The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification
Office Hours continues with the series entitled, "New Life in the Shadow of Death," by talking with Dr. Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology, about gospel-centered, grace-empowered growth in the Christian life, using a famous work on sanctification written by Walter Marshall, the influential English Reformed pastor and author in the 17th century, titled The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification.
Who was Walter Marshall (1628-1680)?
Marshall was a non-conformist English Reformed pastor and author widely known for his book on the Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, which John Murray (1898-1975) once claimed was the "most important book on sanctification ever written." For years, Marshall had been experiencing episodes of spiritual failure and depression in the Christian life. He sought out counsel from a contemporary, Richard Baxter (1615-1691), but became even more discouraged with his status before God as a result of Baxter's erroneous views on justification. Over time, Marshall came to understand the profound joy, steadfast hope, and earnest desire for Spirit-wrought sanctification out of love for God that flows from a deep sense of assurance created and cultivated by the gospel of justification by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. Marshall had a newfound, profound, Spirit-given desire to obey the law not out of duty, but with delight--no longer living under guilt, but living before God with gratitude for what God has done in Christ.
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