Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification
The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification by Walter Marshall was first published in 1692. Marshall was an English Presbyterian minister – a Puritan born in 1628. He was forced to leave his parish in the infamous Great Ejection of 1662, but being faithful to the call of God, he soon found another congregation which he pastored until his death in 1680.
It was out of his own struggles and striving for Christlikeness that The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification came to be written. He had originally sought counsel from Richard Baxter, but soon realized that Baxter was preaching sanctification by way of the Law...this led him to seek counsel from Thomas Goodwin, who spoke to him of sanctification by way of the Gospel.
Goodwin said something to Marshall, which changed his life and got him going down the road of true holiness. When Marshall had spoken about the great struggle and weight of his sin and how he was trying to be free of it, Goodwin pointed out that Marshall had never even considered the greatest sin of all...lack of faith in Christ to save and sanctify him.
In this volume, Marshall propounds the forgotten, Reformed, truth of sanctification by faith in Christ alone, and this is a much needed message today. Too often it is preached, or at least insinuated, that we are justified by the Gospel, but sanctified by the Law. Marshall shows how and why this is such a damnable heresy, and why it never can help a person progress in holiness.
I will be laying out Marshall's "Directions" in a series of entries here at Linkin' bLogs, and I hope that you will not only be edified by the content of each direction, but that you will pick up a copy of The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification and read the whole thing yourself.