The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
by John MacArthur
An older man in my church told me how revivals used to work there when he was a boy. Once you were about six or seven years old, the adults decided it was high time you were “saved.” If you hadn’t gone to the front yet and asked to be baptized, they would stand at the end of your row during the invitation song and wait to escort you to the front.
Did that mean you were saved?
To them, regardless of life change, your spiritual fruit, or even personal conviction, if you repeated a magic prayer formula at the front of the church and got dunked under water the next Sunday, you were heaven-bound.
MacArthur’s book tackles the important issue of what constitutes salvation and how to have the assurance of your salvation, arguing against easy faith that doesn’t require life change. In other words, salvation requires both justification and sanctification in order to be genuine. He’s blunt and comprehensive and not overly concerned with entertaining the reader or protecting their feelings. The message demands that you count the cost of discipleship as MacArthur doesn’t sugar-coat the Christian life in order to woo converts.
He provides a fabulous foundational work here and for a teacher who wants to strengthen his/her definitions of salvation, assurance, justification, and sanctification, this book is a useful tool. It could also be used to teach the basics of faith to new believers. However, it’s dry reading at times, so it isn’t going to suit everyone’s personality.
Some sections of the book felt, even to someone who likes academic works, more like reading a Bible dictionary then providing engaging discussion of any one topic. It’s as if he tried to cover too much, so he ended up moving too quickly over some areas and as a result made them uninteresting and unhelpful. There were sections I eagerly enjoyed reading and others that I had to force myself through one reluctant page at a time.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”