• What is the relationship between the Holy Spirit’s work and our effort in sanctification? Question and Answer

    Philippians 2:12-13

    I think the best place to go for a one-sentence answer to that is Philippians 2:12-13, where Paul urges the Christians to work out their salvation—which is not working up their salvation, but working out the salvation that God has already worked in. He says, “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling, because it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” So we fulfill all the responsibilities that God has given to us in His word as we trust in Jesus Christ and seek the help of the … View Resource

  • How do we overcome sin? Question and Answer

    Sin is what needs to be overcome in sanctification. So sin is the enemy in sanctification. I go back to the Heidelberg Catechism, and at the end of the exposition of the Ten Commandments near the end of the Heidelberg Catechism, the question asks, “Why does God want this law to be preached so passionately?” And the answer is because He calls us to holiness even though He knows that the holiest of men in this life have only small beginnings of the obedience to which we’re called. So sin remains very much the reality in which we live and … View Resource

  • Are our hearts still deceitfully wicked after we are born again? Question and Answer

    First of all, we understand immediately why the unregenerate heart is desperately wicked and beyond our understanding. That is how we can understand and interpret the headlines around us. Frankly, that’s how we can understand the mirror in front of us. It is the knowledge of depravity, the heart as the seat of sin. We can thoroughly understand that in terms of the unregenerate heart. It has to be affirmed comprehensively. Desperately wicked, Who can understand it? Remember, a part of the new covenant is being promised a new heart. In one sense the answer is no. It’s not the … View Resource

  • When Jesus says, “Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect,” does that mean we can attain perfection, and should we? Question and Answer

    There are a couple of things we need to understand about this statement. In the first place, the word that is translated “perfect” literally means “be complete.” So often, the New Testament and the Old Testament will describe people as being upright and righteous—not in the sense that they have achieved total moral perfection, but rather that they have reached a singular level of maturity in their growth in terms of spiritual integrity. However, in this statement, it’s certainly legitimate to translate it using the English word perfect. For example, “Be ye complete as your heavenly Father is complete.” Now … View Resource