Monday, February 27, 2017

Book Review: None Other

None Other. John MacArthur. 2017. Reformation Trust. 134 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Knowing about God is not the same as knowing God.

Dare I say that I loved None Other just as much--if not more--than A.W. Tozer's Knowledge of the Holy?! This gem of a book contains six chapters. Each chapter highlights a different attribute of God.

These attributes were not chosen at random. Each is essential in differentiating "your God" and "my God" from THE God of the Bible.

The God of the Bible is Gracious
The God of the Bible is Sovereign
The God of the Bible is Good and Powerful
The God of the Bible is Holy
The God of the Bible is Loving
The God of the Bible is a Saving God

The six chosen traits are not necessarily the attributes or traits that make for popularity. For example, the first chapter emphasizes the doctrines of grace, illustrating from Scripture that the God of the Bible is an electing God. The second chapter emphasizes God's Sovereignty. His Sovereignty is not in question--in the Bible--but depending on the circles you run around in--it may just be! That's why it's so important that the God you know--the God you trust for your salvation--is THE God as revealed in Scripture.

God's grace is older than history, reaching back before the creation of time itself. (2)
Our salvation is not a credit to us but an unearned gift from a gracious God. (3)
We must not think that God doeth a thing because it is good and right, but rather is the thing good and right because God willeth and worketh it. William Perkins (5)
The purpose of the Father's love gift is not to save you so you can have a happy life; it is to save you so that you can spend eternity praising the Son. (16)
God treated Jesus as if He personally had committed every sin of every person who would believe. God treated Him that way, though in fact He had committed none of those sins. God exploded the full fury of His wrath against Jesus for all the sins of all who will ever believe, and He exhausted His wrath on Him. He did it on our behalf, in order that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. That's why Jesus had to live all those years in perfect obedience: He needed to fulfill all righteousness, so that His life could be imputed to us. We're not righteous;we all know that. On the cross, Jesus wasn't a sinner, but God treated Him as if He was. And although you're not righteous, He treats you as if you are--because on the cross, God treated Jesus as if He had lived your life, so that He could treat you as if you had lived His. That's imputation. That's substitution--perhaps the greatest expression of God's grace to us. (25)
We have complete freedom to make choices according to our own nature and preferences. But there's the rub. We don't have sufficient willpower to change our nature. Our own nature and preferences guarantee that we will make sinful choices. We're never forced by our sovereign God to make the wrong choices we make. So God's sovereignty does not nullify our own personal responsibility for the sinful things we do. (29)
The simple truth is that we must adore God and be content to understand Him to the degree that He permitted us to. (46)
To know Him is to believe in Him as He has revealed Himself. (54)
Never are we more like God than when we love and forgive our enemies. His love is not restricted to the redeemed, and ours should not be either. (89)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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