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Page 299


    Witness a father instructing his four-year-old son on how to drive their ride-on lawn mower. His son wants to help and has asked several times to mow the lawn.

    After showing his son how, by providing him with a clear demonstration, the father quickly realizes that, if left to himself, his son's strength and judgment are not sufficient for the task at hand.

    Observe how the father sets his son on his lap and places his hands firmly over his son's on the steering wheel. In this manner his son "mows the lawn."

    When finished, the father thanks his son for his "help" and the "good job he did."


    How can this illustration help us to understand how active and passive sanctification work together in the daily life of a child of God? How is the child's will and activity involved in both? How is the father's strength and guidance the real cause for success in both?

Sanctification is a gradual, progressive, lifelong process. The aim of sanctification is to make Christians more Christ-like. Justification declares them to be legally sons of God through Christ's death. Sanctification works to make them more son-of God-like through Christ's life, through both Christ's example for them and His Spirit dwelling in them.

God's children are legally sons of God in justification; the Holy Spirit continually works to make them more son-of-God-like in aily sanctification. Yet, the sonship of God's children differs from Christ's sonship.

How can this example help explain the paradox in verses, such as:

Philippians 2:12b-13
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.


 

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

But ye have not so learned Christ;

If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

- Ephesians 4: 12-13,20-24

 

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