My pastor, J.D. Greear, is coming out with a new book this coming fall simply titled Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary. I was able to get an advance copy of the first chapter of the book and let me tell you that I am excited about the release of this book because I believe it specifically speaks to myself and many of those that I grew up within the church.
Early in chapter one Greear says, "Recently, I discovered something that has changed everything.... The Gospel." Now, that sounds like a strange statement for a pastor to make, but I believe that many of us are at that same place right now. We understand and believe the Gospel to an extent, but are we allowing it to completely re-define our lives?
A re-defined life is where the turning point comes for Greear and will come for all of us. He goes on to say, "The Gospel has done in my heart what religion never could." This statement hits at the core of what most all of us have experienced in trying to "do good" in order to be accepted only to learn the reality of the gospel that we are only accepted because of what Jesus has already done.
Greear states early on that what he wants to do through this book is to help people simply abide in Jesus because abiding in Jesus will change everything in your life. He ends chapter one with a Gospel prayer that for several years now he has prayed as a way to saturate himself in the Gospel. I have already found this prayer to be helpful in my own life and it can be found on his own blog: http://www.jdgreear.com/my_weblog/2011/05/a-tool-for-saturating-yourself-in-the-gospel-daily.html
Although to some this book may seem extremely simple and in some ways it is, but at the core it allows one to take a step back to see if they are living a life center on themselves or centered on Christ. In many ways the church needs to get back to the "basics" of the Gospel so that we can recover the power that made Christianity revolutionary.