From part 4 of my friend Ed Trefzger’s series “Completed by the Spirit“, this is for the Reformed Baptist and Presbyterian brethren out there. Speaking about the use of the Law in the life of the Christian, Trefzger notes
Despite Paul’s warnings that the law arouses sin, many will point to the law as a prime mover in sanctification, essential to convicting us about our remaining sin and measuring our growth in holiness. In doing so, they will attempt to draw a distinction between being “under the law” and following the law…
Yet for the Christian,
It is the Spirit that sanctifies, not the law in a fleshly exercise of behavior modification. Desperation and more sinfulness are the results of a focus on law for sanctification instead of availing one’s self of the Holy Spirit and beholding with awe the person and work of Jesus Christ.
And commenting on Joel Beeke’s focus on law-based sanctification, Trefzger (before the Lance Armstrong scandal ruined him), puts it starkly:
Beeke [argues] that binding users under the law actually produces freedom. Perhaps an analogy would be that keeping training wheels on bicycles actually produces Lance Armstrong.
Can you tell he has a passionate stance on this issue? I do too. Sanctification is summarized by Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 when he declares triumphantly
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Christian, you are free to be sanctified in freedom from legalism, for you are not under law, but under grace. Look to, gaze upon, and feast on the glorious Christ for all that is needed in this life…
Thanks for reading,