Sermon quotes on sanctification

Augustine of Hippo

My soul is like a house, small for you to enter, but I pray you to enlarge it. It is in ruins, but I ask you to remake it. It contains much that you will not be pleased to see: this I know and do not hide. But who is to rid it of these things? There is no one but you.”


Mark Batterson

You can be saved without suffering, but you cannot be sanctified without suffering. That doesn’t mean you seek it out, but it does mean you see it for what it is. It’s an opportunity to glorify God.”

All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life, Zondervan.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The moment we begin to feel satisfied that we are making some progress along the road of sanctification, it is all the more necessary to repent and confess that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Yet the Christian life is not one of gloom, but of ever increasing joy in the Lord. God alone knows our good works; all we know is His good work.”

The Cost of Discipleship

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Justification is the new creation of the new man, and sanctification his preservation until the day of Jesus Christ.

The Cost of Discipleship

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Justification is the new creation of the new man, and sanctification his preservation until the day of Jesus Christ.

The Cost of Discipleship

Jerry Bridges

Progressive sanctification is not a partnership with the Spirit in the sense that we each – the believer and the Holy Spirit – do our respective tasks. Rather, we work as He enables us to work. His work lies behind all our work and makes our work possible.

Holiness Day by Day: Transformational Thoughts for Your Spiritual Journey

Jerry Bridges

Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in us whereby our inner being is progressively changed, freeing us more and more from sinful traits and developing within us over time the virtues of Christlike character.

Growing Your Faith: How to Mature in Christ, Tyndale House, 2014, p.30.

F.F. Bruce

Sanctification is glory begun. Glory is sanctification completed.

Mark Buchanan

But grace and effort are not opposites. Grace and earning are opposites.

Your God Is Too Safe: Rediscovering the Wonder of a God You Can’t Control, Multnomah.

Oswald Chambers

Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me; sanctification is God’s idea of what He wants to do for me.

My Utmost for His Highest, Discovery House, p.473.

Oswald Chambers

Sanctification means more than being freed from sin. It means the deliberate commitment of myself to the God of my salvation, and being willing to pay whatever it may cost.

My Utmost for His Highest, Discovery House.

Oswald Chambers

Sanctification costs to the extent of “an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth and an immense broadening of all our interests in God.

Francis Chan

If you wait until all of your own issues are gone before helping others, it will never happen. This is a trap that millions have fallen into, not realizing that our own sanctification happens as we minister to others.

Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples, David C. Cook.

Simon Chan

The Christian story is not primarily about how God in Jesus came to rescue sinners from some impending disaster. It is about God’s work of initiating us into a fellowship and making us true conversational partners with the Father and the Son through the Spirit and, hence, with each other (1 Jn 1:1-4).

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life, IVP Academic, 1998, 78.

Kevin DeYoung

Sanctification is not by surrender, but by divinely enabled toil and effort.

Meister Eckhart

The seed of God is in us. Given an intelligent and hard-working farmer, it will thrive and grow up to God, whose seed it is; and accordingly, its fruits will be God-nature. Pear seeds grow into pear trees, nut seeds into nut trees, and God seeds into God.

Elisabeth Elliot

One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime. Nor is surrender to the will of God (per se) adequate to fullness of power in Christ. Maturity is the accomplishment of years, and I can only surrender to the will of God as I know what that will is.

Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot

Richard J. Foster

Conversion does not make us perfect, but it does catapult us into a total experience of discipleship that affects – and infects – every sphere of our living.

Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups

Charles Hodge

Sanctification is not a work of nature, but a work of grace. It is a transformation of character effected not by moral influences, but supernaturally by the Holy Spirit.

 Systematic Theology, p.522.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Indeed is it not the case that in this matter of sanctification our tendency is always to start with ourselves, instead of starting with God? I have got this sin that is worrying me and always getting me down, this sin that defeats me, and my tendency is to say, ‘What can be done about this sin, this problem of mine. How can I get rid of this thing? How can I get peace?’ I start with myself and my problem, and as certainly as I do that when I am considering this doctrine of sanctification, I am sure, in some shape or form, to end by regarding God as merely an agency who is there to help me solve my problems. And this is a totally unscriptural approach to the almighty ever blessed God.

