The Visible Evidence Of Sanctification (4)

8. Genuine sanctification will show itself in an habitual desire to live up to the standard which St Paul sets before the churches in his writings. That standard is to be found in the closing chapters of nearly all his Epistles. The common idea of many persons that St Paul's writings are full of nothing but doctrinal statements and controversial subjects -justification, election, predestination, prophecy and the like - is an entire delusion and a melancholy proof of the ignorance of Scripture which prevails in these latter days. I defy anyone to read St Paul's writings carefully, without finding in them a large quantity of plain practical directions about the Christian's duty in every relation of life, and about our daily habits, temper and behaviour to one another. These directions were written down by inspiration of God for the perpetual guidance of professing Christians. He who does not attend to them may possibly pass muster as a member of a church or a chapel, but he certainly is not what the Bible calls a 'sanctified' man.

9. Genuine sanctification will show itself in habitual attention to the active graces which our Lord so beautifully exemplified, and especially to the grace of charity. 'A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another' (Joh_13:34, Joh_13:35). A sanctified man will try to do good in the world and to lessen the sorrow and increase the happiness of all around him. He will aim to be like his Master, full of kindness and love to every one - and this not in word only, by calling people 'dear', but by deeds and actions and self-denying work, according as he as has opportunity. The selfish Christian professor, who wraps himself up in his own conceit of superior knowledge, and seems to care nothing whether others sink or swim, go to heaven or hell, so long as he walks to church or chapel in his Sunday best, and is called a 'sound member' - such a man knows nothing of sanctification. He may think himself a saint on earth, but he will not be a saint in heaven. Christ will never be found the Saviour of those who know nothing of following His example. Saving faith and real converting grace will always produce some conformity to the image of Jesus (Col_3:10). ‹4›

to be continued