Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Review: Found In Him

Found In Him. Elyse M. Fitzpatrick. 2013. Crossway. 240 pages. [Source: Review Copy]

A few months ago I struggled through One With Christ, a book on a significant subject (our union with Christ). Found In Him is a much better fit for me, and perhaps for you as well. Found In Him is about Christ's incarnation and our union with Christ. The book is divided into two sections. The first section focuses on the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. The second section focuses on believers, how our union to Christ blesses us here and now and assures us of a heavenly home. This section explores among other things doctrines such as justification, sanctification, and the atonement. Both sections are well written and grounded in Scripture. I love how the book focuses on specific Scriptures and provides insight. While readers may have spent some time at least thinking about the incarnation, the secondary subject--our union with Christ-may be even more thought-provoking. 

I would definitely recommend this one!
We will never know how found, loved, welcomed, and reconciled we are until we see how he has forever taken our nature to himself and has bound us to himself in enduring oneness. God is one with man in Jesus Christ, and we are one with him. (18)
The story of Jesus, the long-awaited Christ, is what the entire Bible is about. Perhaps I should say that again. The beginning and end of everything in the universe and most particularly everything recorded in the Scriptures is Jesus Christ. (27)
But while many of us would agree that Jesus is key, the all-encompassing message of his preeminence, although assumed, is not usually the message we hear. No, the message we usually hear is something about us and what we're supposed to do to make God happy, or, at least, about how we can avoid making him unhappy and live satisfying lives. But as we'll see in the chapters to come, the Bible isn't primarily a rulebook, nor is it a self-help manual; it's not about how we become better people so that we can earn blessings by working hard… The message of the Bible is Jesus Christ, the one truly good human person: who he is and the work he's done for our salvation and his Father's glory. Of course, what he has done does intersect with our lives and change us, but we're not the subject of this story--he is. He is the subject, and all the verbs are about his work. (28)
Every law, every prophetic utterance, every narrative, every psalm is meant to remind us of him, to force us to look away from ourselves and to look to him for salvation. (28)
Like Nicodemus's contemporaries and ours, the easiest way to interpret the Bible is to make it about us and what we need to do. We take the stories of Abraham, Moses, David, Jonah, and Job and turn them in toward us and make them about how we're supposed to earn God's blessings. But Jesus had a completely different take on them. He taught that all of the Old Testament was meant to point forward to the Christ, to the one who would live a perfect life and die a substitutionary death in our place. If the Old Testament and the history of the nation of Israel has taught us anything, it is that having God's law and knowing that you are special to him won't automatically make you obedient. (39)
If you know who he is, it's because he wants you to know him. (40)
He came to serve you and win you with his love. He became one of our own so that we could be his own. (45)
From the very moment of his naming, even from the earliest days of his humanity, Jesus was traversing a road that would unavoidably lead to Calvary's bloody hill. His people needed salvation, and he was born for one reason only: to provide it. But in order to save us, he had to be one of us. Only a man could pay the penalty for our sin; but only God would be free from sin and be able to bear up under the unmitigated wrath of God. He had to be God and yet man, one of us, and he was. (49)
Every single moment of every single day of his private life, even before his public ministry began, Jesus worked to fulfill the law for us. Why? Because throughout our lives we have failed to obey, we have left the law unfulfilled. Every day he was earning a righteousness for us, a righteousness that is summed up by perfect compliance to this law: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength and your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27) (60)
He loved God and those around him for your sake, in your place. Everything that you've left undone, he did for you. Every sin you've committed, he joyfully shunned out of love for you. (61)
Today, if you're a Christian you live in the light of God's gracious benediction: The LORD bless you and keep you;The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;The LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)Those are God's words over us because they were not the words Jesus heard proclaimed over him. The Lord did not bless or keep him. His face did not shine upon him; in fact, the Lord's face was turned away from him. Jesus didn't experience the grace we know every day, even when we're in a time of suffering. And the Father didn't lift up his smile upon him or give him peace. All of this was sacrificed on the mount for you. All of it. For you. (107)
Our union with Christ may be summed up in these words: because the Father has immeasurable love for the Son, he has immeasurable love for us. (144)
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Robyn said...

Thank you for the book recommendation. I haven't heard of this book, but it looks like a good one. I just finished a really good book called, "Rich in Years" by author Johann Christoph Arnold. I’d like to learn how to grow old well from someone who is on the same journey and talks candidly about his own struggles.