Why Try To Be Holy If God Alone Can Change My Heart?

Episode 590 Show Notes 

From the Show

The person who is justified by the grace of God is also going to be sanctified by the grace of God. And that is a process. It is not a definitive act like justification. As Christians we grow in grace, we are being inwardly renewed, more and more into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ by the grace of God. This is not something I am doing myself by pulling myself up by my bootstraps. No, this is a work of the Holy Spirit

—Adriel Sanchez

Questions in this Episode

  1. 1. Is it okay for a Christian to get a plastic surgery? 

2. I’ve always been told that Jesus was God, but some Jehovah’s witnesses showed me Philippians 2 where it says that Jesus didn’t consider himself equal to God. Now I am doubting. How do I make sense of this passage?

3. If God’s love is unconditional, why does he get so angry with Israel that he judges them by sending them into exile?

4.  I keep hearing competing ideas about sanctification. One side says it is just like justification: by grace alone through faith alone. The other side says we need to pursue it, and even though it ultimately depends on the Spirit, we still contribute something to the process. But if I contribute something, isn’t this salvation by works? But if I don’t need to pursue holiness, it sounds like it is optional. Can you help me sort this out? Can we pursue sanctification in a way that isn’t trying to earn it by works?

5. In Numbers 21, God sends down the fiery serpents to bite the complaining Israelites. As I was reading, I thought to myself, does God get frustrated? Is frustration a sin? There is no sin in God and neither does He sin, I understand this, but how would one properly explain these passages in regard to His holiness? I see that Jesus uses this story in regards to looking to Him for salvation. Is this the reason this incident took place, just so Jesus would use it during His earthly ministry?

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Resources

Devoted to God: Blueprints for Sanctification by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Photo of Adriel Sanchez

Adriel Sanchez

Adriel Sanchez is pastor of North Park Presbyterian Church, a congregation in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, he also serves the broader church as a host on the Core Christianity radio program, a live, daily call-in talk show where he answers listeners’ questions about the Bible and the Christian faith. He and his wife Ysabel live in San Diego with their four children.

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