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Christian Union: The Magazine
April 12, 2021

It's a Process, a Journey, and a Story 

Is sanctification a process that is the same for every believer? In some senses, yes—in Christ we are all being conformed into His image day by day. But the way we experience this transformation can be enormously different from person to person or in change at different times in our own lives. 

LeopoldaLeopoldo SanchezSeminary professor and author Leopoldo Sanchez argues that scripture offers believers a wide range of storylines in which we are invited to situate ourselves as we walk with the Lord and mature in Him. In Christ we are being raised into new life, renewed day by day; we are wanderers in the wilderness, slowly approaching the promised land where we can rest; we are servants learning to pour ourselves out on behalf of others. All these stories are biblical and accurate descriptors of what sanctification can look like. But oftentimes, we teach and believe sanctification to be a single track, something that should be uniform for every believer. 

“Does every Christian experience the spiritual life in the same way? Of course not. Yet we often teach sanctification as if they do. We argue about whether sanctification should be seen as a cycle or a process, whether holiness is about struggle or perfection, and so on. We make sanctification into a concept that seeks a unifying solution. We lose the sense that sanctification is about a story—about the Holy Spirit’s work in and through (and yes, in cooperation with) broken vessels, best told in the rich, visual language of biblical narratives. There is no single, homogeneous way of thinking about sanctification; everyone is in a different place when it comes to describing the Christian life.”

Christian Union has the humbling opportunity to teach college students the biblical narrative and disciple them for four of their most formative years. Through the personal care and instruction of ministry faculty to the peer support and community that is formed through our ministries, Christian Union is working to ensure that students know God’s word, are able to think theologically about their lives, and daily walk with the Lord as they are conformed into His image.

Read the article here.