Book Review: Sanctification

In Sanctification, Pastor John MacArthur reminds pastors of the need to care for the sanctification of those who are under their care. Sanctification, he argues, is an area that is often forgotten in the American church today. He focuses on the calling of pastors to be actual shepherds of their local flocks.

But MacArthur does not only focus on pastors. He calls on individual believers to also work on their sanctification stating that we should be striving to be more Christlike each day.

After making the initial case for sanctification, MacArthur spends the rest of the book discussing what true sanctification looks like in the life of the believer. First, sanctification looks like Christ. Christ was the ultimate embodiment of sanctification as shown in chapter four of the book titled, “Christ, the Embodiment of True Sanctification.”

But MacArthur does not hold punches either. He attacks the thought of many churches and Christians today that we are saved, following Jesus and that is it. He attacks the idea that we don’t really need to pursue total sanctification or that we cannot attain it (noting of course that total sanctification does not happen on this side of Heaven). He attacks the lawlessness of many new Christian movements and attacks the seeker-sensitive ideals that court the ways of the world just to put bodies in the pews. MacArthur makes a plea for the church today to return to a true biblical worldview.

The book finishes by taking a look at what grace really is and what grace really entails. It’s not just a “get out of Hell free card.” Grace means we get a chance to live our lives holy and acceptable and pleasing to God. It is a chance to strive to be like Christ. It is a chance to live set apart from the world.

Overall, Sanctification is a quick an easy read and a refreshing call to the church and believer’s today to live better lives for their king. I give the book four out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

The Danger of Inclusiveness

Why is inclusiveness in the church a danger? Why are some against using the church service as an evangelistic tool primarily? Why are some against the “seeker-friendly” movement? It is because that is not the purpose of the church.

By allowing anyone to come in and join and preach and teach we allow people who are not grounded in the Word of God to influence the church. This is allowing false teaching a foothold.

The purpose of the church meeting is to disciple believers. It is not an outreach. Now, do not misunderstand, I am not saying that we should turn away non-believers. But they should be there to learn and nothing else. They should not be permitted to teach and preach.

We have to draw a line when it comes to the instruction of the body. There are rules laid out in Scripture for a reason. When the church seeks to win souls primarily from the pew they are ignoring the Great Commission to GO. It doesn’t say bring in, it says go.

John MacArthur got this exactly right when he said:

It is being scandalized by its tolerances, by its inclusiveness. It is kicking the door wide open and embracing anybody and everybody in the name of love and tolerance and openness.

John MacArthur

Should we love everyone? Yes! Should we reach out to the lost? YES! But should we want to allow anything in our churches in the name of tolerance, love, and inclusion? No. That is the true poison that will destroy churches.

Book Review: Remaining Faithful in Ministry

John MacArthur’s new book, Remaining Faithful in Ministry, is a convicting, challenging, and motivating read that every pastor or preacher should have in his library.

MacArthur, who recently celebrated fifty years of ministry at Grace Community Church, writes on 2 Corinthians 4 and the faithful ministry of the Apostle Paul. In fact, the book reads almost as a biography of the Apostle.

The book seeks to examine the life of Paul and how he was faithful in his ministry. It does this by looking at nine key areas (convictions) of his life and ministry. These are the superiority of the new covenant, ministry is a mercy, the need for a pure heart, the need to preach the Word faithfully, results belong to God, his own insignificance, the benefit of suffering, and the need for courage.

Throughout each chapter, MacArthur examines the writings of Paul as well as accounts of his life from the book of Acts. Each shows a man who was deeply devoted to God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ after his conversion challenging each of us as believer’s to step up and do the same.

The book is well-written and easy to understand.

Overall, I recommend this book not only to pastors and preachers, but to every Christian. It is a short read that can be finished in one sitting of a couple of hours. It will challenge and convict you and stretch your faith for growth and maturity.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher in exhange for a fair and honest review.