Reformers Recommends: Books to help with your Sanctification

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Many Christian books will help you deal with a particular issue in your life. It might be anger, thankfulness or some other area you need to grow in. But in one respect, all sins in our life need to be dealt with in the same way: repentance. Paul calls it putting off the old and putting on the new (Eph 4:22-24).

Here we present 5 great books that will help you grow in sanctification in all areas of your life.

Holiness by J C Ryle

This classic by J C Ryle is a hard-hitting call to pursuing a holy life. Ryle pulls no punches as he seeks to put the reader in a mindset where we are striving in every thought and every deed to grow in holiness. This is not an easy read, but it is a worthwhile read. Take it slowly and be encouraged to be holy as God is holy (1 Pet 1:16).

 Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots

Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots

by JC Ryle




See also a paperback version here.


How Does Sanctification Work? By David Powlison

At times we can think that there is a one-size fits all approach to sanctification. ‘Just remember what Jesus has done. Read the Bible. Pray.’ What David Powlison does in this book is to open our eyes to the various ways that God works in us. This doesn’t mean that patterns for growth (like the ones you will find in some of the other books on this list) are wrong – it just means that God works in more ways than one. As many books lean toward giving you a process to follow, we suggest that this book is an important one to read on the topic of sanctification to ensure you have a balanced view.

 Unstuck: A nine-step journey to change that lasts

How Does Sanctification Work?

by David Powlison




Unstuck by Tim Lane

What I love about Tim Lane’s book ‘Unstuck’ is that he positions the reader in the moment of temptation. That moment when you feel anger build inside or some other sin start to stir. In this moment, Tim provides you with nine steps to help you pause and consider your actions. Essentially ‘Unstuck’ provides a framework for how you can think through a situation and choose the God-honouring action rather than the sinful action.

 Unstuck: A nine-step journey to change that lasts

Unstuck: A nine-step journey to change that lasts

by Tim Lane




Real Change by Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne (edited by David Powlison)

This six-session study takes the concepts of Heat, Thorns, Cross and Fruit from How People Change and frames them into a shorter course. The goal of ‘Real Change’ is to help us see how our actions stem from our heart. Once we see that, we can look at how the gospel changes us from the inside out. This course will help you see how that works.

 Real Change: Becoming More Like Jesus in Everyday Life

Real Change: Becoming More Like Jesus in Everyday Life

by Andrew Nicholls & Helen Thorne




Devoted to God by Sinclair Ferguson

We started this list with a meaty book and we will end it with one as well. In Devoted to God, Sinclair Ferguson takes us on a tour of the major New Testament passages that describe how God works in his people. The reader will discover from looking directly at God’s word how sanctification is worked out.

 Devoted To God: Blueprints for Sanctification

Devoted To God: Blueprints for Sanctification

by Sinclair Ferguson