I had the opportunity this past week to sit down and read 3D Holiness, a new book by Dr. Paul Kingsbury. It was a quick read, and inspired me to focus more on some passages of scripture that I've merely glossed over in the past.
The topic of the book is sanctification - the act of setting something apart as holy or sacred. Fundamentally, God is holy and pure and our goal of walking with Christ is to allow His Spirit to work in us to bring us more in alignment with his likeness. To sanctify us and set us apart from the world in which we live.
While there were a few specific lines in the book I disagreed with,[ref]The parts I would challenge have nothing to do with the overarching topic of the book, so I won't clutter this particular conversation with the details.[/ref] the main message of the book is remarkably sound and well backed-up with scripture.
That's somewhat of a rarity in modern Christian literature, unfortunately, and I was relieved to see just about every main argument backed up with Biblical evidence.
Kingsbury's ability to interweave personal anecdotes led to the creation of a real, approachable narrative as well. Many religious books I've read in the past come across as lofty, disconnected sermons - the author appears to be speaking at us rather than sharing personal revelations and teaching on Biblical truth. Kingsbury, on the other hand, ties many of his lessons together with explanations of how they've impacted his life as well.
When talking about the very real spiritual response to the calling of God through sanctification, he falls back on his own youth and the day he committed his life to the Lord as an example:
When I was sixteen years old, I was a Christian but a very lukewarm Christian. I was not sanctified in any meaningful way. My life was not surrendered to the Lord. As a youth activity a group of us was taken to Western Michigan University to hear a preacher speak... The Holy Spirit was pressuring me that night to make a full surrender to God. I'm so glad I didn't sit back and logically try to analyze the pros and cons of that decision.[ref]pages 87-88[/ref]
Why we are called to a specific profession or pattern of living doesn't often make sense. Why we are set apart from the world for specific acts of service in the Kingdom of God isn't always logical. But the fact is that every Christian growing in their faith will eventually need to take steps towards sanctification. This is evident in the scriptures, and analyzed quite fully through Kingsbury's study of those very words:
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Wherever you are in your walk with Christ, and however far along you are on the path to sanctification, taking a moment or two to look at your journey and the steps left ahead are important. This book, short as it might be, is a great way to study what sanctification looks like - a necessary precursor to praying about how it is manifested in your own life.
Disclaimer: In exchange for reviewing 3D Holiness, I received a free, advance electronic copy of the work.