Last week, I posted on this blog an article entitled, “It’s by Grace Throughout” in which we discussed that we do not only need God’s grace for us to be saved (justified) but also for us to be transformed and become more like Christ (sanctification).
However, although it is true that sanctification also is by grace, there is a need to highlight that we need to cooperate with God for him to make us more and more like Christ. In other words, in justification God, single handedly, declares us righteous basing on the righteousness of Christ while in sanctification, God through the Holy Spirit works hand in hand with us so that we become like Christ.
For instance, one of the things we need to do to be more like Christ is to study God’s Word frequently and live it. So, God will give us the desire to study the Bible but it will take us to really study the Word. God will never open the Bible and force us to read it. We have to play our role of reading.
Now, one might ask that if we are to cooperate with God in sanctification, where is grace then? Philippians 2:12 has the answer: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
For us to obey God, it is God, himself, who enables to do so. God knows that on our own, we can’t obey him hence he works in us that we should obey him. This is grace, is it not?