Like many Sovereign Grace believers, I contend that Christians are not in some process of becoming more and more progressively sanctified or more and more holy. Rather, believers, by the Holy Ghost, grow in the grace and knowledge of their sanctification and holiness granted them freely by Christ alone.
A person is either sanctified holy by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, or that man remains an unsaved, unholy sinner. There is no intermediate state between the two. Likewise, there isn’t a single scripture which explicitly teaches different kinds or types of sanctification wrought by the Gospel or as a consequence of the Gospel. Not a one! God loves His people in Christ, having saved them through Christ’s finished work. It is within the context of this blessed new covenant in Christ’s blood that God’s people reply to Him in love, because “faith worketh by love.”
The new covenant imperatives are very real. We ought to love one another. We ought not lie, We ought not covet, murmur, use filthy communication. We ought to be compassionate and giving. We ought to praise and worship the God who bought us in Christ. Yet, sanctification is not to be found in the keeping of these imperatives. Sanctified people seek, however imperfectly, to live in the light of God’s grace in Christ. Sanctification is found only in the finished work of Christ, for “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things have passed away, behold all things become new.” Sanctified people do, in God’s good will and way, perform acceptable works by faith in full accord with the imperatives commanded by Christ.
Do I believe the Holy Spirit does a progressive work of making us holier more and more each day? No. We are complete in Christ. Do I believe the Holy Spirit testifies of Christ in the preaching of the Word to encourage God’s people to love the brethren and do acceptable works AS those who are sanctified? Absolutely.