What is the best book on Sanctification.

Discussion in 'Spiritual Warfare' started by Saiph, Nov 1, 2005.

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  1. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    I am looking for a book that explains the doctrine, and the practical aspect of working out your salvation.

    Evidentally, I confuse justification and sanctification quite often in my thinking. Need to understand how sanctification changes us.
  2. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    Romans 7-8. :book2:
  3. heartoflesh

    heartoflesh Puritan Board Junior

  4. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    You also might try Calvin's "The Golden Booklet on the True Christian Life".
  5. cupotea

    cupotea Puritan Board Junior

    Didn't Gordon Clark write a book on the subject as well?
  6. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

  7. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    Sanctification, by Gordon H. Clark

    Have it...looking forward to reading it.
  8. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Justification is a judicial act of God which, by declaration, frees us from the guilt of sin; sanctification is a spiritual-ethical operation of God's Spirit in us which delivers us from the pollution of sin (mortification).

    I'd not look to a book that simply looks at the differecne between the two, but books ON justification and sanctification.

    Here are a few of my favorites:


    Justification by Faith Alone By Jonathan Edwards Outstanding

    Faith and Justification By Thomas Halyburton

    Justification and the New Perspective on Paul By Guy Prentiss Waters

    Justification by Faith Alone By Charles Hodge Outstanding

    Justification of a Sinner By William Pemble Outstanding

    The Justified Believer By MacKenzie Hart

    The Lord Our Righteousness: The Old Perspective on Paul
    By Obadiah Grew Outstanding

    The Object and Acts of Justifying Faith By Thomas Goodwin

    Sermons on Melchizedek and Abraham: Justification, Faith and Obedience By John Calvin


    A Treatise of Satan's Temptations By Richard Gilpin

    A Treatise on Sanctification (Rom. 6,7 and 8:1-4) By James Fraser

    Christ's Counsel to a Languishing Church By Obadiah Sedgwick

    Communion with God By John Owen Outstanding

    The Mortification of Sin By John Owen Outstanding

    Glorious Freedom By Richard Sibbes

    Gospel Remission By Jeremiah Burroughs

    Grace: Truth, Growth, and Degrees By Christopher Love

    Heaven Taken By Storm By Thomas Watson Outstanding

    Holiness, By JC Ryle

    Michael and the Dragon, or Christ Tempted and Satan Foiled By Daniel Dyke Outstanding

    Practical Religion By J.C. Ryle

    Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices By Thomas Brooks Outstanding

    Spiritual Refining: The Anatomy of True and False Conversion, Vol. 1 & 2 By Anthony Burgess Outstanding

    Temptation of Christ: A Puritan's View of the Temptation By Thomas Manton

    The Christian By William S. Plumer Outstanding

    The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification By Walter Marshall

    The Life of God in the Soul of Man, and Leighton's Rules and Instructions for a Holy Life By Henry Scougal

    The Marks of God's Children By Jean Taffin

    Vital Godliness: A Treatise on Experimental and Practical Piety By William S. Plumer Outstanding
  9. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    :up: Excellent book. Heavy but excellent.

    I would also include J.C. Ryle's, Holiness. It is a classic.

    For a good introduction to sanctification and the practice of pursuing it I recommend Sinclair Ferguson's, Grow in Grace. It's a short book, very readable, yet deep and thought provoking, and saturated with Reformed Theology.

    So read them in this order (ordered by readability):

    This will give you a good introduction to the Reformed idea of sanctification.
  10. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    I have read a handful of those books and they are good. I guess my confusion comes in what is the "new man" ? If, in the end, all my good works are Christ working through me, and not really a part of me that has been changed and renewed by Christ, then what is transformed ?

    Gal 2:19-21
    for I through law, did die, that to God I may live;
    with Christ I have been crucified, and live no more do I, and Christ doth live in me; and that which I now live in the flesh--in the faith I live of the Son of God, who did love me and did give himself for me;
    I do not make void the grace of God, for if righteousness be through law--then Christ died in vain.

    Am I becoming a better man ? Or is Christ simply working through me like a hand-puppet more and more by the word and the Spirit ?
  11. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Christ, working through you, is making YOU a better man.

