Through the couple books we're reading on the subject of sanctification and through the lectures, I see God revealing areas in my heart that are still wanting to believe that becoming holy is up to me and that God's approval of me is based on what I do or don't do. When people ask how I'm doing in my walk with God, I want to think about the spiritual disciplines of my life. How's my quiet time? My Scripture memory? My prayer life? Sure these can be indicators of some things, but I should really always think about how am doing at living in light of the gospel. The fact that I'm wicked, yet forgiven and loved. The fact that I have been adopted as a co-heir with Christ and am now a son, not a slave. Grace is training me to renounce ungodliness (Titus 2:12), not the law. And that is so freeing.
The professor shared a quote tonight that I thought was really helpful regarding all of this. It comes from a book called Dynamics of Spiritual Life by Richard Lovelace:
"Only a fraction of the present body of professing Christians are solidly appropriating the justifying work of Christ in their lives. Many have so light an apprehension of God’s holiness and of the extent and guilt of their sin that consciously they see little need for justification, although below the surface of their lives they are deeply guilt-ridden and insecure. Many others have a theoretical commitment to this doctrine, but in their day-to-day existence they rely on their sanctification for justification, in the Augustinian manner, drawing their assurance of acceptance with God from their sincerity, their past experience of conversion, their recent religious performance or the relative infrequency of their conscious, willful disobedience.
Few know enough to start each day with a thoroughgoing stand upon Luther’s platform: you are accepted, looking outward in faith and claiming the wholly alien righteousness of Christ as the only ground for acceptance, relaxing in that quality of trust which will produce increasing sanctification as faith is active in love and gratitude. In order for a pure and lasting work of spiritual renewal to take place within the church, multitudes within it must be led to build their lives on this foundation. This means that they must be conducted into the light of a full conscious awareness of God’s holiness, the depth of their sin and the sufficiency of the atoning work of Christ for their acceptance with God, not just at the outset of their Christian lives but in every succeeding day."