Dr. Peterson Answers Your Questions: How does holiness relate to the spread of the gospel?

Published on September 26, 2016 by Joshua Centanni

IVP, 2001 | 191 pages

Have your own question for Dr. Peterson? Let us know and we’ll pass it on!


Q&A With Dr. Peterson

Last week Dr. David Peterson, author of Possessed by God, offered to answers your questions on the doctrine of sanctification and related issues. This week we’re posting his answers to your questions.


Daniel T. writes,

Thank you Dr. Peterson for considering my question. My question is: How might the thesis advanced in Possessed by God relate to the outward moving, gospel-spreading mission of the local church? Is congregational evangelism discussed under the rubric “definitive sanctification”? On p.14 of “Possessed by God” you say that definitive sanctification is a key to holy living. Holy living then is talked about primarily in moral categories (i.e. holiness) with little discussion within missional categories (i.e. evangelism and church planting). I loved the teaching. Yet, I thought positional sanctification could be strengthened if you discussed more this positon in missional terms. That is, God possesses us to live in the power of the gospel to spread the gospel. Affective church evangelism might be a good “chapter 7” for your already excellent book.

Dr. Peterson answers,

Daniel I agree that holiness in the NT is more than a matter of moral purity. Indeed, I argue in Possessed by God that “it involves standing against secularism and idolatry in all its forms, so that defending and propagating the faith are important dimensions to the sanctified life” (p. 11). I also suggest that mission is the goal of sanctification in John 17 (p. 30), and that 2 Cor. 6:14–7:1 could be expounded to develop this point (pp. 85-88). But I agree with you that this topic is important enough to warrant another chapter!

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Possessed by God

IVP, 2001 | 191 pages

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