Recommended Books: Sanctification

(Growing in Holiness)

BCL rotates recommended books periodically to keep our resource lists compact for ease of use. If you don't see your favorite book on this list, please check back periodically as it may be featured later. (Please note: This page contains affiliate links through which Beautiful Christian Life may receive a commission to help cover its operating costs.)

Getting Started


Christians Get Depressed Too by David Murray

The world is broken by sin, and there is much suffering and pain, not only physically but mentally. Saints throughout history have struggled with depression, and the Scriptures acknowledge and give comfort to those struggling in this way. Learn about God's love in the midst of depression with David Murray, and discover that you are not alone.. 

Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time By Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

Get a daily dose of Christ-centered, soul nourishing truths. While this sweet book doesn't deny the sin that Christians find in their lives, it does points them to the only Savior who can heal them. Elyse Fitzpatrick reminds us that the cross of Christ is a daily blessing, not just a one-time benefit to our souls.

The Crook in the Lot by Thomas Boston

Based on a seven-part sermon series Scottish theologian and pastor Thomas Boston (1676–1732) preached on Ecclesiates 7:13, The Crook in the Lot gives one of the most thorough, helpful, and comforting explanations ever written on God's sovereignty and wisdom in the afflictions we face in this life. You can buy the book by clicking on the title/image above, or you can print out the three-part exposition for free at

The Fruit of the Spirit Is... by J. V. Fesko

Christians want the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; Gal. 5:22-23), but how do they actually go about getting it? J. V. Fesko's helpful explanation of the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all believers will most certainly comfort you. 

A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry L. Sittser

A Grace Disguised is the best first-person account out there of how to survive grief. The author lost his mother, wife, and daughter in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. This is a highly beneficial book for anyone who is grieving.

A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

Do you ever feel alone in your darkest moments? Far from friends and, most painfully, far from God? From the beginning of time, saints have struggled to find comfort and meaning amid despair and pain. Accompany C.S. Lewis through his own "valley of the shadow of death" to see with him the light on the other side, and be comforted that you are not alone.

The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness by Kevin DeYoung

Author Kevin DeYoung writes, "The Bible could not be any clearer. The reason for your entire salvation, the design behind your deliverance, the purpose for which God chose you in the first place is holiness (pp. 25-26). Sanctification in Christ consists of two parts: the dying of the old self (mortification), and living unto God (vivification). DeYoung explains why every Christian should be focused on growing in holiness.

Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon

Trying to get into the habit of spending time in God's Word? Sometimes it's hard to maintain a consistent, organized system. Where do you start?! Help yourself achieve a regular and fruitful Bible-time by using this rich, organized, Christ-centered devotional from the renowned and passionate preacher Charles Spurgeon.

Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World by Michael S. Horton

What does it mean to live a full Christian life? Is there a list of things you need to do? Dr. Michael Horton gives crucial insight about living a simple, joyous Christian life and not getting caught up in the busyness of trying to live a "spectacular" Christian life. God really does work in the ordinary details of life.

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller

Need help with prayer? Why does talking to God often take a back seat in the Christian life? Why is it a vital means of grace that is so often neglected? Learn from the insightful and practical teaching of Pastor Tim Keller as he teaches about prayer. This book is a helpful aid in growing as a praying saint.

A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller

Praying is hard. We talk daily to friends, co-workers, and neighbors; but when it comes to speaking with God, we don't have much to say. How is it that speaking to the most important being in the world is a neglected or awkward practice? Paul Miller helps the want-to-be-a-praying-Christian embrace prayer in a natural and helpful manner by offering practical instruction and encouragement along the way.

Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David Murray

According to theologian and pastor David Murray, there is often a disconnect between the theological concept of grace and a person's day-to-day life, which may lead to burnout, exhaustion, and other emotional and physical effects. Dr. Murray and his wife, Shona, take the reader through ten biblically grounded instructions to help us better live a life filled with grace. The Endless Demands version is mainly for women readers, while the Burnout Culture version is aimed more toward men.

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper (Editor) and Justin Taylor (Contributor)

Join John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, Steve Saint, Carl Ellis, David Powlison, Dustin Shramek, and Mark Talbot as they explore the wonderful truth that God is in control of his creation even amidst suffering in this world. Be encouraged and comforted as you learn about suffering in light of the goodness and power of God.

Surprised by Suffering: The Role of Pain and Death in the Christian Life by R. C. Sproul

Why do Christians experience pain and suffering? How is death used in the believer's life? R. C. Sproul addresses difficult questions about pain and death and offers help in understanding the suffering that God allows Christians to experience in their lives. 

Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller

Sometimes God can seem far away in our pain and suffering. Yet, even when we are hurting the most and think we are not experiencing God's love, he is still with us. Join Timothy Keller as he teaches about suffering, and know that God is with you

Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy by Paul David Tripp 

God's promises stand, even when we fail to keep his commands. In his small, thoughtful devotional, Paul David Tripp comforts the hearts of sinners with the mercy of God through this brief but potent study based on Psalm 51 and explains how God sustains us by his grace in Christ throughout all our struggles in this life.

Going Further

Sanctification: Explorations in Theology and Practice by Kelly M. Kapic, ed. 

How are Christians to understand their holiness? Is sanctification (growing in holiness) something believers do or something the Holy Spirit does? Understand your growth in holiness better as you learn the meaning of sanctification from Kelly Kapic.

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K. A. Smith

Habit is an important part of the Christian life. If you have never considered your habits as a Christian and their implications for your spiritual growth, check out this book by James K. A. Smith and learn how the power of habit can be a blessing or a hindrance.