Just posted on Monergism are 9 sermons by Sinclair Ferguson titled Studies in Sanctification which Ligon Duncan says are “pure gold.”
Kevin DeYoung has recently released a book with the odd title “The Hole in Our Holiness,” and I recently found a sermon DeYoung preached by the same title. The book is a look at how the Gospel was designed for more than our salvation, it was designed for our sanctification — or growth in holiness. Michael Horton has this to say about the book:
Grace is too amazing to save us from sin’s guilt only to leave us under its cruel tyranny. In this book, Kevin DeYoung reminds us that the gospel is the ground of our justification and sanctification. At the same time, he reminds us of the many exhortations in Scripture to pursue godliness as the fruit of our union with Christ in the power of the Spirit. The Hole in Our Holiness offers important reflections on a crucial topic in the ongoing conversation about the joys and struggles of the Christian life.
John Piper says this:
This book is vintage DeYoung—ruthlessly biblical.
The sermon is titled “The Hole in Our Holiness: Piety’s Pattern” and is an examination of 1 Peter 1:13-16. CJ Mahaney calls this book the modern equivilent of J.C. Ryles classic work Holiness.
Richard Gaffin, Professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, joined the panel at Christ the Center to discuss the relationship of the gospel with sanctification, and how sanctification relates to justification. This was a very interesting and helpful discussion.
Gaffin challenged the prevalent idea that once justified, our sanctification is simply to perform the law out of gratitude to God. Gaffin clearly outlines how our sanctification is dependant upon Christ, and not merely a response of gratitude, but an actual working of the Spirit of God in our lives to perform good works as we are God’s workmanship, and not the other way around.
Following the series on Justification, Grudem examines the process of Christian growth in holiness and battle with sin. Sanctification is when the heart and will of a Christian grows to make holy decisions. There is a lot of food for thought and very practical applications to our daily lives.
One thing John Piper does very well is to take a text of Scripture and then fall humbly and brokenly under it, drawing out amazingly real and inescapable implications that will cause you to reflect upon your life in ways you had not considered. This is one of those series that will challenge you beyond usual exhortation. Piper draws us upward into the heavens and has us look at the wastefulness of our lethargic lives from above.
The Spring Conference was held in San Luis Obisbo, and although the title is the same from his bestselling book ‘Don’t Waste Your Life,’ this material is all new. In 5 sessions, Piper considers how we waste our lives in particular ways — ways you would not usually consider. For instance, don’t waste being robbed; don’t waste your cancer; don’t waste how you spend your money; don’t waste your compassion; and it goes on. Piper calls us to live in a wartime mentality and not a peacetime mentality. This will determine if you are wasting your life or not. Highly recommended.
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary recently held a conference on the subject of sanctification and ministry, presented by Sinclair Ferguson and Paul Tripp. Tripp focused his messages on the theme of relationships and progressive sanctification. Sinclair took to the subject of sanctification in the life of pastors.
Some noteworthy quotes from Ferguson: “The single most important thing for the minister of the Gospel is that the minister of the Gospel be more and more shaped and fashioned in the likeness of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, the Christ the people come to believe in is not the Christ of the Scripture. Either become more like Christ or get out of the Gospel ministry because, if you don’t do the former, you will do great damage to the latter.”
“God is never afraid to test His workmanship,“ Ferguson said, noting that a believer is molded by the trials he or she endures. “What a privilege it is to be tested by the Holy Spirit.” (quotes from Baptist Press)
Both Tripp and Ferguson tackle the subject of how God uses suffering to sanctify his people, particularly his ministers of the church. Ferguson states that every single one of his Scottish minister friends, without exception, has endured unusually high degree’s of trials in their lives. And he concludes that it’s because those are the kinds of ministers who God is able to use effectively in advancing his kingdom. Both Christ and Paul lived lives of ease, so why do we think it will be much different for us? This is bitter, but needed, medicine for our age of ease in the West.
A TOP AUDIO POST
I’m a sucker for panel discussions with good preachers. I love the candid insight they often bring forth that might not come in a prepared message.
The panel discussion at the Desiring God 2007 Pastors Conference on the Holiness of God is one of the most encouraging and insightful. John Piper, William Mackenzie, and Thabiti Anyabwile discuss the doctrine of election, sanctification, faith, child salvation, legalism, revival, sufficiency of atonement and the very real differences and gifting required for true ‘missionaries’ who wrestle with a completely new culture, versus the old cliche that ‘we are all missionaries where ever we are.’
Here are some tidbits. How can one be helped to come to grips with the doctrine of election in light of the Biblical commands and admonitions for man to act in human will? Piper suggests the reading of Martin Luther’s ‘The Bondage of the Will,’ and for the more adventurous, to wrestle through Jonathan Edwards ‘The Freedom of the Will.’ Thabiti sketches his personal journey from Islam to Arminian Christianity, to the doctrines of grace.