Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book Review: First Love

First Love: The Joy and Simplicity of Life in Christ. John MacArthur. 1994. Victor Books. 191 pages. [Source: Bought]
The One who is the object of our love was born contrary to the laws of nature, reared in obscurity, lived in poverty, and only once crossed the boundary of the land in which He was born--and that in His childhood. He had no wealth or influence, and had neither training nor education in the world's schools. His relatives were inconspicuous and uninfluential.
In infancy He startled a king. In boyhood He puzzled learned doctors. In manhood He ruled the course of nature. He walked upon the billows and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His services.
He never wrote a book, yet if everything He did were written in detail, the world itself couldn't contain the books that would be written. He never founded a college, yet all the schools together cannot boast of as many students as He has. He never practiced medicine, yet He has healed more broken hearts than doctors have healed broken bodies. Throughout history great men have come and gone, yet He lives on: Herod could not kill Him, Satan could not seduce Him, death could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him. 
First Love is a very good, very basic book about Jesus Christ: who He is, and what He has done. It is divided into four parts: Jesus Our God, Jesus Our Savior, Jesus Our Lord, and Jesus Our First Love. I could see the book being beneficial to new believers and old believers alike. It may primarily be written for believers who have lost their love for Christ, their passion, their 'first love.' But I think it could be beneficial for new believers as well. The focus throughout the book is on Christ. Readers are reminded countless times in every chapter who Jesus is, why He came, what He did, and what He is still doing…for them. The book is a plea for believers--new or old--to LOVE Christ, to fall more and more in love with him, to seek Him more, to abide in Him. It is a call to have a relationship with Jesus.

I definitely would recommend this one. It is rich in Scripture. It is also rich in quotes. I loved how MacArthur quotes various theologians like John Owen and Benjamin Warfield.

How can I know God? You don't hear that question asked too often in our society. You are, however, more likely to hear questions like: Am I valuable? Can I find a way to accept myself as I am? And you'll find numerous opinions suggesting answers to those questions. (27)
Man's basic problem is not lack of harmony with his heritage or environment, as society would have you believe, but his total lack of harmony with His Creator, from whom he is alienated by sin (Eph. 4:18). He is spiritually dead to all God offers, including righteousness, inner peace, and happiness, and ultimately every good thing. Apart from God men are spiritual zombies--they are the walking dead who can't even know they are dead. They may go through the motions of life, but they certainly don't possess it. (69)
Christians today can easily become complacent in their love of Christ when they are continually exposed to a society that is only too eager to tolerate and excuse any sin. (83)
The goal of your life as a Christian is to love Christ and in loving Him to become like Him. (143)
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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