"Devoted to God: Blueprints for Sanctification" by Sinclair B. Ferguson
Sanctification is hard. After many fits and starts, failures and setbacks, we have learned some essential truths about growing in holiness. First, no one passively drifts into holiness. Rather, whatever progress we make in holiness is dearly bought with hard work, tears, and much prayer. Second, we all need help in the form of encouragement and instruction in our pursuit of holiness. And it is with both of these realities in mind that I am very happy to recommend to you a new book by Sinclair B. Ferguson, Devoted to God: Blueprints for Sanctification.
Dr. Ferguson is one of the leading theologians of our day. But in this book he mercifully wears his profound scholarship lightly, and writes as a seasoned pastor in an easy to follow style. The book weighs in at 277 pages, including five appendices. Since it is a very easy to read book, an average reader will be able to get through it in a matter of few days. But I encourage you to take your time and read through it slowly.
The ten chapters of the book are each devoted to ten passages from the Bible (the "Blueprint Passages") that are foundational to our understanding of growing in holiness:
Ch. 1. 1 Peter 1:1–25.
Ch. 2. Romans 12:1–2.
Ch. 3. Galatians 2:20.
Ch. 4. Romans 6:1–14.
Ch. 5. Galatians 5:16–17.
Ch. 6. Colossians 3:1–17.
Ch. 7. Romans 8:13.
Ch. 8. Matthew 5:17–20.
Ch. 9. Hebrews 12:1–14.
Ch. 10. Romans 8:29.
In each of these 10 chapters Dr. Ferguson carefully instructs his readers, with a view toward encouraging them to see not only the necessity of growing in holiness, but also the glory of it, as well as the resources available to us.
The five appendices provide further details that were left undiscussed in the body of the book:
Appendix 1. The Trinity in the New Testament
Appendix 2. 'We Died to Sin…He Died to Sin'
Appendix 3. The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus
Appendix 4. The Fourth Commandment
Appendix 5. The 'Blueprint Passages'
I have thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from Devoted to God, and I will be returning to it frequently. Once in a while a book comes along that truly stands out for its depth and timelessness. This is one such book. I wish that I had been able to read it when I was just beginning my Christian life. But it is truly no less useful to me now in my fourth decade as a Christian. I encourage you all to get a copy, read it, study it, and make its teaching yours!