Sanctification as Set Apart and Growing in Christ

By Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger, Series edited by Dane Ortlund, Miles V. Van Pelt

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A Biblical Theology of Sanctification from Genesis to Revelation

The entire biblical narrative declares the righteousness of God and the consecration of his people. In this book, Marny Köstenberger explores the topic of sanctification—being set apart by God for holiness.

Surveying the Bible from beginning to end, Köstenberger shows that sanctification
is grounded in the eternal holiness of God, who created humanity in his image. Now, in Christ, the Spirit sets believers apart and restores them to the original image. Sanctification often takes place in the midst of suffering and equips believers for their God-given mission.

  • Short Studies in Biblical Theology: Part of a series designed to give readers accessible volumes on God’s word—other volumes include Resurrection Hope and the Death of DeathThe Sabbath as Rest and Hope for the People of God; and more 
  • Analyzes the Word “Sanctification” in Both Hebrew and Greek
  • Helps Readers Understand How the Old and New Testaments Relate to Each Other 

Read Chapter 1


Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger

Marny Köstenberger (ThD, University of South Africa) is a teacher and women’s consultant, the author of Jesus and the Feminists, and the coauthor of God’s Design for Man and Woman and Parenting Essentials. She previously served as director of women’s programs and mentoring, and professor of theology and women’s ministry at various churches and seminaries. Marny and her husband, Andreas, live in North Carolina.

Product Details

Category: Theology
Christian Living
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 160
Size: 5.25 in x 8.0 in
Weight: 6.23 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-7365-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-7365-1
ISBN-UPC: 9781433573651
Case Quantity: 100
Published: June 27, 2023

Table of Contents

Series Preface
Chapter 1: Foundation: Creation and Covenant
Chapter 2: Inauguration: God’s Kingdom
Chapter 3: Sanctification: The Age of the Spirit
Chapter 4: Community: United to Christ
Chapter 5: Adversity: Discipline and Suffering
Chapter 6: Legacy: Love and Virtue
Chapter 7: Practice: New Life in Christ
For Further Reading
General Index
Scripture Index


“This short but careful, compelling, and comprehensive study accomplishes a great deal, exposing the reason for conflicting views about sanctification, examining the biblical terminology in context, and tracing the way the theme develops as God’s purpose for humanity is progressively disclosed in Scripture. Marny Köstenberger writes with great clarity, showing how a biblical-theological approach to this topic is both necessary and empowering for those who would lead a godly life.”
David G. Peterson, Emeritus Faculty, Moore Theological College; author, Possessed by God

“This book skillfully summarizes the whole Bible’s witness to a highly important doctrine and practical life reality. While readers may differ on particulars, the author builds on the compelling thesis: ‘Anyone desiring to grasp God’s work in, and call to, sanctification . . . must first come to terms with the glorious, matchless, and undefiled holiness of God.’ Study this book for help in understanding how God’s holiness pours into and out from the lives of his people through faith in Christ and the Spirit’s work.”
Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

“The reality that God not only desires but is also at work to accomplish the sanctification of his people cannot be missed in the Bible. But why? And how? And when? In this short but significant book, Marny Köstenberger capably leads readers through Old Testament history, the first coming of the Holy One and his teaching on what holiness of heart looks like, and to the epistles of Paul and Peter and James, which press in the urgency as well as the Spirit’s sufficiency to make God’s people holy.”
Nancy Guthrie, author and teacher, Biblical Theology Workshop for Women

“Marny Köstenberger ably traces the biblical story of the holy God who graciously sanctifies his people for his praise. Sanctification comes at God’s initiative, continues by God’s power, and culminates in God’s glorious presence. Köstenberger explains how positional sanctification empowers believers’ progressive growth in holiness through participation in Christ, propelling us toward moral excellence, missional community, and meaningful relationships. I warmly recommend this book!”
Brian J. Tabb, President, Academic Dean, and Professor of Biblical Studies, Bethlehem College and Seminary

“In this informative study, Marny Köstenberger provides an accessible introduction to the important, but often neglected, biblical concept of sanctification. Through a careful analysis of the books of the New Testament, this study offers an engaging exposition of how Jesus Christ bestows on his followers a holy status (positional sanctification) and empowers them to grow in holiness (progressive sanctification). Köstenberger’s discussion is especially helpful in addressing the practical implications of holiness for everyday life.”
T. Desmond Alexander, Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Union Theological College

“In this comprehensive yet concise treatment of sanctification, Marny Kӧstenberger masterfully handles the Scriptures to demonstrate that God’s call to holiness is clearly presented from Genesis to Revelation. Through careful historical, literary, and theological study, each page unpacks compelling truths that are essential for the individual and corporate Christian life as we await the return of Christ. Kӧstenberger reminds us that sanctification is not an end in itself; it is given by grace through faith to empower Christ followers to go to the nations. Her thoughtful applications are timeless, making this an essential resource for disciple makers in every cultural context around the world.”
Angie Brown, Associate Professor of Women’s Ministry, Gulf Theological Seminary, Dubai

“How is it that, throughout history, God takes fallen and broken individuals and makes them into a holy people set apart for himself? Marny Köstenberger takes us on a journey through the Scriptures, exploring both the language and the process of what theologians call the ‘doctrine of sanctification.’ Characterized by thorough research, this summarization of the author’s longtime study and love for the subject examines how and in what contexts God seeks to sanctify or ‘holify’ us, setting us apart for himself and his purposes in this life and the life to come. I am confident that this volume will be a welcome and worthy addition to the Short Studies in Biblical Theology series.”
Theresa Wigington Bowen, Host, Life Impact Ministries; Founder, A Candle in the Window Hospitality Network