What are the alternatives to a peaceful passion for progressive sanctification?
Anxious passion for progressive sanctification.
This is often the description of a Christian succumbing to legalism, when they view their growth in holiness as the ultimate basis for God’s view of them or their hope of heaven.
Peaceful Complacency for Progressive Sanctification
This is the description of a Christian who is very confident in the unchanging, unmerited grace of God, but feels no compulsion toward growth in godliness. This could also be a Christian who is impressed with their current maturity and is blind to the ways they could still become more like Christ.
Peaceful Passion for Instantaneous Sanctification.
This Christian either looks back at their moment of conversion or forward to their moment of glorification. The backward looking Christian assumes that the only change needed was their conversion, from condemnation to justification, that God doesn’t care if they grow in holiness. The forward looking Christian has given up hope or interest in growth and assumes that all character transformation will take place on the last day.
The Bible’s call is different than these three alternatives. We must have:
Peaceful…because God’s love for his children is based on Christ and not on our growth in godliness; and grace will certainly bring us from glory to glory and complete what He has begun in us.
Passion…Christ’s love compels us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, to do good works which God prepared for us to do, to run the race in such a way that we will win, and to be presented mature in Christ, and to not remain in infancy in our spiritual character and understanding.
Progressive…We are not now what we were, nor what we shall be, but we believe that we are being transformed, that all should see our progress in the faith, and that we should grow in Christ and in the grace of God.
Sanctification…We have been called and claimed to be a people with clean hands and a pure heart, knowing that we have already been justified, and confident in the grace of God that will keep us from stumbling, we exhort one another and our own hearts that none of us may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin and that we may increasingly reflect the holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.