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Review: A sinner’s guide to holiness

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Author: John Chapman

Publisher: Matthias Media, Sydney

This little book not only explains what the Bible says about holiness, but also shows what this means for our daily lives.

The author first of all outlines aspects of God’s holiness, pointing out that we do not share these characteristics of might, power and purity. And yet, God’s plan for us is that we should be holy in character as well. This begins, of course, with repentance and faith.

The second chapter shows how we can grow in holiness. Chapman is at pains to point out that there is no quick fix, no such thing as instantaneous sanctification. Instead we are to keep trusting that God will not give up on what he has started, but continue until he has completed his work in us. At the same time, we must be quite aware of the part we are called to play. We should put aside everything that holds us back, deal with the sins that hinder us, and rely on God’s strength to carry us through. All this requires effort and hard work - a combination of self-discipline and God’s discipline.

Finally, we see that our holiness will reach its fulfilment when we take our place in the new creation.

Chapman’s style of writing makes for easy reading, and his points are clear and well illustrated with biblical quotes and examples, as well as interesting personal anecdotes. A discussion guide at the end makes the book a possibility for study groups or mentors.

I found this a particularly enlightening, refreshingly pithy and down to earth little book.

Added on 28/02/2009 by Jenni van Wageningen