Christians are transformed by the renewing of their minds. They understand that, in large measure, how they think about the gospel will determine how they live for God’s glory. They are learning to allow the Word of God to do its own work, informing, and influencing the way they think in order to shape the way they live.
In a series of Scripture-saturated chapters, Dr. Sinclair Ferguson’s Devoted to God: Blueprints for Sanctification works out this principle in detail. It provides what he describes as “blueprints for sanctification’—an orderly exposition of central New Testament passages on holiness. Devoted to God builds a strong and reliable structural framework for practical Christian living. It stresses the foundational importance of fundamental issue such as union with Christ, the rhythms of spiritual growth, the reality of spiritual conflict, and the role of God’s law. Here is a fresh approach to an always relevant subject, and a working manual to which the Christian can turn again and again for biblical instruction and spiritual direction.
In recent days Dr. Ferguson has become one of my favorite Christian authors. His recent book The Whole Christ (Crossway, 2016) is an excellent book on sanctification. Devoted to God is also excellent but in my view more foundational in that he wants the Christian to understand the biblical categories for sanctification along with the process of sanctification from the beginning of the Christian life to the end of the Christian life.
Each one of us is at different points in our journey and yet we have the same Lord Jesus. Each one of us has different struggles but the same Holy Spirit, convicting, teaching, and pointing us to the glory of Christ. What I loved about Devoted to God was Ferguson’s emphasis on the biblical text. He takes the reader deep into the heart of sanctification and points them not to five or ten or even twenty principles, although he is eminently practical, but to Jesus.
J.C. Ryle in his classic book on Holiness wrote that we should be able to discern even the small sliver of growth in God’s grace in our lives. As we do that we should have great assurance and confidence that we belong to God as His friends. Many Christians struggle a great deal with sanctification. They obsess over their assurance and don’t understand what assurance is and the hope they now have in Christ. By reading Ferguson’s new book, new and seasoned Christians will understand what sanctification is and in the process learn to grow as God intends for them in Christ. Along the way, they will gain understanding about who they are in Christ which is desperately needed to help them know they have assurance in Christ.
By reading books like Devoted to God Christians will come to understand that God cares about doctrine- it helps us understand the foundations of our faith so that we can live out our faith. Ferguson lays doctrinal foundations for the purpose of practical application. He explains the text of Scripture for the purpose of illustrating how to live out the Christian life. Wherever you are at in your understanding of issues related to sanctification reading, Devoted to God will help you grow with the result that you will be encouraged, and spurred on to pursue the Lord all the more in every sphere of your life for His glory.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.