Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

In addition to these sets, There is the OTL set by Peterson, and Meyer/Hill (AB).

Haggai: Wolff and Koopmans (forthcoming in HCOT).

Zechariah: You must get Kline’s book Glory in Our Midst, a masterful redemptive-historical reading of the first half of the book (with many fine insights into the rest of the book as well). In addition, you will want C.H.H. Wright (OP), Leupold, Hanson (forthcoming in Herm), Stuart (forthcoming in NICOT), and Wolters (forthcoming in HCOT).

Malachi: As already mentioned, you should get Hill (AB). This is the single best. Forthcoming are Jacob (NICOT), Woude (Herm), and Van Leeuwen (HCOT).

Justification and Sanctification

Justification is the judicial declaration in the courtroom of God that the law’s claims on a person have been satisfied on the basis of Christ’s work (His active and passive obedience to the law), this work of Christ being imputed to the believer through faith alone. It involves the pardon of sins, negatively, and the acceptance of their persons as being righteous, positively, on the basis of Christ’s work, not on the basis of anything done by them. This justification guarantees the final declaration before the whole world that the sinner is vindicated, which is the future aspect of justification. The ground for this future declaration is the SAME as that of present justification. Sanctification is the infusion of a new life of obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the continual renewal to repentance of the soul by the Holy Spirit. It is a work of God, and yet the person is not passive in it. It involves the mortification of sin (putting it to death) by God’s grace.

What is the relationship between these two most important doctrines of the Christian faith? Well, as is so often the case with correct theology, they are inseparable, yet distinct. They are inseparable because James tells us so. You can’t claim to be justified, and then show no fruit. That makes the claim to be justified ridiculous. On the other hand, they must be kept distinct (contra what the Roman Catholic Church decided in the Council of Trent). that is, justification happens by imputation, sanctification by infusion. Justification is instantaneous, sanctification is a process. Justification frees us from sin’s condemnation, sanctification frees us (gradually) from sin’s presence (and is never perfect until death). Justification is equal in all, sanctification might be more advanced in some people than in others. Justification involves the pardoning of sin, sanctification involves sin’s subduing. Justification frees us from ALL wrath (Romans 8:1), whereas sanctification gradually frees us from God’s Fatherly displeasure over our remaining sin.

We would do well to remember this all-important balance between the inseparability and the distinctness of justification and sanctification, especially in the light of recent debates.