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On the Grace of God Paperback – April 30, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“God’s amazing grace in Christ is ‘the power of God unto salvation,’ not only for the world but for the church and for life-long believers. Read this book and you’ll be washed with ‘wave upon wave’ of the best news you’ll ever hear.”
Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“What is the Bible really all about? On the Grace of God gets right to the point—grace, and more grace, for the undeserving. From cover to cover, this is the great message of the Bible, and Justin Holcomb proves it. If you are ready to believe the unbelievable, read this book. It will change you.”
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee

On the Grace of God is a liberating study on something we can never get enough of—the startling and magnificent grace of God. In Jesus, John tells us, we have been given ‘grace upon grace.’ This book helps pour that grace upon grace on the heart of the reader, filling it with hope and joy in believing.”
Sally Lloyd-Jones, author, The Jesus Story-Book Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

“Amidst all the world religions and belief systems, grace is what makes Jesus followers different. There’s nothing that can stop a heart that’s been overwhelmed by grace. This book is a must read!”
Jefferson Bethke, author, Jesus>Religion

“The message of this book should never get old. Sinners saved by such astonishing grace will marvel for a lifetime that they've been rescued by such a God. More than that, we will marvel for all eternity at the personal manifestation of grace in the face of Christ Jesus. Go ahead now, sit yourself down with this book, get ready for heaven, and make yourself of more earthly good by meditating on the mind-stretching grace of God in which we are chosen, called, born again, justified, adopted, sanctified, glorified, and ushered into the very relationship with the God-man for which we were made. It is all of grace.”
David Mathis, executive editor, desiringGod.org; elder, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Twin Cities, Minnesota

“This book offers a clear, concise, and compelling presentation of the grace of God. Many point grace out, and some might test it with their toes, but my friend Justin Holcomb is ever swimming in it, inviting all to join him. This will be now my go-to book recommendation on the subject.”
Dustin Kensrue, singer and guitarist, Thrice

“Justin introduces great theologians to the reader in the same way he would introduce neighbors to one another at a backyard barbeque. Through relaxed conversation, Justin invites the authors of Scripture and great Christian thinkers to sit with the reader in the presence of the touchable and knowable God of grace. Simple but scholarly, On the Grace of God is that book you will want to put into the hands of everyone you know—those who do not yet trust Christ as Savior and those who do.”
Judy Dabler, Reconciliation Specialist and Founder, Live at Peace Ministries; coauthor, Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict

On the Grace of God right-side-ups the upside-down-ness of our brokenness and broken thinking about God and his love. Since the Bible will not let us have virtuous ideas detached from their embodiment in Jesus—‘God is love,’ ‘he himself is our peace,’ ‘I am the truth’—Justin Holcomb will not offer anything less than the glorious Jesus either. Brilliantly, honestly, and passionately, this book bleeds the gospel.”
Jared C. Wilson, pastor, Middletown Springs Community Church; author, Gospel Wakefulness

“My friend Justin Holcomb wholeheartedly believes that the gospel of grace is way more drastic, way more offensive, way more liberating, way more shocking, and way more counterintuitive than any of us realize. He understands at the deepest level that there is nothing more radically unbalanced and drastically unsafe than grace. It is high time, in my opinion, for the church to embrace sola gratia (grace alone) anew. No more ‘yes grace, but . . .’. No more fine print. No more conditions, qualifications, and footnotes. And, especially, no more silly cries for ‘balance.’ It is time to get drunk on grace. Two hundred-proof, defiant grace. Justin understands that grace is scandalous and scary, unnatural and undomesticated. But he also knows that it’s the only thing that can set us free and light the church on fire.”
Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church; author, Jesus + Nothing = Everything

On the Grace of God is just what we’ve needed: a scripturally rooted and deeply compassionate survey of how God’s uncompromising love for sinners shines through the entire biblical narrative. How Justin Holcomb pulled off such a comprehensive feat in so few pages is a refreshing testament not only to his great learning and wisdom but also to his passion for reaching everyday men and women. Anyone looking to be encouraged by the unchanging and life-saving reality of God’s grace in Jesus Christ should look no further.”
David Zahl, Director, Mockingbird Ministries; editor of The Mockingbird Blog www.mbird.com

“Holcomb brings great understanding of God’s grace and love—a love undeserved and unconditionally given through the only one Christ Jesus. On the Grace of God is an eye-opening, biblically-rooted telling of the love story between God and his people. Where love and grace that are many times misunderstood or misinterpreted, Holcomb sheds light on what God’s true grace looks like.”
Jake Luhrs, lead-singer, August Burns Red

“Paul’s stated mission was ‘to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.’ As twenty-first century believers, that is our mission as well. But in order to do that, we must know God’s grace ourselves. This book is a fresh reminder of how wonderful, matchless, and amazing is the grace of Jesus, a grace that is greater than all our sin. I was blessed in reading it and am sure you will be too.”
Brian Brodersen, Associate Pastor, Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, California

