The Principle of Grace (Gospel Preaching and Sanctification, part 4)



The point of this series has been simple. As we behold Jesus in the gospel, Jesus conforms us into His image and likeness. This is the key to true spiritual birth, health, and growth (John 3:3; 10:10; 15:5). As unbelievers need to be saved by the gospel, believers need to be further sanctified by the gospel. This is the principle of grace as those in Christ. The tragic alternative is the principle of works as those under law.

Question #7. Why is the principle of grace vital for believers? 

Because the alternative is to seek sanctification by a principle of works, which gives life to sin rather than holiness. 

"For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:4)

Under law, sin rules. Under grace, sin dies. Grace is both the reason, and also the way in which sin no longer rules our hearts and minds (see Rom. 8:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:18).

Question #8. What happens if we pursue sanctification by a principle of works as those under law? 

We arouse sin within us and effectively allow it to rule over us.

"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law." (1 Corinthians 15:56)
"For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death." (Romans 7:5)
"But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead." (Romans 7:8)


Laws, rules, and regulations do not sanctify (see Col. 2:20-23)! 

We must walk in grace because grace kills sin and cultivates holiness. We must not walk by a principle of works because law cultivates sin and has no life-giving power unto holiness. 

The gospel is God's glorious revelation of grace in Christ, and it remains ever-endowed with life-giving power unto holiness by the Spirit. The gospel shows us Christ and Christ transforms us.

Discuss or Contemplate

If a principle of works, laws, and rules do not sanctify, why are many Christians prone to make Christian living all about works, laws, and rules?

Gospel Preaching and Sanctification

A Series of Devotions on How the Sight of Christ Transforms us into the Likeness of Christ