Progressive Surrender to Christ

Matthew Henry was correct when he wrote, ‘What is it to be sanctified, but to be of God’s mind?’ That being so, the Word of God stands alone as the channel of grace to us. An act of complete surrender to Christ has been represented as the secret of the life of holiness, but our will acts as moved by the light of Christ in our minds, and so surrender and holiness must be progressive, for light is progressively received, and the petition ‘that I might know him’ will remain the Christian’s until ‘one sight of Jesus as he is will strike all sin forever dead.’

– Iain Murray

There is no one definitive experience of the Spirit or of personal surrender to Christ, as a Christian, that is the “key” to bringing us into victory in the Christian life. Such teaching does not conform to the New Testament. Some teach that there is a complete surrender that one can attained to or one experience of the Holy Spirit, that will bring the struggling believer into constant and complete victory on a permanent basis. This is false Keswick teaching, promoted in the 19th and 20th centuries, that leaves out much teaching that is needed for true biblical balance.

Although there are times of real surrender and times of real experiences of the coming of the Spirit upon us, all sanctification is progressive and ongoing, and the warfare will never be accomplished until heaven. No believer has arrived at some plateau which is a spiritual resting place. We all must press on yet to know Him. This is continual and ongoing surrender to His presence, purposes, ways, and truth. That is the New Testament view of sanctification.

– Mack Tomlinson

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