Life of Faith 15: Reasons for Growing in Holiness

By Richard Sibbes


With justification of necessity comes sanctification.  What will stop God’s mercy?  His anger for sin committed; in that case, he would deny his Spirit.  With reconciliation also comes the Spirit: as in Ephesians 1:13, the apostle says, “In whom also, after you believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”  Now the Spirit once given, is the seed of all graces.

Whoever is justified, has the Spirit of Christ: (Romans 8:9) “And if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Christ.”  Having the Spirit of Christ, faith goes and gets all strength from Christ.  Samson’s strength was in his locks; a Christian’s strength is in Christ.  This the devil knows well, and therefore labors especially to weaken faith, and draw us from strength.

Christ says, “Without me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5); and St. Paul affirms, that he “can do all things through Christ who strengthens him,” (Philippians 4:13).  The Spirit gives strength.

As by Christ and his Spirit we have strength, so by his Spirit we have strong convincing reasons to work strength from reason.  Why does a Christian carry himself in a holy just life answering his profession?  Oh, he says, “I have great reason; Christ has loved me, and given himself for me; and shouldn’t I give myself to him, deny my lusts, and live to him?”  for, indeed, the foundation of all Christian obedience is laid by faith in Christ.  So when a man looks to heaven, he has a reason to abstain from all pitfalls and hindrances of his safe and comfortable passage; to magnify the riches of Christ’s love, which has provided for him such an inheritance, and to live accordingly.

So when he looks to the pardon of sins past, he sees reason to hate them more and more, to strive against them in time to come, and to love Christ more, who has pardoned them.  And when he looks to God’s free love in Christ, he sees reason to be inflamed with divine love, to admire the riches of grace, and to be thankful.




This common domain work’s language has been modernized in places by this site.

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