This word today is taboo in some Christian circles. Why? Because it runs counter to the new trend that confuses sanctification and justification. And yet, why should this be? There is no valid reason for such a confusion except the desire to promote the new form of quietism that some have called Gospel Sanctification. This movement runs contrary to the Reformation and the Scriptures. It is dangerous and must be exposed and halted.
When people tell us that what you must “do” to be sanctified is to preach the Gospel to yourself, or to focus, marinate, or otherwise soak one’s self in the cross, they make a totally unbiblical case for their view. You find nothing of the sort in the Bible. Thinking “deeply” about the Gospel will not, in itself, bring on sanctification. Certainly thinking about what Jesus did for us on the cross ought to motivate us to become more set apart from sin and to righteousness (i.e., sanctified). But motivate us to do what? Meditate on the cross? No. What, then?
What Jesus told us to do in the Great Commission was “obey (KJV: “observe”) all that He commanded us.” Obey—that‘s what the Gospel hymn says: Trust and Obey. And the writer got it right—we trust for justification (as Abraham did) and we obey (for sanctification). The Holy Spirit enables us to know from Scripture, and to do by His strength, the things that please God—we don’t obey in our own wisdom or power. John 14:15 is still in the Bible, though you’d never think so if you read GS materials (see also John 14:21, and see the warning of 4:24. Don’t miss John 15:17). One wonders whether he ought to ask GS people what Paul asks in Galatians 3:1.
Anyone who wants to think “more deeply” (a favorite term of the GS people), ought to concentrate on the Great Commission and on Philippians 2:12, 13. God gives us the desire and the ability to do those things that please Him. Doing is obeying (see John’s great phrase to “practice the truth” [1 John 1:6]). And be sure to read carefully John 17:17—there we learn that God’s truth believed and obeyed in one’s daily walk (2 John 6–not meditation or fixation on the Gospel) is what sanctifies.