though it does not occur without God, both by His calling and by His power, we have a part to play. It is in the continual yielding to His grace, day by day, moment by moment (a la Francis Schaeffer). Sanctification is either hindered or helped by our decisions and actions. We can choose whether to grow in sanctification, or not, even though it is God alone who enables it.

Make sure you are availing yourself of every means possible to be sanctified by God. Make sure you are yielding all, body, mind and spirit, to God. Though you cannot produce sanctification, you take great responsibility for it in your life. Your salvation has been purchased by Christ on the cross. Believers are saved from the penalty and power of sin. This is all of grace. Now, avail yourself of the power of the Living Christ, and “be ye holy” as He Himself is holy. The entire Godhead stands ready to conform us to the likeness of Christ Jesus.

Though you don’t bring sanctification about, what you do matters. Remember, what you do is based on what He’s done. I found this quote from the first President of the Southern Baptist Convention compelling…

Now, now, O fellow-sinners, you have it in your power to place yourselves under influences that are spiritual and saving; or under influences that are carnal and damning. You can read the Bible, or the book of infidelity; the sermon of truth, or the novel of fiction; you can attend the party of sinful pleasure, or the meeting for holy prayer; you can go to the midnight revel, or to the house of God. You can lift up the prayer of the publican, or the howl of the bacchanal. You can utter the praise of the Most High, or belch out the blasphemy of the arch fiend. How solemn the responsibilities that are upon you!

W.B. Johnson, “Free Agency of Man,” The Baptist Pulpit of the United States, ed., Joseph Belcher (New York: Edward H. Fletcher, 1853), pp. 125-127.

As always I’d love to hear your feedback, insight and comments. Please keep it civil and let’s show the world that people can agree or disagree with grace and class. 

Ken Nichols

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