Real Transformation Happens When?

A debate has been raging in Reformed/Lutheran quarters about “sanctification”—our growth in holiness. Tullian Tchividjian of Liberate argues that the most important thing is “by grace you are saved.” Unless we are absolutely clear and certain about this, he says, we’ll never be properly motivated for a sustained Christian life. Tullian sees much legalism and spiritual oppression in church and society, and he’s anxious to announce this message of gospel freedom.

Various members of The Gospel Coalition don’t disagree; they just put the emphasis on another gospel syllable. They highlight that part of the gospel is the promise of the power to become holy. They see many lazy and lethargic Christians failing to strive for the holiness the Bible tells us to seek. They want people to realize—meaning, making it real in their lives—what we are saved for: “to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Eph. 1:4, NRSV).

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