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through means. Believers are commanded to fight against sin, avoid temptations, search the Scriptures, pray, and grow in grace. Sanctification is not only a gracious gift; it is also a loving command. While sanctification is the Holy Spirit's work, the believer is also commanded to be active in attempting to flee from sin and to grow in living a holy life. Indeed, the new principle of spiritual life within him desires this very thing.

The believer's new heart loves God. A characteristic of true love is that it desires to please the one whom it loves, even when this calls for self-sacrifice. Those who truly love God desire to do that which pleases Him and are deeply pained when they do that which displeases or grieves Him. True love motivates their lives of active sanctification. This truth is illustrated in the following example.



    Vince and Sharon were engaged for several months. They confessed their love for one another both publicly and privately.

    Vince had to travel to a distant city to work on a special assignment for four weeks. He had a few enemies in his home town, other young men who envied his position and tried to slander him and impede his work.

    During his absence, Sharon was regularly seen flirting with, and dating these young men - Vince's slanderers. She seemed perfectly free and happy being with them time and again.

    After observing this take place several times, what would you think of Sharon's love and dedication to Vince? Will her involvement help or hinder her relationship with Vince? Why?


    God's people are espoused to Christ as His bride. Why is it very serious if they "flirt" with sin? How will it harm their spiritual growth in love and commitment to God?

 

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

- Romans 12:9

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

- II Corinthians 7:1

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

- Colossians 3:5,8-10,12-13

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.

- I Peter 1:22

 

Which speaks louder, our talk or walk? Why?

  • Impede - To hinder progess; to put obstacles in the way
  • Espoused - Engaged; pledged, or promised to

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