Mapping Christian Maturity

Here’s a brief glimpse at Andy Davis’ new book, An Infinite Journey: Growing Toward ChristlikenessI’m just getting into this book and it’s already been very encouraging.  I think this will become a “modern classic” and the standard text on sanctification for years to come.

In this book, I will attempt a taxonomy of sanctification, seeking to organize— as much as I can, and in clear headings— what the Bible lays on us as reasonable goals for spiritual growth. My goal is to be as thorough as possible without multiplying the length beyond accessibility.

When I was growing up, my mother taught me that the secret to an orderly room was: “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” I am seeking to organize the Bible’s teachings on sanctification so that there is a place for everything and everything can be put in its place. Final achievement of this goal will elude us, because the inner life is so deep and rich, and the standard of Christlike perfection is so high. Also, many of these areas strongly overlap, so that it’s hard to separate, for example, heart desire expressed in prayer, from the action of prayer itself. Yet I believe the effort to sort things out will prove beneficial in stimulating Christian growth.

In this book, I will argue that all of Christian maturity can be found under four major headings: Knowledge, Faith, Character, and Action. Each of these I will break into some major subdivisions, which I will seek to describe and support from Scripture. . . .

Here is a graphical representation of this outline. . . .

PathwayChristianMaturity

In presenting a thorough description of sanctification with all its component parts, I am seeking to instruct people concerning the fullness of the Bible’s teaching on Christlikeness, and to encourage people to strive daily to reach that goal. Once we see all that God expects of us, it will easily become discouraging if not understood properly. It is the great blessing of the gospel that all the elements of our great salvation— justification, sanctification, and glorification— are by grace based wholly on the work of Christ for us and in us. In the end, not one of us will be righteous enough based on our efforts in sanctification to stand before our Holy God. But Christ has already worked at the cross an absolutely perfect righteousness for us, which he has given us in justification, received as a gift simply by faith alone.

Yet God does desire us to make strong efforts to “grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ” (2 Peter 3: 18). It is my earnest prayer that God will use this book to motivate you to do precisely this, to the glory of God and for your eternal happiness in heaven.

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