Once we meet Jesus Christ, there remains a lot of change that needs to happen in our lives. This is what is often referred to as sanctification – a change process where the Holy Spirit continually works to make us more like Jesus by the grace of God.
Romans 6:14 speaks of sanctifying grace: “For sin will have no dominion over you since you are not under law but under grace.” Sanctifying grace utterly destroys legalism. Legalism is the human proclivity to pursue holiness by self-effort to keep self-made rules. Legalistic people tend to be the most miserable of all and often find their joy only in criticizing others and making fun of people who fall into sin. Legalistic people are also the ones who murdered Jesus, though today’s legalists tend not to see that when they read their Bibles looking for more rules to add to their list.
Conversely, sanctifying grace allows us to mature increasingly as Christians and to be transformed more and more to the perfect character of Jesus by God’s power. The result is that we do obey God, but our motive is that He already loves us, not that He would love us because we make ourselves more lovely and loveable. Jesus is emphatic that He has loved us first, and in return, the desire of our regenerated hearts will be to obey Him from love.64 His love transforms us. And because of His loving grace, Jesus is our safe person and safe place to which we are continually drawn to be transformed by His loving grace.
What areas of your life is God currently changing to make you more like Jesus?
64 John 14:15, 21, 23.