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Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  3,056 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
What Really Matters Have the extremities taken over and left the core of your faith forgotten? Do you get confused by what you feel versus what is real? Let dynamic pastor C. J. Mahaney strip away the nonessentials and bring you back to the simplest, most fundamental reason for your faith: Jesus Christ. This book is packed with powerful truth that will grip your heart, cle ...more
Hardcover, 166 pages
Published January 19th 2006 by Multnomah (first published February 17th 2005)
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Ashley Smith
Jul 22, 2016 Ashley Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a book that after three times already reading it I'd read it again and again
Jan 20, 2008 Gordon added it
I haven't been a fan of gospel tracts for years. I remember the old Chick Tracts that were little cartoon presentations of the "gospel" but they were more offensive than helpful to my memory. I'll never forget one that was against Christian rock music. The band was called "Green Hell" or something like that and in the end we found out that their manager was Satan. One of the band members turned out to be gay and their manager gave them AIDS as a wedding gift. The "gospel" was clear in that track ...more
Joel Rockey
Jan 22, 2016 Joel Rockey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-again
Living the Cross-Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing is a gem! This short book is packed with gospel truth. We must never get tired of the gospel or "graduate" from the gospel. This is one I'll be coming back to often. Highly recommended!

Mahaney recommends these five steps in order to keep the gospel the main thing in our lives:

1. Memorize the Gospel
2. Pray the Gospel
3. Sing the Gospel
4. Review How the Gospel Has Changed You
5. Study the Gospel

These are just a few of my favorit
May 10, 2011 Jeanie rated it it was amazing
If I could give this more stars, I would! It is that good. It will pierce your heart and you will see much more of the cross than ever before. It is about the gospel it is about the cross. In Chapter 1, Mahaney clearly tells you what moves you away from the cross. Subjectivism, which is we base truth on our feelings instead of the word of God. Legalism which i when our obedience and service is not centered to the cross, we can become legalistic. Mahaney was very helpful in this area to me. So ma ...more
Cliff Downey
Nov 27, 2014 Cliff Downey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
This book brings to light the importance of the Gospel. The Gospel must be the central focus that drives everything we do. MUST READ!
Mandy J. Hoffman
Feb 08, 2010 Mandy J. Hoffman rated it it was amazing

Living the Cross Centered Life is a book that has found a permanent home on my bookshelf. It's short, it's sweet, and it's simply simple. I greatly appreciate how C.J. Mahaney takes us back to the basics of the Christian life - the gospel - to which all the Bible points to.

I enjoyed this book that made me stop and fully look at God's love for me through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I was convicted of my check-list spiritual habits that take away from keeping the gospel the main thing
Ali Mcqueen
Jan 27, 2016 Ali Mcqueen rated it it was amazing
wow! just wow! I might start over at the beginning tomorrow...
May 23, 2012 Casey rated it it was amazing
The contents of this book literally changed my life.

This book combines two of Mahaney's earlier works (Christ: Our Mediator and The Cross-Centered Life) along with some added material. I first read those two books (both of them on the same day, as I recall) a little over two years ago. On that wonderful day, C. J. Mahaney helped me to catch a vision of the beauty of the cross, and of the Savior who died in my place.

Mahaney, in simple, straightforward language, explains what Christ accomplished
May 09, 2008 Ryan rated it liked it
This was a good, short book focused on the events in the last week of Jesus' life. While primarily looking at the cross, Mahaney uses different events of the week (like the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane) to teach about Jesus' atonement and other gospel truths.

For me, the book was a simple but fresh look at Jesus' death for sinners. It would be a good gift for a new/young Christian, but it makes for edifying reading for older Christians too.
Alex Morgan
Jan 29, 2016 Alex Morgan rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book about the most important thing that matters. So often we get bogged down by condemnation, proving ourselves, and the next big thing that will make us better disciples. Yet, our main focus is and should always be the Cross of Christ. It is where we find life, joy, and are humbled in adoration before God. This book is for the non-Christian and Christian. Stop the self help books, cling to the cross. By his wounds we are healed.
Jan 23, 2009 Dawn rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It was very easy to read but still contained so much truth. It was an easy reminder on how to keep the gospel always before me instead of listening to the lies that I tell myself.
Apr 21, 2007 junia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fires-of-sancti
"The gospel should be woven throughout our praise, our petitions, and our intercession, because our approach to God the Father is only--ever and always--through God the Son and His work on the cross" (138).
Ian Wilson
Oct 22, 2013 Ian Wilson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
A must read for all Christians who desire to draw nearer to God! In this book C.J. Mahaney brings home the real message of the cross and the sacrifice that was made on our behalf. If you have ever had the slightest doubt in your salvation ... this is a book for you!
May 25, 2011 Jacqui rated it it was amazing
This is essential to every Christian's bookshelf. The cross is the centre of the Christian faith and this little, easy to read book reminds you of the importance of the cross in everyday life for the Christian. Loved it!
Dec 09, 2012 Henry rated it it was amazing
C.J. Mahaney explains what the Cross accomplished, and how we can make that central in our lives. It is well worth reading.
Feb 12, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Became a Christian while reading this book :)
Jun 17, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it
Loved this book! If you want a deeper understanding of the Christian faith, read this book!
Taylor Edmonds
Oct 10, 2013 Taylor Edmonds rated it it was amazing
Vocation and Calling Fall 2013 (sophomore)
Will Cannon
Jan 08, 2016 Will Cannon rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. This guy gets it.
Jul 25, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it
A book to read and re-read. Considers the events of the cross, and the daily difference Christ's death makes in our lives. Simple encouragment to never move on from the gospel.
Jay Risner
May 27, 2009 Jay Risner rated it really liked it
Concise. Excellent.
Jan 29, 2009 Jackie rated it it was amazing
EVERY Christian should read this book.
Mar 17, 2017 Amanda rated it really liked it
I found Living the Cross Centered Life at a thrift store. I opened it right to the chapter on condemnation, or perhaps it was legalism. Since these two things were issues I was struggling with, I thought it might, at the very least, prove a balm, like an understanding friend. I got much more than my dollar's worth when I started reading it!

