Making Progress in Sanctification

1 John 2:1 —

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Sinclair Ferguson, in his sermon "Sin: Prevention and Cure" (May 6, 2012) —

The essential exhortation John is giving to us rocks us back on our heels. He is saying this: If you desire anything less for yourself than absolute obedience to God, a life of total devotion to the Lord, a life of absolute sin-less-ness — if you desire anything less, you are fighting against God's desire for you.

It is overwhelming.

But you see, he can issue such an exhortation because he knows that there is sufficient grace in Jesus Christ to support that exhortation.

And it is when we feel both of these, by God's grace, that our lives begin to make progress.


Recent posts from Tony Reinke —

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Tony Reinke is a staff writer for Desiring God and the author of three books: Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (2011), Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ (2015), and The Joy Project: A True Story of Inescapable Happiness (2015). He hosts the popular Ask Pastor John podcast, and lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and their three children. He also blogs at