J.C. Philpot

“There is no promise made that in this life, we shall be set free from the indwelling and the in-working of sin. Many think that their flesh is to become “progressively holier and holier”—that sin after sin is to be removed gradually out of the heart—until at last they are almost made perfect in the flesh. But this is an idle dream, and one which, sooner or later will be crudely and roughly broken to pieces.

The flesh will ever remain the same—and we shall ever find that the flesh will lust against the Spirit. Our fleshly nature is corrupt to the very core. It cannot be mended. It cannot be sanctified. It is the same at the last, as it was at the first—inherently evil, and as such will never cease to be corrupt until we put off mortality—and with it the body of sin and death.

All we can hope for, long after, expect, and pray for—is that this evil fleshly nature may be subdued, kept down, mortified, crucified, and held in subjection under the power of grace. But as to any such change passing upon the flesh—or taking place in the flesh as to make it holy—it is but a pharisaic delusion, which, promising a holiness in the flesh, leaves us still under the power of sin.

The true sanctification of the new man of grace—which is wrought by a divine power—is utterly distinct from any imagined holiness in the flesh—or any vain dream of its progressive sanctification.”


My (Lee Poskey’s) thoughts about this matter:

As I consider what that saint wrote so long ago, I see it speaking perfectly to what I experience in my walk (right now).

It is plain truth, and yet so few people will accept what is obvious.

Romans 7.14-25 and Galatians 3.3 are the verses that come to my mind which defend what he wrote.

But just on a personal level, I can personally see that in my flesh dwells no good thing.
my thoughts are sin, my motives are sin, I am sin!
That is all that my unregenerate flesh is, (and that’s all that it will ever be).

So when I hear some good religious-minded person put stock in cleaning up the flesh, trying to become more holy…I’m thinking, are we living on the same planet?
Do you not understand the scope of your sinfulness?
Have you not understood that your thoughts are just as accountable for sin as your actions?
Do you really think that the sins you engage in that people don’t know about don’t count as sin?

And you believe that you’re getting holier???

These are the same people who tell others that they have to repent of their sins to be saved, (who themselves have never met that standard).
The same ones who think they keep the 10 commandments.

End of rant.


Oh how the very topic of “progressive” sanctification gets me angry.