    For example, the Spirit has made His mark on us. Our hearts have been changed. Cut me open, though, and you still see the same heart. Its a spiritual principle that has been changed. The more the affects of the Spirit enliven me (the new man) the more the remnant of remaining sin is mortified. The old man is dead. He does not exist. but his affects of sin still remain in me. It tries to revivie the old man and can't. The new man, however, is fighting a ferocious dying lion (for lack of a better analogy). It wants to bite, and it can hurt, but ultimately it will die. Killing it, though, is where I come in.

    If this was true: Or is Christ simply working through me like a hand-puppet more and more by the word and the Spirit ?"
    Would you see this as a problem?

    This falls under under the compound / divided sense idea.

    Our sanctification is wholly from Christ (decree) but worked through us (divided sense or us working).

    I don't feel manipulated so I don't have a problem with the robot idea. However, I am at fault for not being sanctifed because the Bible tell me that God's will for me is my sanctification. I am to walk in the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the felsh, etc. If don't do that, then i am walking in the flesh not the Spirit. But i do need the Spirit's help to accomplish it and without His help i will never be sanctified.
  12. Michael Butterfield

    Michael Butterfield Puritan Board Freshman

    Supreme :ditto: :ditto:

    Nothing beats it for good old practical and heart searching application of the doctrine

    [Edited on 11-1-2005 by Michael Butterfield]
  13. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    :ditto: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up:

  14. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior


    Read Romans chapter 6 -- 8 without stopping....

    Here is the explanation.

    We are BOTH completely sanctified (at the moment of justification) AND are gradually being transformed in our thinking.

    However, the "new man" is reference to the "new society" God is calling to Himself. Christ is the first-fruit of that harvest; His resurrection is the sign that the "new creation" has already begun!

    Calvin describes this well....but his studies are based on Paul's writings.

    Another superb source is: "Calvin's Doctrine of the Christian Life" by Ronald S. Wallace

    (Matt has some excellent points, btw.)

    Robin :)

    [Edited on 11-2-2005 by Robin]
  15. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Here is why I struggle with the justification/sanctification ideas:

    Read DTK's post here:

    Augustine is almost all I read in theology anymore outside of the Bible.

    Now I need to go back and read Ryle/Calvin etc . . .



    [Edited on 11-2-2005 by Saiph]
  16. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Here is a quote from Jonathan Edwards;

    "It is very true that all grace and goodness in the hearts of the saints is entirely from God; and they are universally and immediately dependent on him for it. But yet these persons are mistaken, as to the manner of God's communicating himself and his Holy Spirit, in imparting saving grace to the soul. He gives his Spirit to be united to the faculties of the soul, and to dwell there after the principle of nature; so that the soul,in being endued with grace, is endued with a new nature: but nature is an abiding thing. All the excercises of grace are entirely from Christ: but are not from him as a living agent moves and stirs what is without life, and which yet remains lifeless. The soul has life communicated to it, so that through Christ's power, it has inherent in itself a vital nature."

    This is from page 269 in The religious Affections.

    [Edited on 11-2-2005 by turmeric]
  17. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    Mark, the Reformers termed it "simultaneously sinner and saint" ...don't ask me to spell the Latin, OK?

    But this is precisely Paul's point as he explains his own struggle with sin while he is regenerate. (Romans 6-8.)

    In a nutshell....the church of Rome confuses the order and syntax of the Book of Romans. (irony) Hold-tight to the progressive unfolding of Paul's arguments in Romans and the truth emerges. Mix it up and we always get some form of RC works/righteousness.



    PS. Btw, this is why Paul says what he does in Romans 12. He's already taken chapters 1-11 to develop the propositions of reprobation; justification/sanctification. The imperative language in chpt. 12 utterly hinges on what he's already taught in the former chapters. (important)

    [Edited on 11-2-2005 by Robin]
  18. Myshkin

    Myshkin Puritan Board Freshman


    I would like to recommend the book, "Christian Spirituality: Five Views of Sanctification", ed. by Donald L. Alexander. Sometimes it is helpful for us to learn what something is not, to clarify what it actually is. I think this book does that well as Sinclair Ferguson explains the reformed view.
  19. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Thank you all for the recommendations.