This book will cause you to laugh and dance not because it is a wonderful book (even though it is) but because it’s all true… almost too true to believe. I know of no voice that speaks so clearly about God’s grace than that of Justin Holcomb. Read this book and you will join me in “rising up and calling him blessed” for having written it. And then give it to everybody you know and they will rise up and call you blessed for having done so.
Steve Brown, Professor of Practical Theology Emeritus, Reformed Seminary, Orlando; radio teacher, Key Life

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

“God’s amazing grace in Christ is ‘the power of God unto salvation,’ not only for the world but for the church and for life-long believers. Read this book and you’ll be washed with ‘wave upon wave’ of the best news you’ll ever hear.”
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story

“What is the Bible really all about? On the Grace of God gets right to the point—grace, and more grace, for the undeserving. From cover to cover, this is the great message of the Bible, and Justin Holcomb proves it. If you are ready to believe the unbelievable, read this book. It will change you.”
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee

On the Grace of God is a liberating study on something we can never get enough of—the startling and magnificent grace of God. In Jesus, John tells us, we have been given ‘grace upon grace.’ This book helps pour that grace upon grace on the heart of the reader, filling it with hope and joy in believing.”
Sally Lloyd-Jones, author, The Jesus Story-Book Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

“Amidst all the world religions and belief systems, grace is what makes Jesus followers different. There’s nothing that can stop a heart that’s been overwhelmed by grace. This book is a must read!”
Jefferson Bethke, author, Jesus>Religion

“The message of this book should never get old. Sinners saved by such astonishing grace will marvel for a lifetime that they've been rescued by such a God. More than that, we will marvel for all eternity at the personal manifestation of grace in the face of Christ Jesus. Go ahead now, sit yourself down with this book, get ready for heaven, and make yourself of more earthly good by meditating on the mind-stretching grace of God in which we are chosen, called, born again, justified, adopted, sanctified, glorified, and ushered into the very relationship with the God-man for which we were made. It is all of grace.”
David Mathis, executive editor, desiringGod.org; pastor, Cities Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“This book offers a clear, concise, and compelling presentation of the grace of God. Many point grace out, and some might test it with their toes, but my friend Justin Holcomb is ever swimming in it, inviting all to join him. This will be now my go-to book recommendation on the subject.”
Dustin Kensrue, singer and guitarist, Thrice

“Justin introduces great theologians to the reader in the same way he would introduce neighbors to one another at a backyard barbeque. Through relaxed conversation, Justin invites the authors of Scripture and great Christian thinkers to sit with the reader in the presence of the touchable and knowable God of grace. Simple but scholarly, On the Grace of God is that book you will want to put into the hands of everyone you know—those who do not yet trust Christ as Savior and those who do.”
Judy Dabler, Reconciliation Specialist and Founder, Live at Peace Ministries; coauthor, Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict

On the Grace of God right-side-ups the upside-down-ness of our brokenness and broken thinking about God and his love. Since the Bible will not let us have virtuous ideas detached from their embodiment in Jesus—‘God is love,’ ‘he himself is our peace,’ ‘I am the truth’—Justin Holcomb will not offer anything less than the glorious Jesus either. Brilliantly, honestly, and passionately, this book bleeds the gospel.”
Jared C. Wilson, Director of Content Strategy, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

On the Grace of God is just what we’ve needed: a scripturally rooted and deeply compassionate survey of how God’s uncompromising love for sinners shines through the entire biblical narrative. How Justin Holcomb pulled off such a comprehensive feat in so few pages is a refreshing testament not only to his great learning and wisdom but also to his passion for reaching everyday men and women. Anyone looking to be encouraged by the unchanging and life-saving reality of God’s grace in Jesus Christ should look no further.”
David Zahl, editor, The Mockingbird Blog

“Holcomb brings great understanding of God’s grace and love—a love undeserved and unconditionally given through the only one Christ Jesus. On the Grace of God is an eye-opening, biblically-rooted telling of the love story between God and his people. Where love and grace that are many times misunderstood or misinterpreted, Holcomb sheds light on what God’s true grace looks like.”
Jake Luhrs, lead-singer, August Burns Red

“Paul’s stated mission was ‘to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.’ As twenty-first century believers, that is our mission as well. But in order to do that, we must know God’s grace ourselves. This book is a fresh reminder of how wonderful, matchless, and amazing is the grace of Jesus, a grace that is greater than all our sin. I was blessed in reading it and am sure you will be too.”
Brian Brodersen, Associate Pastor, Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, California

This book will cause you to laugh and dance not because it is a wonderful book (even though it is) but because it’s all true… almost too true to believe. I know of no voice that speaks so clearly about God’s grace than that of Justin Holcomb. Read this book and you will join me in “rising up and calling him blessed” for having written it. And then give it to everybody you know and they will rise up and call you blessed for having done so.
Steve Brown, Host, Key Life Radio Program; author, Three Free Sins: God Isn't Mad At You 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; 1 edition (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433536390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433536397
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #873,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
On the Grace of God is part of a series called A Book You'll Actually Read. The idea is that the average person will be able to read each book in about an hour. And what a great idea it is! After reading On the Grace of God, I believe this series has accomplished what its creators set out to achieve. It really did only take an hour (maybe a few extra minutes), it introduced big truths but got right to the point without ever getting too wordy. This books packs a lot of punch in just a few pages and will meet anyone at any point in their walk - beginner, amateur, or pro - young or old.

