The Transformative Glory of the Gospel (Gospel Preaching and Sanctification, part 1)
No matter what passage or topic, I strive to preach the gospel every week and call sinners to repentance and faith. I want you to know that this is not for unbelievers only, but also for believers. This series of devotionals aims to explain, based on Scripture, why children of God need gospel preaching for the sake of their sanctification.
Question #1: What is sanctification?
Sanctification is God's work of conforming His children into the image and likeness of Jesus.
"But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:15–16 )
To sanctify means to make holy, to set apart, to purify. God sanctifies us by grace, through faith in Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification consists of two aspects. The first aspect is putting sin to death (Romans 8:13). The second aspect is brining holiness to life (Romans 13:14; Colossians 3:14).
Colossians 3:9–10; Romans 6:19-22; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Galatians 5:16-26
Discuss or Contemplate
From these verses, what are some aspects of sanctification? Why is sanctification such a blessing? What makes the road of sanctification difficult? By what power can we be sanctified?
Question #2: Where does the Bible teach that the gospel sanctifies believers?
2 Corinthians 3:18 teaches that believers are conformed to the likeness of Jesus by beholding the glory of God.
"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." (2 Corinthians 3:18)
In the context, the glory of God is beheld in gospel preaching. Notice in 3:18 that sanctification comes directly from Jesus by the working of the Holy Spirit. He transforms us in power as we gaze upon Him by faith.
2 Corinthians 3:1-18 (on the context of New Covenant ministry); 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (on the gospel as the glory of the Lord); 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (how the aroma of Christ cultivates spiritual life in those who are being saved); Hebrews 12:2 (how Jesus matures us as we look to Him); Galatians 3:1-6
Discuss or Contemplate
Why should believers see gospel-preaching as relevant for themselves, not just unbelievers? How can you cultivate a deeper sense of personal need and desire for the gospel? How can you cultivate a more consistent longing to behold the glory of God?