    Hopefully, I can reach a better understanding of how we are Simul Iustus et Peccator . . .

    John Knox, Scots Confession 15

    "We confess and acknowledge that the law of God is most just, equal, holy, and perfect, commanding those things which, when perfectly done, can give life and bring man to eternal felicity; but our nature is so corrupt, weak, and imperfect, that we are never able perfectly to fulfill the works of the law. Even after we are reborn, if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth of God is not in us. It is therefore essential for us to lay hold on Christ Jesus, in his righteousness and his atonement, since he is the end and consummation of the Law and since it is by him that we are set at liberty so that the curse of God may not fall upon us, even though we do not fulfill the Law in all points. For as God the Father beholds us in the body of his Son Christ Jesus, he accepts our imperfect obedience as if it were perfect, and covers our works, which are defiled with many stains, with the righteousness of his Son. We do not mean that we are so set at liberty that we owe no obedience to the Law--for we have already acknowledged its place--but we affirm that no man on earth, with the sole exception of Christ Jesus, has given, gives, or shall give in action that obedience to the Law which the Law requires. When we have done all things we must fall down and unfeignedly confess that we are unprofitable servants. Therefore, whoever boasts of the merits of his own works or puts his trust in works of supererogation, boasts of what does not exist, and puts his trust in damnable idolatry."
  20. Mayflower

    Mayflower Puritan Board Junior

    The doctrine of santification - A.W Pink
  21. Don Kistler

    Don Kistler Puritan Board Sophomore

    Christ the Way, the Truth, and the Life, by John Brown of Wamphray.
  22. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    My favorites are Owen's On the Mortification of Sin and Ryle's Holiness. I have also read Owen's On Temptation which is another very good work. He has a treatise dealing with the indwelling sin of believers, spiritual-mindedness, and other works relating to sanctification. Owen on moritification has so many great insights . . I've read this book numerous times.

    A few quotes from the Christian Heritage paperback reprint, just from Chapter 2:
    And these golden nuggets are taken merely from one of fourteen chapters!
  23. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

  24. Scott Shahan

    Scott Shahan Puritan Board Sophomore

  25. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    The Path of True Godliness by Willem Teellinck
  26. Theogenes

    Theogenes Puritan Board Junior

  27. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Walter Marshall's The Gospel Mystery of Santification is available online here.
  28. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior


    Both of these are required reading in my current Sanctification class at RTS Charlotte.
  29. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    :ditto: to a lot of the recommendations above. I'll add How People Change by Paul Tripp and Tim Lane of CCEF/WTS.

    Another good one is Jay Adam's How to Help People Change

    For that matter, pretty much anything CCEF has written is excellent.

    [Edited on 9-7-2006 by crhoades]
  30. Pilgrim Warrior

    Pilgrim Warrior Inactive User

    Hi all,
    Currently I am reading "The doctrine of Sanctification" by A.W. Pink. I ordered it from a reformed site but am wondering now if he was more of a baptist. Anyway, in my experience as of late I have been concerned about sanctification. Specifically how I am seeming to go backwards so to speak. This Christian life/walk/journey has been interesting to say the least. With all the struggles in my life and home lately my heart has been a very dark place. I lost my 11 yr job in the factory as they are closing down. I am trying to get $$ for nursing schooling, my wife has a job with only a few hours (I don't like the idea of forcing her out into the 'work' world but am grateful that she is willing to so that I can go to school full time). The whole factory scenario has been building up for 3+ years now...it was awful. So many stressed people! The final 3-5 months really broke me down. Anger started to well up in me, frustration, anxiety like never before...not anger over what was happening though, I am more at the point of anger that I am only in control of 'some' things. I am not an indecisive person so it has been real heavy. I am doing all that I can to be responsible for my life and have forgotten how to give the rest to the Lord.
    Also, having just been studying justification I now need to get on with sanctification. I LOVE justification!! I love the jurisprudence of Heaven and I desparately want more and more to be sanctified.
    I really need to dig in and read on spiritual warfare...I have been exposed to so many differing views on warfare. I do agree that most of the time I am my own worst enemy. But I want to grow in this area also.
    Thanks for listening
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