Is obedience sanctification's cause?
[Updated on 1/19/2017] Several years ago, I attended a seminar with a well-known Christian author who for many years had written about sanctification. He shocked us by proclaiming that, "the books of mine that you own should be discarded--I have discovered that they do not work!" What his books and small group curricula had advocated was a strategy for ordering one's life in obedience to God. Why doesn't that work? The author answered: "I learned that no one overcomes a 'besetting sin' until they realize that they are forgiven already." What he came to understand is that obedience is the fruit of sanctification, not its cause . God sanctifies us by his grace, not by our efforts . Scrovegni's "Expulsion of the Money-changers" (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) This is a vital truth to understand (and to live by), for it is essential to the gospel of God's grace, which proclaims that every aspect of our salvation