As I’ve said before, I once assumed (along with the vast majority of professing Christians) that the gospel was simply what non-Christians must believe in order to be saved, while afterward we advance to deeper theological waters. But I’ve come to realize that once God rescues sinners, his plan isn’t to steer them beyond the gospel, but to move them more deeply into it. The gospel, in other words, isn’t just the power of God to save you; it’s the power of God to grow you once you’re saved. After all, the only antidote to sin is the gospel—and since Christians remain sinners even after they’re converted, the gospel must be the medicine a Christian takes every day.
This idea that the gospel is just as much for Christians as it is for non-Christians may seem like a new idea to many, but in fact, it is really a very old idea.
Well, I’ve had some great help along the way as I’ve wrestled with this “new idea.” There have been some books (beneath the Bible) which have helped me better understand how God intends the reality of the gospel to mold and shape and liberate us at every point and in every way. The following list of books (not in any particular order) is not exhaustive, but if you read them, you will be moving in the right direction toward a better, more Biblical understanding of the Christian’s need for the gospel.
1. Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges
2. The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges
3. The Gospel-Driven Life by Micheal Horton
4. In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson
5. Scandalous Freedom by Steve Brown
6. When Being Good Isn’t Good Enough by Steve Brown
7. Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick
8. Christ Formed in You by Brian Hedges
9. Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller
10. The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
11. The Reign of Grace by Scotty Smith
12. Holiness by Grace by Bryan Chapell
13. From Fear to Freedom by Rose Marie Miller
14. Counsel from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson
15. The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification by Walter Marshall
Are there any others that you would suggest?
At the very least, begin with the list above. It will do your soul good. I promise.
My prayer for you (and for the whole church) is that as you come to a better understanding of the length and breadth of the gospel, you will be recaptured everyday by the “God of great expenditure” who gave everything that we might possess all.