For the past few months I have been reading a few pages of this book every morning when I have extra quiet time. It has proven to be one of my favorite books of its type. Short chapters filled with truth. Each chapter can be read in 5 minutes or less, yet there is much to chew on and think about and apply.
Ferguson lays the book out in 6 parts:
I. The Word Became Flesh (Christology)
II. The Heart of the Matter (The Gospel)
III. The Spirit of Christ (Pneumatology)
IV. The Privileges of Grace (Sanctification)
V. A Life of Wisdom (Discipleship)
VI. Faithful to the End (Perseverance)
Although each of these sections has their own specific focus, they all flow out of the central theme of the sufficiency and glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout the book I was impressed and helped by the way that Ferguson not only didn’t avoid, but embraced and applied difficult doctrines such as limited atonement, predestination, total depravity, suffering, and the perseverance of the saints in a pastoral, concise, and clear way.
I recommend this book for anyone wanting to be encouraged to grow in their love of Christ.
“Santa Christ is sometimes a Pelagian Jesus. Like Santa, he simply asks us whether we have been good. More exactly, since the assumption is that we are all naturally good, Santa Christ asks us whether we have been “good enough”…Jesus becomes a kind of added bonus who makes a good life even better. He is not seen as the Savior of helpless sinners.”
“There is, therefore, an element in the Gospel narratives that stresses that the coming of Jesus is a disturbing event of the deepest proportions. It had to be thus, for He did not come merely to add something extra to life, but to deal with our spiritual insolvency and the debt of our sin. He was not concieved in the womb of Mary for those who have done their best, but for those who know that their best is “like filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6) – far from good enough – and that in their flesh there dwells no good thing (Rom 7:18). He was not sent to be the source of good experiences, but to suffer the pangs of hell in order to be our Savior.”
“Only a sinless Savior is able to die for our sins. He cannot die for our sins if He must die for His own.”
“Say this to yourself when you rise each day, when you struggle, or when you lay your head down sadly on your pillow at night: ‘Lord Jesus, You are still the same, and always will be.’”