Years ago while attending a Baptist Youth Congress, I heard that during the conference, a young man was taught what the gospel is all about by a Bible student. After saying the “sinner’s Prayer” the young man was asked by his friends if he was already “saved.” With a look of surprise the young man replied “Saved ?” “Is that what being saved is” To my mind this young man doesn’t have the faintest idea on what the Gospel is truly all about.
Unfortunately this scenario is repeated thousands of times every day even in the most orthodox of evangelical circles. The real message of what the Gospel is truly all about has been watered down to a gospel of “easy-believism.” Today most people when presented with this watered down gospel do not understand the commitment involved when one is explained what the Gospel is all about.
Nevertheless, God has continued to raise men throughout the centuries to stand firm, steadfast and committed to communicating the truth about what the Gospel is as Jesus taught it. Among those men that God used mightily today is Dr. John MacArthur.
In the book “The Gospel according to Jesus” John Macarthur shows how Scripture calls for a rejection of a watered down gospel that has unfortunately gained popularity in today’s evangelical churches. “The Gospel according to Jesus” calls evangelical Christians to return to what the Gospel is as Jesus taught it, as the Apostles has taught it, and as the early church fathers and the reformers preached.
The “Gospel according to Jesus” shows what the Gospel is truly all about. It tackles the erroneous thinking that is so prevalent in churches today that is accepting Christ without acknowledging him to be Lord over one’s own life and claiming to be a “follower” of Christ without truly repenting of one’s sin. John MacArthur shows in this book how Jesus demanded a humble spirit of conditional surrender to his authority which is the essence of what the Gospel is truly all about.
“The Gospel according to Jesus” was first published in 1988. As it did 20 years ago when it was first published, this book on what the Gospel is truly all about caused a controversy among evangelical circles and still continues to do so today. It tackles the issue of “Lordship salvation” and shows in the light of Scriptures that that what the Gospel is truly all about as taught in the Bible and that is none other but “Lordship salvation.” One cannot truly be saved without acknowledging that Jesus is both his LORD and Saviour. No other Scripture encapsulates this one fundamental truth about what the Gospel is all about than the words of our Saviour himself when he said “He who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me” (Mathew 10:38)
I received my revised and expanded 20th anniversary edition of “The Gospel according to Jesus” from Grace to you sometime last month. I finished reading exactly on the first day of this year (2009) while I was spending New Year with my wife’s family in San Carlos City Negros Oriental. As with my other John MacArthur books I gave my copy of the “Gospel according to Jesus” to my father-in-law, Pastor Eddie Gerodias, Senior pastor of the Bible Baptist Church of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, Philippines.
What a great way to start the New Year! Once again I had been reminded what the Gospel is truly all about. While salvation is by grace and faith alone, our good works is a subjective assurance that we are truly “saved”. This is affirmed by the apostle Paul when he wrote about this in Romans 15:4 that “Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction that THROUGH PERSEVEARNCE and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope”
Finally let me close this short book review about this fantastic book with a quote from the best known preacher of the 1800s, the Prince of preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon who has this to say on what the Gospel is truly about “Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in A REAL CHANGE OF LIFE. If the man does not life differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance need to be repented of and his conversion is a fiction. Not only action and language, BUT SPIRIT AND TEMPER MUST CHANGE. . . There must be a harmony between the life and the profession. A Christian professes to renounce sin; and if he does not do so, his very name is an imposture. . . ” (Capitalized to emphasized major points)
Know what the Gospel is truly all about. Grab a copy of “The Gospel according to Jesus” by John MacArthur at my Guerilla blogger eStore today !