Thursday, August 30, 2012

Salvation from A to Z

Having finished A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson I was looking for another devotional type book to supplement my daily Bible reading. Providentially a friend posted on Facebook that the Kindle edition of In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson was on sale for 99 cents. I quickly grabbed it (sorry it's back up to $7.69).

This is solid material from a gifted and godly pastor and expositor of scripture. The chapters are bite-sized chunks that lend themselves to daily devotional reading. In Christ Alone is animated by a quote from John Calvin that "salvation whole, its every single part is found in Christ." The book begins at the beginning with a section called "The Word Became Flesh". Here's a quote from that section on Jesus the author of our salvation (see Hebrews 2:10 and 12:2).

This title has a rich connotation. The Greek word translated as "author" is archegos. It expresses the idea of a leader, one who goes at the head of a group to open the way for others. . . . Adam was the first archegos. He was called to lead the human race in obedience, through testing, to the destination of glory. He sinned and failed, falling short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). This world became a jungle where man and God, man and Satan, man and woman, man and beast, man and his environment, and man and his brother have all become entangled in hostility (Gen. 3:8-19; 4:1-12).

Jesus came as the second archegos, the second representative man (1 Cor. 15:45-47). He entered the jungle. He broke through and subdued all its opposition to God. He dealt with God's solemn curse (Gen. 3:14, 17) and opened a way into God's presence for all who believe in and follow Him (Heb. 10:19-20).

The Son of God took our human nature and entered into our fallen, sin-ravaged environment. He lived a life of perfect obedience for the glory of God. Bearing God's judgment against our sin on the cross, He experienced the divine curse. Now divine blessing and restoration flow to us along the path of grace He has opened (Gal. 3:13).

Ferguson has the gift of communicating deep biblical truths in a simple direct manner. Here in a few short paragraphs he presents the grand scope of salvation history from first Adam to Jesus Christ the second Adam. I recommend this book. It will make you want to sing "Hallelujah! What a Savior!"

Quote from Chapter 5 of In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life (Reformation Trust, 2007)

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