Five Books on the Gospel — Must Read

What is the Gospel?

This newest addition to the IXMarks series presents a clear, straightforward statement of the gospel, the third mark of a healthy church.

What is the gospel? It seems like a simple question, yet it has been known to incite some heated responses, even in the church. How are we to formulate a clear, biblical understanding of the gospel? Tradition, reason, and experience all leave us ultimately disappointed. If we want answers, we must turn to the Word of God.

Greg Gilbert does so in What Is the Gospel? Beginning with Paul’s systematic presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, Gilbert argues that the central structure of the gospel consists of four main subjects: God, man, Christ, and a response. The book carefully examines each and then explores the effects the gospel can have in individuals, churches, and the world. Both Christian and non-Christian readers will gain a clearer understanding of the gospel in this valuable resource.

The Cross Centered Life

You know Christ died for sinners—but is this truth really central to the way you think and live your life? Mahaney believes it should be—and shows how keeping the gospel “front and center” is essential to spiritual health. Learn to avoid legalism, let go of guilt, and rejoice in Christ’s unconditional love for you! 96 pages, hardcover from Multnomah.

What are you centered on?

Sometimes the most important truths are the easiest to forget. It’s time to get back to the starting point of the Christian life – the cross of Christ. Jesus’ work on your behalf must be the central motivation for your life and faith – the main thing.

“Never lay it aside. Never move on,” says C.J. Mahaney, who shows you how to center every day around the cross of Calvary and how to escape the pitfalls of legalism, condemnation, and feelings-driven faith.

God is Gospel

Most people, when they ponder what it means to be loved by God, think of the things that God does for us. John Piper writes that what is most loving about God is not his making much of us, but his enabling us, at great cost to himself, to enjoy making much of him forever.

 God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6

This book is a cry from the heart of John Piper. He is pleading that God himself, as revealed in Christ’s death and resurrection, is the ultimate and greatest gift of the gospel.

None of Christ’s gospel deeds and none of our gospel blessings are good news except as means of seeing and savoring the glory of Christ. Forgiveness is good news because it opens the way to the enjoyment of God himself. Justification is good news because it wins access to the presence and pleasures of God himself. Eternal life is good news because it becomes the everlasting enjoyment of Christ.

All God’s gifts are loving only to the degree that they lead us to God himself. That is what God’s love is: his commitment to do everything necessary (most painfully the death of his only Son) to enthrall us with what is most deeply and durably satisfying—namely, himself.

Saturated with Scripture, centered on the cross, and seriously joyful, this book leads us to satisfaction for the deep hungers of the soul. It touches us at the root of life where practical transformation gets its daily power. It awakens our longing for Christ and opens our eyes to his beauty.

Piper writes for the soul-thirsty who have turned away empty and in desperation from the mirage of methodology. He invites us to slow down and drink from a deeper spring. “This is eternal life,” Jesus said, “that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” This is what makes the gospel—and this book—good news.

Rock Solid

Rock Solid aims to help us get to grips with Christian truth is not just for knowing these truths in our minds. If faith is not lived out, it is worth nothing. This book explains and clarifies these important and powerful doctrines, or ‘themes’, of the Bible so that we might have the comfort and assurance that comes from them, and so that we can make our life decisions by them.

Each chapter focuses on one of these truths and includes a short Bible study and discussion questions aimed at stimulating our thinking and encouraging our action. Brief contemporary stories are also included to show how these particular truths have been used by God, either to bring men and women to Christ, or to teach them something of His ways in their lives.

This is primarily a book to be worked through. It is written in the hope that it will not simply be read straight through, but, in men’s or women’s groups, or informal small groups, it will be used as a means of getting a clear hold on the truths that define who we are as followers of Christ.

Noted theologian, pastor, and educator Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson explores aspects of the person and work of Jesus in his latest book, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life. This collection of articles, published earlier in Tabletalk magazine and Eternity Magazine, is designed to help believers gain a better understanding of their Savior and the Christian faith, and to live out that faith in their day-to-day lives.

In fifty short chapters arranged in six sections, Dr. Ferguson shows that Christ, who is fully God, took on humanity that He might be the Great High Priest of His people as well as the once-for-all sacrifice; that He now ministers to His people through His Spirit, crowning them with great and precious blessings; and that believers are called to duty, from cultivating contentment to mortifying sin. In Christ Alone is packed full of nuggets of Scriptural truth that will spark and fan the flames of the believer’s love for the Savior who is so beautiful in His person and so faithful in His work on behalf of His beloved sheep.

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About John
A follower of Christ and sinner who needs his grace everyday.

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