Union and personal holiness

In his exceptional commentary on Romans, Douglas Moo cites Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs on the connection between growth in personal holiness and the believer’s union with Christ. Burroughs writes, “from him [Christ] as from a fountain, sanctification flows into the souls of the Saints: their sanctification comes not so much from their struggling, and endeavors, and vows, and resolutions, as it comes flowing to them from their union with him.” Union with Christ is the fountain, the source, of personal holiness and two Pauline texts make this connection clear, Romans 6:1–14 and Colossians 3:1–17. And while a number of books on sanctification and biblical counseling mention this union at some point, it seems to me that too few books on personal holiness have roots sunk deep into this Pauline soil. One fine example of how union can provide a rich framework for personal holiness can be seen in Jerry Bridges’ classic book The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness. Just a few of my early Monday morning thoughts, fwiw.

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