The 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!
This 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.
Matt 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.