Publisher and Publication Date: Baker Books. January 21, 2020.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Sanctification.
Source: I received a complimentary paperback copy from Baker Books, I was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Christian readers.
The Christian life is a process of growing in holiness. This kind of growth is gradual, and obstacles are plentiful. Thankfully, we don’t have to go it alone. God has given us his Spirit so we can overcome temptation and become more and more conformed to the image of Christ. But how does the Spirit work? What’s the nature of our own personal involvement in the process? And how do we know if we’re making progress?
Drawn from the lectures of beloved theologian R. C. Sproul, Growing in Holiness explores the doctrine of sanctification, offering insightful commentary on themes such as developing perseverance, overcoming barriers to growth, dealing with feelings of inadequacy, cultivating love for God and others, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, and much more. Whether you’re a new believer who wants to understand what the Christian life is all about or you’ve been a Christian for some time, but are frustrated by a lack of progress, this book is your guide to pursuing a holy life.
R. C. Sproul (1939-2017) was founder of Ligonier Ministries; founding pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida; first president of Reformation Bible College; and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. His radio program, Renewing Your Mind, is still broadcast daily on hundreds of radio stations around the world and can also be heard online.
Do you understand what sanctification means?
God is working in a believer through the work of the Holy Spirit to cause Spiritual growth in holiness in order to be like Jesus. This is a lifelong process. It can be compared to running a marathon. It requires perseverance and with the eyes looking forward to the goal.
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14. ESV.
“God is holy, and we are to reflect that holiness so that this whole work of growing in sanctification is a growing in holiness. It is a growing within us-not only of redemption, but of movement toward the fulfillment and consummation of the very purpose of our creation. We were made to glorify God and to bear witness to the whole cosmos about His character.” Pages 17-18.
The above quote is Sproul’s definition of holiness. It is also an explanation of the ultimate reason and will for our lives. We were made to glorify God!
Growing in Holiness is written in a style that feels like Sproul is sitting next to me. He is a teacher and mentor, coming alongside of me in order to explain the Holy Spirit’s work in my life.
I love it that the book is applicable. It is strong teaching, but it also shares practical steps. For example: We must have Christ. “Apart from Him we can do nothing.” See John 15:5. ESV. We also must put to death the old life. Deny self. Our desire must be to obey God. The new self, our new life in Christ Jesus, must be “nurtured and strengthened.”
Pages 50-58 teaches a great problem in our lives, Satan.
One of my favorite chapters is three.
I love this quote:
“To be Christ to your neighbor means that your life is so conformed to the will of God that when people look at you, they see the holiness of Christ reflected in your life.” Page 60. People, both believers and unbelievers, are watching how we live out our lives, especially during hard times.