Possessed by God: A New Testament theology of sanctification and holiness, By David G. Peterson

Possessed by God

A New Testament theology of sanctification and holiness

New Studies in Biblical Theology


by David G. Peterson
Series edited by D. A. Carson

Possessed by God
  • Length: 191 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: May 29, 2001
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2601
  • ISBN: 9780830826018

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In this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, David Peterson challenges the common assumption that the New Testament views sanctification as primarily a process.

He argues that its emphasis falls upon sanctification as a definitive event, "God's way of taking possession of us in Christ, setting us apart to belong to him and to fulfill his purpose for us." Simply to identify sanctification with growth and holiness, he contends, obscures the emphasis and balance of New Testament teaching and creates unrealistic expectations.

Throughout this study Peterson builds his case on the careful exegesis of relevant passages, with a keen eye for the pastoral implications of his findings.

Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.

"Peterson's treatment is far from hackneyed or trivial. His aim is to show that much of the New Testament treatment of sanctification stresses what used to be called 'positional sanctification' or the like--and that much godly living, Christian assurance, stable faith and Christian maturity stem from a firm grasp of what the Bible says in this regard."

D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, Illinois)


Series Preface
1. The Biblical Starting-Point
2. Sanctified in Christ
3. Sanctified in Word and Spirit
4. Pursuing Holiness
5. Living Between the Cross and the Resurrection
6. Transformation, Renewal and Growth
Appendix A: "The Meaning of Hagiasmos in the New Testament"
Appendix B: "Sanctification and God's Law"
Index of Scripture References
Index of Modern Authors


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David G. Peterson is an emeritus faculty member at Moore Theological College in Sydney, where he still teaches part-time. He served as principal of Oak Hill College, London, from 1996 to 2007. His books include The Acts of the Apostles (PNTC), Romans (EBTC), Engaging with God, Possessed by God, Transformed by God, and Hebrews and Perfection.

D. A. Carson

D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.