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Posted June 15, 2011
Be amazed and astounded!
When you hear or sing "Amazing Grace", is God's grace still amazing to you? If you've been a Christian for a long time, you might be able to relate more to the concept of "accustomed grace" instead of "amazing grace". Whether God's grace is amazing to you or not, Sinclair Ferguson's By Grace Alone will enhance your understanding of grace and restore your awe of Him.
The author explains that the litmus test of the vitality of your spiritual growth is your ability to grasp the Gospel of Christ and His grace. Two signs that your faith is not healthy are 1) You are not happy by seeing the grace of God touch lives of the needy; 2) You feel no special need for forgiveness for yourself. The purpose of the book is to remind the reader how the grace of God astounds and amazes.
Through the hymn "O How the Grace of God Amazes Me," by Emmuel T. Sibomana, the author expounds on the major themes to open up the meaning of grace. First we have to realize we are in chains. "What is it that you cannot master, but masters you?" Charles Wesley lived an outwardly moral life of goodness and service - his chains were not visible. For others of us, they are. When we realize our bondage, that any chains make us all equally prisoners, even in the many ways God shows this to us, there is only one single remedy - Jesus set us free by being lifted up on the cross, publicly shamed, cruelly suffered, died so that we could be released from sins and dominion.
Satan is unable to destroy us, but He does seek to destroy our enjoyment of God and our understanding of grace. He throws his fiery darts of accusations, and they can be so sneaky that we may think the thoughts are our own, and thus condemning ourselves for even having such thoughts. Because of our ongoing sinfulness, we listen.
We must keep our eyes on the cross and remember that if He was so prepared to bear judgment and suffer for our sin, that he will not withhold good things from us or keep Him from fulfilling His loving purpose for us.
This thought-provoking yet easy-to-read book added a new dimension to my faith and has a permanent spot on my book shelf for re-reading. I highly recommend it. I received this book free from Reformation Trust in exchange for a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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