What a delightful gem this little book is. Choose your expression – Christ-focused, cross-shaped, gospel-centered – if you ever wondered what that kind of life looks like so that you could live more like Christ, then this is a book you will want to read.
Gatiss resoundingly affirms up front the centrality of the penal substitutionary death of Christ for his people, and he is clear that this aspect of the work of Christ is basic to everything else about us. Until Jesus is our substitute, taking the penalty of our sins, he is of no other value to us. But Gatiss insists that the implications of our Lord’s death are much wider-reaching than just that, and in a series of excellent theologically-informed and warmly pastoral expositions he gives us a glimpse of Christ-shaped Christian living that are so attractive that you will find yourself not only moved but compelled to emulate it.
Preface: The Heart of the Cross
1. The Cross and Success
(1 Corinthians 1)
2. The Cross and Service
3. The Cross and Suffering
(1 Peter 2:12–25)
4. The Cross and Separation
5. The Cross and Sanctification
6. The Cross and Supremacy
Gatiss sets the stage in his Preface, affirming and explaining the centrality of Christ’s death as a substitute.
In chapter 1 he shows “how the cross undercuts all our ideas of what success looks like, as God used something weak and apparently futile to shame the strong and baffle the wise.”
In chapter 2 he shows “how the cross overturns our ideas of greatness, and re-focuses our ambitions. Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. The cross says: greatness is serving others.”
In chapter 3 he shows “how in the midst of suffering or persecution the cross gives us an example to follow, as we tread the sacred way that Jesus watered with his own blood.”
In chapter 4 he shows “how the cross puts an end to separation” and ungodly division among us.
In chapter 5 he shows how the cross is intended to purchase the lawless and purify their lives.
And in chapter 6 he shows us “how on the cross Christ triumphs over all his enemies.”
Here is a book that will draw out the heart of every reader. It is expositionally faithful, theologically rich, warmly pastoral, and it is full of Christ and Christ-shaped exhortation. Pastors will appreciate it for the aid in exposition of these passages, and every Christian will appreciate the sharpened focus on our Lord that it ministers so effectively.
J.I. Packer says of this book,
“Here is a steady flow of down-to-earth insights into cross-shaped living. Thank you, Lee Gatiss, for your wisdom.”
Sinclair Ferguson writes,
“I hope this book will be a real beginning of a larger view of Christ and his work for many readers.”
Liam Goligher writes,
“What [Gatiss] has written will warm the heart and strengthen the nerve of God’s people as we join Christ ‘outside the camp’ where He was crucified and we will be encouraged to bear our own ‘cross’ as we follow after Him.”
Take and read. And enjoy!
Fred G. Zaspel
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The Forgotten Cross