It's so small that it seems insignificant, but sometimes it's the simplest of things that are the most powerful. Even when I read those chapters I mentioned,
Mar 02, 2017 Autumn rated it it was amazing
I've read this book years ago before I started tracking books on Goodreads. It's a great book that I should revisit more often. Such a good reminder of amazing truth that isn't just added to our lives but colors our lives. It's amazing how many ways, despite how beautiful the gospel is, sin distracts and contemns us. This book helps simplify this truth that gives the right perspective on life that is full of hope and joy.
Carlos Montijo
Dec 10, 2012 Carlos Montijo rated it really liked it
Recommended to Carlos by: Tim Shaughnessy
This little book on what the cross of Christ means and what its implications are for believers (and unbelievers) is outstanding. Mahaney belongs to a dying breed of authors who understand the very heart of the gospel--Christ's death:

What we face is the righteous threat of furious wrath from a holy God. That is the threat faced by all who have gone astray, by each one who has turned to his own way.... We are indeed guilty of sin and deserving punishment.
      But the innocent One, the holy One--G
Ben Adkison
Jan 22, 2016 Ben Adkison rated it really liked it
My brother Andy has been telling me about C. J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries for a while now.  So, digging into a Mahaney book was really only a matter of time.  Andy and I like to talk about books and ministry and theology because, well, we're both pastors.  But the actual reason that I picked up this book was to review it.  I wanted to see if it might be a useful tool in a discipleship program that I've been working on for my church.  Nathan Loxley (our worship pastor) and I were loo ...more
Eric Hoff
Apr 05, 2011 Eric Hoff rated it liked it
In Living the Cross Centered Life, C. J. Mahaney proposes that the gospel and the cross are to be the driving passions for the Christian life. One who has believed in the message of the gospel never moves on. The Christian is to view all of life through the lens of the gospel.
Maheney’s book quotes extensively from Scripture, both Old and New Testament, as well as theologians contemporary and dead. The first nine chapters look at different aspects of the cross. The reader is escorted into Geths
Prayson Daniel
Apr 16, 2012 Prayson Daniel rated it really liked it

C. J. Mahaney’s book: Living The Cross Centered Life, Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing was my last advent Sunday’s gift from my dearly and lovely wife, Lea. I cannot shed light on the beauty and treasuring message in this book better than Mark Dever (Senior pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C):

“You’re holding the book you want to read to begin living the Christian life. You’re also holding the book you want to read to help you continue living the Christian life. There’s no o
Eric Pruitt
Sep 17, 2016 Eric Pruitt rated it it was amazing
This was the first book I completely read when I became a Christian. It has a special significance in my life because of the the authors simple and clear teaching on Jesus Christ and him crucified. It was an easy book as a new believer and help to understand some flaws in my thinking about salvation by grace through faith alone.
Courtney Huskisson
Sep 28, 2012 Courtney Huskisson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Mahaney is a great author with sound theology, and this book really brings you back to the main thing in life; true reality.

Favorite Quotes:
"We let our feelings tell us what's true, instead of letting the truth transform our feelings."

" 'When we behold the disfigurement of the Son of God, when we find ourselves appalled by his marred appearance, we need to reckon afresh that it is upon ourselves we gaze, for he stood in our place' - John Calvin"

" 'We little know,' Spurgeon writes, 'what we owe
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Getting into Focus 3 11 Apr 09, 2012 12:48PM  
  • A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God's Love
  • What Is the Gospel?
  • God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself
  • The Gospel & Personal Evangelism
  • Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ
  • The Gospel for Real Life: Turn to the Liberating Power of the Cross... Every Day
  • The Enemy Within: Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin
  • The Trellis And The Vine
  • The Bruised Reed
  • Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change
  • What Is a Healthy Church Member?
  • Overcoming Sin & Temptation
  • Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith
  • A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers
  • Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace
  • Reverberation: How God's Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People
C.J. Mahaney leads Sovereign Grace Ministries in its mission to establish and support local churches. He spent 27 years pastoring Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

He currently co-hosts the Together for the Gospel conference with Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan and Albert Mohler and serves on the Council of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and on the boards of The Council on Biblica
More about C.J. Mahaney...

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“The personal desolation Christ is experiencing on the cross is what you and I should be experiencing--but instead, Jesus is bearing it, and bearing it all alone.
Why alone?
He's alone so that we might never be alone.”
“Only those who are aware of God's wrath are amazed by God's grace.” 3 likes
More quotes…