The greatest challenge of ministry in our day is this; many who have entered into the justifying rest in Christ have not experienced His sanctifying rest.
What do I mean by this? They know they are forgiven and accepted by the blood but they still struggle in their daily lives with issues.
Many know through the finished work of Christ, they have been accepted in Christ and their sins are forgiven. They also know it is not by their works they have access to the Father and they have also experienced His mercy knowing this “if I sin I have an advocate with the Father through whom I receive forgiveness”.
The problem now is the sanctifying rest, even though I know am forgiven, I have struggles in my life, habits I struggle with, a cycle of sin I find difficult to break, hiding secret sins from others. I know I am loved by God and I also love God but there are secret sins eating away in my heart. I have revelation and insight into the word that demands a standard of life I cannot meet up with. My daily practice falls way short of my knowledge of the Scripture. Few people can understand the contradiction.
There is a work in the atonement of Christ that sanctifies the believer, separates him from sin and breaks the power and the principle of sin and establishes the believer in the conduct of righteousness.
Jesus in his death dealt not only with the sins a believer commits but with the principle of sin that produces the acts. He also established the workings of the Father in us by a covenant, and that is, God is the one at work in us to produce all that the scripture demands of us.
To the first who knows he is forgiven by grace, the concept “where sin abounds grace did much more abound” is seen in the light of just the grace to forgive the sin. To the second who understands that grace addressed much more, he sees the depth of grace in removing a powerful sin principle that had been at work in his life for years. He now knows that where sin abounds grace will much more abound, means grace wipes out sin in one’s life and conduct.
This is the grace that needs to be taught, not just acceptance but deliverance and completeness. It is the Father saying to you “sit at my right hand until I make all your enemies your footstool”
This is what some old timers called “the second work of grace” it was a term used to describe what Paul termed having begun in the Spirit are you now trying to perfect yourselves in the flesh. You may start right with justification and acceptance but don’t know how grace perfects.