Conforming to Christ: The Great Work of Sanctification

Taken and adapted from, “Looking Unto Jesus, A View of the Everlasting Gospel, or, the Soul’s Eying of Jesus as Carrying on the Great Work of Mans salvation from First to Last”
Written by, Issac Ambrose.

Edited for thought and sense.

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“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,
in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”  

–Romans 8:29 (ESV)
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Let us quicken our sluggish souls to conform to Christ.

If this was one of the ends of Christ’s coming, to destroy the works of the devil, to deface all Satan’s works, especially his work in me, and to set his own stamp on my soul; how then should I but endeavor to conform! I read but of two ends of Christ’s coming into the world in relation to us; whereof the first was to redeem his people, and the other was to purify his people: “He gave himself for us, that he might redeem its from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” The one is the work of his merit, which goeth upwards to the sanctification of his Father; the other is the work of his grace, which goeth downwards to the sanctification of his church: in the one he bestoweth his righteousness on us by imputation, in the other he fashioneth his image in us by renovation; and what, O my soul, wouldst thou destroy the end of Christ’s coming in the flesh?

Thus let us provoke our souls to this conformity…

…let us excite our faint, drooping, languishing affections, desires, endeavors. Let us with enlarged industry engage and encourage our backward spirits to fall upon this duty; let us come up higher towards it, or if possibly we may, completely to it; that the same mind, and mouth, and life, may be in us that was in Jesus Christ, that we may be found to walk after Christ, that we may tread in the very prints of the feet of Christ, that we may climb up after him into the same heavenly kingdom; that we may aspire continually towards him, and grow up to him, even to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Let us regulate ourselves by the life of Christ…

whatsoever action we go about, let us do it by this rule, — would Christ have done this? It is true, some things are expedient and lawful with us, which are not suitable to the person of Christ: “Marriage is honorable with all men, and the bed undefiled,” but it did not benefit his person. Writing of books is commendable with men, because, like Abel, being dead, they may still speak; but it would have been derogatory to the person and office of Christ: for it is his prerogative to be in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, to be present to all his members; to teach by power, and not by ministry; to write his law in the hearts of his people, and to make them his epistle. 

In sinful acts eschewed by Christ…

…as when I am tempted to sin, then am I to reason thus with myself: would my blessed Savior, if he were upon earth, do thus and thus? If he were to live again, would he live after this manner? Would this be his language? would such speech as this drop from his lips?