Change is hard, and our attempts often result in failure. One of the reasons for this is a misunderstanding of progressive sanctification—a doctrine that no believer can experience healthy spiritual growth without. That’s why I am thrilled to commend to you another new discipleship counseling resource in the Living in a Fallen World booklet series. HELP! I Want to Change explains that it is the gospel—what God has done for us—that is the key to change and that empowers us to make changes that will please God. As a well-experienced pastor, biblical counselor, and counselor trainer, Jim Newheiser, is uniquely gifted to write with biblical clarity and wisdom. Since I am the Consulting Editor for the series, it seems best for me to let others speak of the outstanding work Jim Newheiser has done in this primer on progressive sanctification. Here are a few endorsements:
Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology at Westminister Seminary, California: “Dr. Jim Newheiser explains, clearly and concisely, what God’s Word teaches about the dynamics that enable deep transformation of our desires and behavior. He shows how God’s grace in Christ ignites our response of love for God, and how the Spirit of God uses the gospel itself to motivate and empower us to resist habits and appetites that breed shame and defeat. He also demonstrates from the Scriptures the complementary truth that we need in our struggle against sin: that the grand indicatives of what Jesus has done for us and the assurance of the Father’s invincible love toward us are intended not to make us passive, but to sustain our hope and to fire our resolve to fight sin and pursue Christlike holiness and love.”
Elyse Fitzpatrick, author, speaker, and counselor: “It’s easy to see areas that need changing in our lives and, as Christians, we long for change that will glorify God. But how is change accomplished? In this helpful booklet, Jim Newheiser reminds us that change begins and is sustained by the power of Christ through the gospel, and that through that same gospel we are enabled to respond. I highly recommend it!”
George C. Scipione, Director, Biblical Counseling Institute, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA: “In this little gem, Dr. Newheiser hits the nail squarely on the head! Read it and use it with confidence in Christ.”
Milton Vincent, author of A Gospel Primer for Christians: “A byproduct of years of careful thinking by a bright-minded and caring counselor, this little booklet is densely packed with biblical guidance for any who are interested in transformation for themselves and others. I rejoice in the attention that this booklet gives to God as the Author of change and to the role played by gospel indicatives and imperatives in nurturing and directing the process of change. Readers will find much hope and help here!