The book begins with a discussion of the definition of grace - gratuitous and undomesticated grace. A few Hebrew and Greek words are introduced to give the reader a basic understanding of what God tells us about grace. From there, the author starts in Genesis and takes us on a journey through the Old and New Testaments, showing how they testify of God's grace all the way through. He first deals with our need for grace in chapter 2. From shalom to sin and violence. These are some hard and ugly truths regarding our fallen state, but they must be dealt with and understood in order to fully appreciate God's grace.

Chapter 3 is on God's redeeming grace in the OT (after the fall). The books of Exodus and Leviticus are often hard to grasp, but the author does a great job of succinctly explaining the main points and events (such as the law, sacrifices, the exodus, and the exile) while tying them to the overarching storyline of grace throughout the Bible. Several key word definitions are explained, such as redemption, atonement, propitiation, and expiation.

Chapter 4 brings us to the good news of the NT. The bulk of the chapter speaks of what Jesus has done for us.
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On the Grace of God (Re: Lit Books) tells us what grace is, how it works in our lives, and why it is so vitally important. In fact, as Holcomb explains, without the grace of God, our entire world would crumble without the hope of redemption for anyone. In this book, discover that “gratuitous” grace truly is real and how it applies to your life.

Chapter 1 describes exactly what grace is, why we don’t deserve it, and how God freely gives it to undeserving people. The Bible is thus viewed as the story of God’s relentless outpouring of hesed (grace) upon creation and He is motivated by love in an attempt to restore the unity and peace (shalom) of creation’s beginning. Chapter 2 describes why grace is necessary due to the destructiveness of sin. The rest of the book follows the Bible linearly in order to extract the overriding theme of grace in the major narratives and stories—in essence grace in practice is detailed as opposed to grace in theory. Holcomb also manages to explain basic doctrine (e.g. penal substitutionary atonement, the Incarnation) and how Jesus is the ultimate expression of hesed in all of history. The Appendix contains a list of Bible verses in order and how they demonstrate grace.

n On the Grace of God, the author makes very frequent use of external authors and tends to quote large blocs of text. This exposes the reader to profound works by many other authors and paints and a diverse yet integrated theological picture of grace throughout both Testaments.

I have read many other books in the Re:Lit series (On the Old Testament, On the New Testament, On Who Is God?, On Church Leadership) and I have not been disappointed. However, although they all promise you can get through one book in an hour, I still have not managed to accomplish that task. Give it an afternoon, however, and you should be fine. A quick and easy read with tons of footnotes.
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This small book provides a thorough explanation of grace. It reads a little like an anthology with constant referencing to Scripture and other insightful scholars on the subject of grace.

Even though meant to read in an hour, there is so much detail to digest I found I needed to take significantly longer to allow myself to inhale all the wisdom that was on hand.

I found the constant referral to other sources slightly off-putting. I think I would have found it useful if greater use of storytelling was used rather than accessing the large quantity of references. It reminded me a little of an academic piece of writing rather than one written from the heart. In saying this, it's important as a believer we fully understand the concept of grace so we can live a truly grace-filled life.

I'm sure I'll make reference to it again.
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Format: Paperback
Holcomb stands at the threshold that unfortunately divides academia and the rest of the world, in and outside of the church. A scholar with an academic background from Emory, the University of Virginia, and Reformed Theological Seminary, Holcomb is well versed in the doctrinal mechanics of his subject. And if it sounds sounds odd to read the word "doctrine" in reference to a word so often expressed in parables and emotional utterings as "grace," it ought not, because there are Biblical bases for instructing us what grace is and what it is not. That instruction is out there and has been for a while, but it can be pretty dry and weighed down with Scriptural references. Holcomb is also a churchman, a pastor of lay people and a pastor of pastors, a pastor of victims of sexual assault and offenders in civil war. He has doused his doctrinal learning in the batter of human experience. This book is "pastoral" in the best sense--grounded both in actual Biblical teaching of grace and the terrible exigencies of human life.

Most welcome is his exposition on "the high-octane gospel of grace for both our justification and sanctification." The unbiblical, religious-sounding exposition on grace to which I was impliedly referring above is actually not the sinless sentimentalism of liberal Christianity (although that's a problem as well), but the graceless "Christian walk" in currency in conservative circles. Pastors are convincing when they imply that God won't like me as much if I don't read my Bible daily or evangelize to my friends, because that sounds like such a religious way of thinking. But it's not; it's bad religion. Good religion doesn't sound so religious at first. "We receive forgiveness according to the riches of grace, and grace drives our sanctification," Holcomb writes.
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