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The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction Paperback – February 1, 1981
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In the order of salvation many think that repentance does(and in fact must precede faith).The Pastor Theologian thinks that this is because repentance is confused with conviction of sin.In fact he thinks that the deepest levels of conviction of sin sometimes come after conversion.He asserts that we should think of faith as preceding repentance because-"Repentance can only be truly evangelical when it is based on faith in God and His Word."
In the chapter 'Crucifying Sin' there is great help and insight for those who who desire,and are in diligent pursuit of advancing in holiness.The life of the mind,the thought life's often where the fiercest combat is waged.-"It is clear in the New Testament that most of 'The Sins Of The Flesh' are mental rather physical." It is the refusal to entertain sinful thoughts and suggestions that will help prevent us from being 'Drawn Away From Christ'.
The chapter 'God's Broken Image' is where the author writes about sin,the image of God in man being defaced,the effects of man's fall into sin... .It has been suggested by some that too much talk of sin is harmful and affects man's view of himself in a negative way.Too little talk talk about sin is actually far more lethal.It allows men to continue to have errant views of themselves and their relationship to the maker and sustainer of all things.He quotes from J.C.Ryle's classic book on Sanctification 'Holiness'-"The plain truth is that a right knowledge of sin lies at the root of saving Christianity."
There is an excellent example in chapter 13 'Sins Dominion Ended' which shows how Christian Doctrine(The Understanding Of Truth)will help a believer to apply that truth in their daily life.Mr. Ferguson in considering the Apostle Paul's arguments in Romans 6:1-2 '...shall we continue in sin that grace may abound...'-"...he then uses the fact that if we are in union with Christ for our justification(then we have died with Christ-we are now dead to sin because of our union with Christ,so how can we continue to live in sin any longer).This is part of what it is 'To Renew Our Minds',it is to orient them more and more to reflect Biblical Truth.-"He argues that the grace which justifies us is the grace which also sanctifies us,in particular,the grace which brings us into fellowship with Christ for justification is the grace which unites us to Christ in such a way that we have 'Died To Sin'."
If you need a solid foundation for living to honor and glorify God and want that to permeate all of your daily life,then Sinclair Ferguson's 'The Christian Life' can help you(by God's Grace)to move in that direction.
This last month I picked up a book that has had great reviews for years but was not something that I had read personally. The Christian Life, by Sinclair Ferguson is walk through 18 chapters on the “nuts and bolts” of basic doctrine for living. Anyone who is familiar with Ferguson knows that he is able to take complex topics and make them accessible without compromising. In particular, he is able to take the concept from the “classroom” to the “pavement” by teaching how it applies. I really appreciate this about the author.
One feature that makes this book especially helpful is how the author is able to distill very important concepts from authors that laymen may find intimidating. Ferguson quotes or pulls from authors such as John Calvin, John Owen, Augustine, and others, to further bolster his teaching. When you read Ferguson you are reading Calvin and Owen without realizing it. Not bad.
I found the chapters on Union with Christ and Crucifying Sin to be the most rich to me. Ferguson often works through a text to wring it out of its doctrinal importance. Here he teaches you the Bible while teaching you systematic theology.
I’ve listed the chapter/subjects below:
Knowing is for living
God’s broken image
The plan of grace
Called by God
Conviction of sin
Faith in Christ
Sons of God
Union with Christ
Sin’s dominion ended
The Christian’s conflicts
Asleep in Christ
I can’t think of a critique for the book. I wish I would have read it years ago. Now I have the privilege of reading it with others and recommending it to them.
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The subtitle of this book is really illustrative of what this book is about.Read more