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Page 297

    The famous and successful general, Napoleon, always insisted on a good, healthy, nourishing meal for all his soldiers before they entered the battle. "A poorly-fed soldier is a poorly-fighting soldier" was his motto. Why?

    What practical lesson does this illustration contain for spiritual "soldiers"? What good, healthy, nourishing "food" should they feed on each morning before entering spiritual battle? Why is a poorly-fed spiritual soldier a poorly-fighting one?

The two parts of sanctification relate to the believer's two-fold responsibility in active sanctification, as shown in the chart below.

Two Parts of Sanctification
Two-Fold Responsibility of the Believer
Example Text

1. Mortification of the old, sinful nature

To flee from and resist all sin and temptation; to avoid all means and places which promote evil

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

- Colossians 3:5

2. Quickening of the new, holy nature

To prayerfully use all means of grace which promote spiritual health and growth -the Bible, church worship, preaching, teaching, reading, sacraments, and communion of saints

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

- Colossians 3:16

Passive and active sanctification must be carefully maintained in scriptural balance. If passive sanctification is minimized, then the following truths will be undermined or denied: the depravity of natural man, the exclusion of all natural man's powers, man's total dependency upon the Holy Spirit, and all praise for salvation belonging to God.

On the other hand, if active sanctification is minimized, then the following responsibilities of the believer will be underemphasized: resisting and avoiding of all sin and temptation, actively and prayerfully using all God's means of grace, and seeking spiritual growth and strength.

These truths are illustrated in the sketch on the following page.


But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

- Galatians 6:14

Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

- Romans 12:9b


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