“Sanctification, by which our hearts and lives are conformed to the law, is a grace of God communicated to us…” Walter Marshall, a great puritan preacher of the 1600’s, said these words in a book called The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification where he outlines the essential Biblical teaching regarding how we grow spiritually. Since my wife and I home educate our children and attend a family integrated church there is the possibility that we could rely on these wonderful things to carry us through the Christian walk; but as Walter Marshall said it is the grace of God that sanctifies us, not an external action, even if that external action is a good thing.
Hebrews 10:16, quoting from Jeremiah 31:33, says “this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them” and Ezekiel 36:26-27 says “a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them”. You see, an aspect of the covenant we have with God is that He writes His laws on our hearts and minds, but doesn’t leave it there expecting us to do it alone.Rather He gave us His Spirit to cause us to walk in them!
Home education and family integration are wonderful things that God has led our family to be a part of, but they do not sanctify us; our spiritual growth is only by grace through Christ in us. I believe strongly in distinctive Christian education and a church worship environment that does not fragment the family, but may God not allow me, my wife, or my children to think that we are made holy by these precious gifts from God. On the other hand, may we seek Christ alone, in faith, as we “…come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16b).