Faculty Lecture Series—Biblical Sanctification, Day 4

The Biblically Identifiable Fruit of Sanctification
Keith Essex

As a review, there are 3 stages of sanctification: 1) Positional, 2) Progressive, and 3) Culminated. The focus for today's lecture is stage 2.

Essex rightly points out that God sanctifies through the power of the Holy Spirit. Here is the tension: the New Testament saints must obey the imperatives of the New Testament. They can do this only through the Holy Spirit.

Dr. Essex provides a summary of some points J. C. Ryle wrote in his 1879 work, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, & Roots.
FIRST, sanctification is not:
1) talk about religion;
2) religious feelings;
3) outward formalism and external devoutness;
4) retirement from our place in life;
5) occasional performance of right actions.
BUT, sanctification is:
6) habitual respect to God’s law, and habitual effort to live in obedience to it as a rule of life;
7) an habitual endeavour [sic] to do Christ’s will;
8) an habitual desire to live up the standard which St. Paul sets before the churches in his writings;
9) habitual attention to the active graces which our Lord so beautifully exemplified
10) habitual attention to the passive graces of Christianity (pp. 29–36)

It is also important to note today that we cannot grow in Christ through meditation—emptying our minds and asking God to fill them. Many Christians are falling prey to this deception, and it will never help anyone grow in holiness.

Rather, a person growing in holiness has fruit evidencing that he is of the vine of Christ.
Just as the fruit (product) if a tree gives visible evidence of its life and character, so also does the fruit (actions) of a person give evidence of his life and character (Matt 7:15–20).

The Association of “Fruit” with Progressive Sanctification—Romans 6:15–23 (especially 21–22)
  • v.21: we who were previously slaves to sin had fruit bringing shame and death
  • v. 22: we who were freed from sin (slaves to God) have fruit bringing sanctification and eternal life.
Therefore, fruit is part of the sanctified lifestyle.

The Fruit Resulting from Union with Christ and His Internalized Word—John 15:1–16

A. The Prerequisite: The disciple of Jesus remains in union with Christ by allowing his Word to remain in him, and remains in the love of Christ.

B. The Result: The disciple of Jesus will bear much ‘fruit’ to the glory of the Father, especially acting in love to his fellow disciples, thereby fulfilling the command of Christ.

Dr. Essex also shares a super chart on the fruit of the Holy Spirit, but I’m going to make you wait for the journal article on that. He also concludes with a concise summary of Colossians, which you can hear on the MP3 and read in the article.

I have some thoughts on the Lecture Series that I'll share later.

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