But then again, maybe you don't.
Even if you go to church, it doesn't mean that you are being exposed (or exposing others) to the gospel explicitly. Sure, most people talk about Jesus, and about being good and avoiding bad, but the gospel message simply isn't there - at least not in its specificity and its fullness.
Inspired by the needs of both the over-churched and the unchurched, and bolstered by the common neglect of the explicit gospel within Christianity, popular pastor Matt Chandler writes this best-selling treatise to remind us what is of first and utmost importance - the gospel.
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Recovering Redemption: A Gospel-Saturated Perspective on How to ChangeMatt Chandler, Michael SnetzerB&H Books / 2014 / Trade Paperback$12.49 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 3 Reviews
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This best-selling, punchy treatise by popular pastor Matt Chandler reminds the church of what is of first and utmost importancethe gospeland calls people to take a fresh look at the good news about Jesus. Now in paperback.
Matt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas metroplex of over 10,000 people. His sermons are among the topselling (free) podcasts on itunes and he speaks at conferences worldwide. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over ten years where he spoke to hundreds of thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. He lives in Texas with his wife, Lauren, and their three children: Audrey, Reid and Norah.
Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. His articles and short stories have appeared in a number of periodicals, and he has written the popular books Your Jesus Is Too Safe, Gospel Wakefulness and Gospel Deeps, as well as the curriculum Abide. Wilson lives in Vermont with his wife and two daughters, and blogs regularly at The Gospel Driven Church hosted by the Gospel Coalition.
Pastor, Saddleback Church
This book, like the gospel itself, is clarifying, convicting, comforting, and compelling all at the same time. I wholeheartedly invite you to read it, to be overwhelmed by the mercy and majesty of God in the gospel, and then to spend your life making this gospel explicit in every facet of your life and to every corner of the earth!
Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama
Matt Chandler is one of the best Bible preachers on the earth and one of the godliest men I know. I am thrilled to see this book released. Read it. And buy some extra copies to give away.
Founding Pastor, Mars Hill Church, Seattle Washington
People who come face-to-face with death make the best evangelists. I have to believe that's why my friend Matt Chandler is so passionate about a clear, biblical presentation of the gospel. Life is short. Eternity is long. May this book drive you to greater clarity in preaching the life-saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois
That the gospel is not clearly taught in classic liberalism is disheartening but not surprising. That frequently the gospel is not taught in evangelical congregations is both disquieting and surprising. Evangelicals will not deny the gospel, but they may assume it while talking about everything else - and that is tragic. Matt Chandler issues a robust call to make the gospel an explicit and central part of our preaching, and takes pains to show what that looks like. Amen and Amen.
-D. A. Carson,
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Matt Chandler presents the gospel in a way that is balanced, hope-filled, and very, very serious, all the while presented with Matt's trademark humor. Even more faithful than funny, Matt insults all of us (including himself) in a strangely edifying way, and in a way that I pray will make you treasure Christ even more.
Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks
Too often the gospel fails to take root when it is assumed. The explicit gospel transforms individuals, churches, and nations as the mission of God is carried forward. Matt Chandler has gifted the church with a powerful tool to combat the assumed gospel. The Explicit Gospel is a serious threat to the moralistic, therapeutic deism that cripples the lives of so many. I highly recommend this book to both believers and unbelievers alike.
President, LifeWay Research
JimmyLittle Rock, ARAge: 55-65Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Every Christian needs to read this book.July 22, 2013JimmyLittle Rock, ARAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The heart and soul must absorb the truthes evident in this book. His simplicity combined with truth makes it a joy to read. In a time where Chritianity is attacked, this book is a new weapon as a counter!
jv104 Stars Out Of 5June 18, 2013jv10Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4This is a very good book. I gave it a four out of five only because I have listened to about 300 of Matt Chandlers sermons and have heard most of what is in there through his years of pastoring. He is so gifted by the Lord and He has used Matt as a key tool in sanctifying me to Himself. God bless you Matt.
TiffAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Amazing, Amazing Amazing...December 25, 2012TiffAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5A must read... Everyone should read this book at least once. I am now buying this book for numerous people in my family... Thank you God for Matt Chandler and the wisdom you have given him...
Plus FaithSidney, OHAge: 25-34Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5LifechangingJune 29, 2012Plus FaithSidney, OHAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book really puts God into perspective. Very hard to put the book down. I have been so blessed reading this book.
Katie OrrAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5LOVED the last chapter, especially!June 23, 2012Katie OrrAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Matt Chandler is one of my favorite preachers to listen to because I appreciate his commitment to the Word of God, and his tenacity in preaching it, so I was excited for his book to arrive.
It is staggering to me the amount of people who claim the name of Christ don't truly understand the Gospel. It is often seen as the good news of our conversion--which it is--but many do not understand the fullness of that good news, and how the same gospel carries us through every day of our Christian life. Chandler hits on so many points on which I wanted to stand up and shout in agreement. I loved this book for more reasons than I have time for in this post, but I especially enjoyed reading this book because my heart resonates with the truths explained within it.
Here are a few reminders I enjoyed from The Explicit Gospel. (Please note, that this is not an outline of the book, but me summarizing a few of my highlights through the book.)
1. The gospel is not all about me!
"The context of the gospel message is not our benefit or our salvation; the context of the gospel is the supremacy of Christ and the glory of God." --Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel
God was not lonely when He created mankind. He didn't need us to be complete or to have purpose. Yes, God loves us. Yes, He has purpose in our existence. But it is not all about you and me. The gospel is all about God. What He has done. What He is doing. What He is going to do.
2. When God looks at me, He is well pleased because of the gospel.
"The marker of those who understand the gospel of Jesus Christ is that, when they stumble and fall, when they screw up, they run to God and not from him, because they clearly understand that their acceptance before God is not predicated upon their behavior but on the righteous life of Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death." --Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel
I don't have to play the game of the Christian do's and don'ts. I don't have to go on mission trips and serve in the nursery. I don't have to be the perfect mom.
I don't have to hide when I screw up. This is HUGE, friends. Christ has already done everything that needs to be done. I have been given the righteousness of Christ! My relationship with God has already been made right. There is no work I can do to make Him love me more. There is no sin I can commit that will make Him love me less.
3. The gospel leads to grace-driven effort, not behavior modification.
"Grace-driven effort wants to get to the bottom of behavior, not just manage behavior. If you're simply managing behavior but not removing the roots of that behavior, then the weeds simply sprout up in another place." --Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel
"What ends up happening to so many of us is that we spend so much time trying to put sin to death that we don't spend enough time striving to know God deeply, trying to gaze upon the wonder of Jesus Christ and have that transform our affections to the point where our love and hope are steadfastly on Christ. The goal is this: that Christ would become more beautiful and desirable than the allure of sin." --Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel
Yes. Just yes.
"Grace-driven effort is violent. It is aggressive. The person who understands the gospel understands that, as a new creation, his spiritual nature is in opposition to sin now, and he seeks not just to weaken sin in his life but to outright destroy it. Out of love for Jesus, he wants sin starved to death, and he will hunt and pursue the death of every sin in his heart until he has achieved success. This is a very different pursuit than simply wanting to be good. It is the result of having transferred one's affections to Jesus. When God's love takes hold of us, it powerfully pushes out our own love for other gods and frees our love to flow back to him in true worship. And when we love God, we obey him." --Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel
Many of these quotes come from the last chapter of The Explicit Gospel. It is a chapter I wish all Christians would read. I want to photo copy it and have it handy in my purse to hand out to people.
I HIGHLY recommend this book. Regardless of where you are in your faith. Get it. Read it. Highlight it. Then pass it along for someone else to read.
I received a free copy of The Explicit Gospel from Crossway in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. I loved the book so much that I bought it for my Kindle app...the next-best thing to making copies for my purse.
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