For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. – Romans 6:19 (ESV)
I find running on a treadmill immensely challenging. I would rather be swimming at the pool or taking a leisurely jog in the park. Why? Because on the treadmill, I’m moving but it does not seem I’m getting anywhere. There neither milestones nor any foreseeable end-goal. And I find that its really difficult to keep on doing something without the sense of heading towards a tangible target. I like to feel like I’m getting somewhere. What are some milestones on our Christian journey? Wesley would certainly give two answers: sanctification and holiness.
If John Wesley was alive today, he would almost frown upon our modern equating praying the sinner’s prayer with salvation.72 This is because salvation, to Wesley, is a process; one that does not end with an individual responding to God through prevenient grace and receiving justifying grace. Instead, God’s sanctifying grace allows the believer to be born anew and recovers in the individual an ability to strive after holiness: a “deliverance by God from the plague of sin, not just from its penalty”73 so that his life is marked by a growth from grace to grace; from holiness to holiness.
你们从前怎样将身体的各部分献给污秽和罪恶作奴仆，以至于罪恶；现今也要把身体的各部分献给义作奴仆，以致分别为圣。 《罗马书》6：19 中文标准译本
我发现跑步机非常具有挑战性。我宁愿在游泳池游泳或在公园悠闲地慢跑。为什么？因为在跑步机上，我虽在动，但似乎没有到达任何地方，既没有里程碑也没有任何可预见的最终目标。而且我发现，如果没有朝着实实在在的目标迈进，那么继续做下去真的很困难。我喜欢感觉到我在朝向某个地方。我们基督徒旅程中的一些里程碑是什么？约翰.卫斯理确切地给出两个答案：成圣和圣洁。 如果约翰·卫斯理今天还活着的话，他可能会对我们现代人将认罪祷告与得救视为同等而皱眉。这是因为约翰·卫斯理认为救恩是一个过程; 一个不会以个人回应上帝的预设恩典并接受称义的恩典而结束的的过程。相反，上帝的成圣恩典给予信徒重生的能力并在个体中恢复追求圣洁的能力：“上帝从罪恶的瘟疫中拯救，而不仅仅是惩罚”，因此这人的生命有恩上加恩、从圣洁到圣洁的记号。
How do you know you are growing in holiness? What “spiritual milestones” have you achieved in your Christian journey?