This morning I finished a book that at first I was not sure I was going to complete. It is said that A.W. Pink was one of the deep thinkers of his day, and The Doctrine of Sanctification proved to support that claim. However, the more I read, the more I was able to see his commitment to Scripture and depth of knowledge. It was a powerful and challenging book on a subject with which I find even greater interest.
The closing chapter of the book was focused on the role of faith in sanctification. Two paragraphs stood out as extremely powerful, especially for those who struggle with assurance of salvation. I wanted to share them here
O my Christian reader, what a difference it would make were you to steadily realize the truth that, every temptation you encounter, every defeat you suffer, ever distressing experience you pass through, is a call and a challenge for the exercise of faith. You complain that you are still the subject of sin, that it cleaves to you as the flesh does to your bones, that it mixes with your duties and defiles every act you perform. You often feel that you are nothing but sin. When you attempt to walk with God, inward evil rises up and stops you. When you read His Word or endeavour to pray,unbelieving thoughts, carnal imaginations, worldly lusts, seek to possess your soul. You strive against them; but in vain. Instead of improvement, things grow worse. YOu beg of God for humility, and pride rises higher; you cry to Him for more patience, but apparently His ear is closed. Ah, you are no learning the painful truth that in your flesh there dwelleth 'no good thing'....Nothing but faith in the sure Word of God can keep him from sinking into abject despair. This is the very time for him to maintain his trust in the sufficiency of Christ's blood and the excellency of his imputed righteousness.
This part of the chapter spoke volumes to me. I cannot count the number of times that I have felt this way or counseled people who were feeling the same. And yet as we grow in holiness, sin becomes much more horrible and evident in our sight. And we must not run headlong into despair but deeper into the arms of a holy Savior who "cleanses us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9)