Rick Lambert

“Everything we encounter today is used by God to prepare us for tomorrow. he wastes no trials, withholds no blessings, nor does he hold back on the discipline of his soldiers. All He does prepares us for future usefulness as vessels of honor.”

Polycarp, A Destroyer Of Our Gods.

C.S. Lewis

We may be content to remain what we call ‘ordinary people’: but He is determined to carry out a quite different plan. To shrink back from that plan is not humility; it is laziness and cowardice. To submit to it is not conceit or megalomania; it is obedience.

Mere Christianity, HarperOne.

Martin Luther

There is no justification without sanctification, no forgiveness without renewal of life, no real faith from which the fruits of new obedience do not grow.

Martin Luther

To progress is always to begin always to begin again.

Commentary on Romans

Jen Pollock Michel

Dinner is a cacophonous exercise of holy sanctification.

Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home, InterVarsity Press.

John Ortberg

To love someone is to desire and work toward their becoming the best version of themselves. The one person in all the universe who can do this perfectly for you is God.

The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You, Zondervan.

J.I. Packer

[Sanctification] is a process that includes on the one hand medication and diet (in the form of biblical instruction and admonition coming in various ways to the heart), and on the other hand tests and exercises (in the form of internal and external pressures, providentially ordered, to which we have to make active response). The process goes on as long as we are in the world, which is something that God decides in each case.

Rediscovering Holiness: Know the Fullness of Life with God, Baker Books.

J.I. Packer

Sanctification has a double aspect. Its positive side is vivification, the growing and maturing of the new man; its negative side is mortification, the weakening and killing of the old man.

John Piper

Sanctification is a community project.

Eugene H. Peterson

Cross and resurrection are the South and North polls, true gospel polarities, of a single, undivided, salvation world. Remove either Paul and you’ve got salvation.

Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers, Eerdmans.

Richard Rohr

You cannot contain evil by shaming it, or making people feel guilty, but only by revealing it toward it is, and then seeing the good as better.

Adam’s Return: The Five Promises of Male Initiation, Crossroad Publishing.

Oscar Romero

Christianity is not a collection of truths to be believed, of laws to be obeyed. Christianity is a person, one who loved us so much, one who calls for our love. Christianity is Christ.

Hannah Whitall Smith

All that we claim then in this life of sanctification is that by a step of faith we put ourselves into the hands of the Lord, for Him to work in us all the good pleasure of His will; and that by a continuous exercise of faith we keep ourselves there. . . . Our part is trusting, it is His to accomplish the results.

The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, Revell, p.7

R.C. Sproul

The Christian life requires hard work. Our sanctification is a process wherein we are coworkers with God. We have the promise of God’s assistance in our labor, but His divine help does not annul our responsibility to work (Phil. 2:12-13).

Charles Spurgeon

Sanctification grows out of faith in Jesus Christ. Remember holiness is a flower, not a root; it is not sanctification that saves, but salvation that sanctifies.

Essential Works of Charles Spurgeon, Barbour Publishing 2009, p.985.

A.W. Tozer

All things as they move toward God are beautiful, and they are ugly as they move away from Him.

The Attributes of God: Deeper into the Father’s Heart

Paul Washer

The evidence of justification by faith is the ongoing work of sanctification through the Holy Spirit.

Edward Welch

Sanctification is more about the direction than the distance we have traveled.

Edward Welch

Sanctification is like a clumsy, slow walk rather than a light switch that we turn from off to on.

Jen Wilkin

Everything we say or do will either illuminate or obscure the character of God. Sanctification is the process of joyfully growing luminous.

In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character, Crossway.

N.T. Wright

What Paul understands by holiness or sanctification (is) the learning in the present of the habits which anticipate the ultimate future.

After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters, HarperOne.

Alexander MacLaren

It takes a lifetime to fathom Jesus; it takes a lifetime to appropriate Jesus, it takes a lifetime to be clothed with Jesus. And the question comes to each of us, have we ‘put off the old man with his deeds’? Are we daily, as sure as we put on our clothes in the morning, putting on Christ the Lord?”

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