John Stott on the science of sanctification

Posted on March 8, 2010


I’m currently reading “Basic Christianity” by the prolific & proliferous John Stott. Reflecting on the uniqueness of Christ, Stott makes the following observation about the similarity between a scientist and a growing Christian:

The Christian knows that the nearer he approaches God, the more he becomes aware of his own sin. In this the saint somewhat resembles the scientist. The more the scientist discovers, the more he appreciates the mysteries which await his discovery. So the more the Christian grows in Christ-likeness, the more he perceives the vastness of the distance which still separates him from Christ.

This view of sanctification is quite different from religion, which focuses on self-righteousness and self-exaltation. Religion justifies sin in an effort to appear righteous before God; repenting believers seek to be justified through the efforts of Christ who is our righteousness before God.

The closer we get to Christ, the more we should become painfully aware of our utter sinfulness – this should drive us to repentance, rather than religous maneuvering and game playing.

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