A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance
By Benjamin Montoya
About the Author
David Powlison (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) works as a teacher, counselor, and the executive director of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF). He is the Senior Editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling (JBC) and the author of several books on biblical counseling: Seeing with New Eyes, The Biblical Counseling Movement, and Speaking the Truth in Love.
Perhaps every Christian has heard the word “sanctification” and might even be able to scrounge around in their heads long enough to find a definition. But, how does the process actually work? In this book, David Powlison synthesizes years of counseling experience in the biblical counseling model to explain how sanctification works. Sanctification has at least three parts to it: past, present, and future tense. The past tense understanding of sanctification refers to what has already happened. That is, Christians are saints; they have been united with Christ, and they have been saved. The present tense refers to God’s working in their lives—on the scale of days, years, and decades—to make people more like Christ. The future tense refers to when sanctification is complete. One day Christians will become like Christ. They will be perfected as He is perfect. This book focuses on the present process of becoming more like Christ.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 God Meets Us with His Promises
Chapter 2 Is There One Key to Sanctification?
Chapter 3 Truth Unbalanced and Rebalanced
Chapter 4 God Meets Us with His Commands
Chapter 5 We Are Sanctified by Remembering Our Justification
Chapter 6 What Changes You?
Chapter 7 My Story (1)
Chapter 8 My Story (2)
Chapter 9 The Story of Charles
Chapter 10 The Story of Charlotte
Chapter 11 The Journey
Chapter 1: God Meets Us with His Promises
Life can be difficult. There are all kinds of pressures that weigh on us and make us worry. It is in those times that we need to hear the words of Scripture the most. David Powlison and his wife, Nan, have encountered such times. During one of those times, they were reading from Deuteronomy 32:10–12 that speak of the Lord caring for his people. God used these words in David and Nan’s life to encourage them. Nan’s immediate response was as follows: “When you feel like a castaway who needs to be found and rescued, to be treated as ‘the apple of his eye’ means the world to me. The Lord encircles me. The Lord cares. The Lord watches over me. I’m not alone.” Although neither of them heard an audible voice from God speak to them, they heard the very voice of God speaking to them in the Scriptures that day. And God used those verses to sanctify them through this ordinary means of grace. That is how God normally works in people’s lives—through His written Word. But, there is much more to the process of sanctification. Sure, reading and digesting God’s Word is part of the process; nevertheless, there remains no “one size fits all” approach. There are common denominators, but the patterns vary from person to person.
Chapter 2: Is There One Key to Sanctification?
Ours is a day and time when people prefer simplicity. They like one “key” truth—one thing they need to know that will solve their problems. But, when it comes to sanctification, there is no magic bullet. But, people have tried to develop some. Here are nine such examples that people have given. First, people should remember that God is sovereign and is working all things for people’s good who love him. Second, they should rehearse and remind themselves of their identity in Christ. Third, people should be in honest accountability relationships. Fourth, Christians should avail themselves of the means of grace. Fifth, Christians should wage spiritual warfare against the predator of their soul. Sixth, they should get busy serving others with their God-given spiritual gifts. Seventh, Christians should remember that. . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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How Does Sanctification Work?