Already Sanctified


Don J. Payne, Already Sanctified: A Theology of the Christian Life in Light of God's Completed Work (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2020)


Payne, Don J. Already Sanctified: A Theology of the Christian Life in Light of God's Completed Work. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2020

Publication life cycle / General notes

Refers to T. F. Torrance on pp. 126 and 141.


How does the doctrine of sanctification shape the Christian life? This book offers a fully developed treatment of "accomplished" sanctification, showing that sanctification is not a lifelong process of perfecting one's character or attaining spiritual maturity. The primary biblical focus in sanctification is not progressive growth but that which has already occurred for Christians to make growth possible, necessary, and grace-driven. As author Don Payne explores the significance Scripture attributes to the accomplished aspect of sanctification, he helps readers understand that they are already sanctified. Sanctification is not synonymous with transformation but undergirds strategies and resources related to Christian discipleship and formation.

Already Sanctified will be useful to professors and students in courses on the doctrine of sanctification, discipleship, and spiritual formation as well as pastors and church leaders teaching on sanctification.

"We are to pursue 'the holiness without which no one will see the Lord,' says the Epistle to the Hebrews (12:14). These words about holiness (sanctification) have often driven more fear than strength into the hearts of many Christians. In Already Sanctified, Don Payne revives the importance of the Christian already being a 'saint' (1 Cor 1:30), not to negate present or future growth but to provide its basis. In our age of tremendous and rightful interest in spiritual formation, Payne provides a fresh perspective on a theology of the Christian life in which transformation has a foundation in our union with, identity in, and abiding alongside Christ. This draws a stark contrast with such views of sanctification that end up throwing people back upon themselves with 'moralistic tones,' in 'an overly anthropocentric direction,' and fostering 'spiritual narcissism.' Pastors and laypeople will find this very accessible book provides a fresh perspective that is biblically rich, historically perceptive, and pastorally sensitive. This will be required reading on the Christian life." Christian D. Kettler, professor of theology and religion, Friends University


Part 1: How We Got Where We Are
1. The Sanctification Mutiny
2. New Ventures in Sanctification
Part 2: The Biblical Story Line Revisited
3. A Potent Backstory: Consecration in the Old Testament
4. A Shocking New Story: Sanctification in the New Testament
5. Unexpected Instances of Sanctification
6. Sanctification as Liberated Responsibilities and Compelling Promises
7. Transformation
Part 3: The Doctrinal Profile Reanimated
8. Sanctification as God's Transforming Power
9. Sanctification and the Process of Transformation
10. Accomplished Sanctification in Action