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There is a popular view that our sanctification happens mainly by thinking more deeply about what Jesus has already done for us. But rather than describing one simple formula, Scripture portrays the process of our transformation into the likeness of Christ in a rich variety of ways. In this short book, longtime counselor, teacher, and writer David Powlison weaves together personal stories and exposition of Scripture to cast a biblical vision for the personalized ways God changes, grows, and matures his people. Arguing against a reductionist view of sanctification that portrays it as a one–size–fits–all process, this book aims to widen our view of sanctification as we minister to others in light of the many ways God conforms us into the image of Christ.
Do you become sanctified by remembering what Jesus has done for you on the cross and your justification? Are you more holy because you're regularly at church, hearing good preaching, and taking the Lord's Supper? Did you become more Jesus, as you remembered God's sovereignty and plan to work out all things for your good? Have you found accountability groups are helping to make you responsible for your conduct? Powlison, says in response, "Yes. Maybe. It depends." Christians often want a simple method that they can follow that'll guarantee their growth in holiness or at least set them on the right path for life. Powlison in this short, simple - but deep book - sets out to tell us that there is no magic fix for making us more like Christ that will work for all people, at all times, in all places. Too often books on sanctification, or growing in our Christlikeness are based upon an author's personal experience and then extrapolated to cover the whole Christian life (e.g. Jared Wilson's Gospel Wakefulness). Powlison simply says: not so fast. Becoming more like Christ is more difficult than that: God will sanctify us, he'll speak to us through his word, wise Christians will instruct us, suffering will shape us, and we will respond. But what this looks like will vary, just as the people that God has made will vary. The book concludes with a few case studies of how this works out in individuals lives that may be of benefit to you. Personally I found Powlison's insights in the first half of the book to be worth the price of the book alone. I heartily recommend this little book on the process of sanctification, especially if you're in Christian Leadership.
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