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The Gospel According to Jesus: What Does Jesus Mean When He Says "Follow Me"?

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  2,068 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
The first edition of The Gospel According to Jesus won wide acclaim in confronting the 'easy-believism' that has characterized some quarters in evangelical Christianity. This expanded edition deepens the debate over 'lordship salvation' and the biblical understanding of faith and works in adding three new chapters and an appendix. The new chapters: - The Vine and the Branc ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by Zondervan (first published 1988)
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Louis Lapides
May 19, 2016 Louis Lapides rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am half way through MacArthur's book. This is the second time I am reading it. I am reading it again because a lot of people, mostly charismatics, have accused MacArthur of false doctrine based on this book.

MacArthur goes through all of Jesus' teaching on salvation and how one makes a commitment to Jesus as Redeemer and Lord for salvation.

I have not found any false teaching unless one believes Jesus is guilty of false doctrine. Perhaps those who accuse MacArthur of teaching a false gospel kn
May 23, 2012 Jeanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very detailed book on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I very much appreciated and have more of a appreciation of the Old Testament. MacArthur shows the Jesus as the Prophet, King and Priest and how it is reflected in the Gospel. You are reminded when Jesus said the way is hard and narrow and the Easy Believeism that is so prevelant has many on the easy way. It is interesting to read others reviews on this and the rejection of Jesus Lordship. You begin to see it is a breaking of our will, a giving ...more
Apr 08, 2013 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition was a really repetitive work that really rehashed themes from Bonhoeffer's "Cost of Discipleship" and Luther's "whole life is repentance" concepts. I didn't find myself bothered so much as bored with MacArthur's presentation of the subject matter. There are a couple times where he moves towards Lordship as a condition of salvation. I think MacArthur would be better in these instances to state it as something of a pre-understanding issue.

For example: in order to be saved from sin one ha
Aug 26, 2012 Debi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a powerful and sobering message of what true salvation is and how modern-day evangelicalism has turned it into something that Jesus never intended. Salvation is not just saying a prayer and believing that Jesus is God (even the demons believe He is God). It is recognizing our total lost sinful condition and turning to Christ in surrender and repentance, acknowledging He is the only Way to God. Genuine salvation results in a life that is obedient to God. Works do not give us salvati ...more
A great book dealing with soul-winning and salvation. MacArthur deals with Lordship salvation and gives a good defense of what he believes. This book is also practical in that he gives many examples of people who say that they are saved, but do not seem to grow in their faith. In America, it seems 90 percent of the people believe that they are on their way to heaven, but most cannot give a Scriptural reason for that belief. The book comes with a good Bibliography, footnotes, Scripture Index (whi ...more
Orlando Acevedo
Lordship salvation is biblical, as MacArthur illuminates; so this book should have been titled something akin to that topic. For a complete view of the "gospel" please read Scot McKnight's The King Jesus Gospel where he writes that salvation is but one part of the full "gospel" story. For a beautiful and engaging read on sanctification (which MacArthur largely deals with) please read NT Wright's After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters.
Jesvin Jose
May 31, 2016 Jesvin Jose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two errors constantly plague the church: legalism and antinominiasm. Macarthur deals with both of these errors but focuses mostly on the second. Human works cannot earn favor with God (legalism denies this truth) while true faith must always result in good works or practical righteousness (antinominiasm denies this truth). In other words, the unbeliever cannot earn merit with God through good works while the true believer will never fail to produce fruit. Both these truths need to be held in Bib ...more
Ryan Coon
Aug 03, 2009 Ryan Coon rated it it was amazing
This is one book that every pastor should read. You might not agree with his premises or conclusions, but you need to understand MacArthur’s position shall we say, “from the horse’s mouth.” I think that if those critical of MacAruthur on this issue would carefully read what he wrote, paying special attention to what he says he is not saying (i.e., that he is adding works to faith) then much of the controversy and confusion would be cleared up. Personally I tend to agree with his premises (that s ...more
Danny Bennett
I came into the book pretty confident of my 'free grace' perspective and after reading MacArthur's book I am all the more confident in 'free grace' over 'lordship salvation.' MacArthur clearly explains his views and concerns about the gospel and how we present it which i swhy I gave him an ok review, but I found him completely unconvincing. I just simply interpret the bible, specifically James and the Gospel of John, differently; and I actually take Hebrews seriously. I found Appendix Three inte ...more
Jul 19, 2013 Malia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, nonfiction
I had questions I didn't know how to word and concerns that hadn't quite taken shape. The church, some of the Christians I know, the whole religious scene in America--they seemed hyped up instead of internally ignited. But the gospel needs no exaggeration. It requires no introductory joke or luring snacks and films. Many say that becoming a Christian is simple. Yes, it is! But be advised that "simple" means CLEAR...and it does not mean "easy."

MacArthur combats easy believism with strong exposit
After three chapters, I sense a disconnect in MacArthur's understanding of justification and sanctification. I also sense a double standard in his hermeneutic of the gospel account. Certainly he is right to fight against a false gospel of easy believism, but the pendulum swing, at least so far has been too dramatic. The next thing I have noticed is that at times he seems to buy completely into the Calvinist understanding of God's sovereign election. But at others he appears to embrace a prevenie ...more
Charles Ferguson
Jul 30, 2011 Charles Ferguson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
Without a doubt a top 3 book every Christian should own, read, understand and live. John Macarthur explains very clearly what it means to be a Christian; not in his words, but in Christ's words.

The world has a very wrong view on what it means to be a Christian and what the Bible says about our Lord. This book helps clear the air on what the Gospel message really is.
Peter Grafe
Sep 24, 2012 Peter Grafe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did love the book partly, I'm sure, because it echoes a firmly held belief for me: we live in an era of 'easy-believe-ism', with devastating consequences for the Christian church. MacArthur can look at familiar passages in a fresh way and uses clear concise language. What remains to be seen, is if the book is only 'preaching to the choir'.
Andy Kline
Feb 04, 2010 Andy Kline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author attempts to address some legitimate issues by creating a theology that mixes faith and works. Unfortunate. MacArthur has some great books, but this is not one of them.
Lily-joseph Jo
Aug 25, 2014 Lily-joseph Jo rated it really liked it
True conversion is a serious matter, and every Christian must not treat it flippantly. As reading through this book, I closely examined my own conversion and gained some spiritual blessings. I suppose many would say that they disagree with John MacArthur's view on the Lordship salvation in this book. Yet I wonder if they would also say they disagree with our heros of faith like Charles H. Spurgeon and D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones who held a similar view on true conversion. Consult Appendix 2 of this bo ...more
Apr 29, 2015 Nnanke rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All Christians
Finally, I have finished this book. Thank God!!

This is a very theocentric book. In fact, its my opinion that the whole Lordship salvation affair is a matter of how theocentric a person's view of scripture is. Striving to be as theocentric as possible I had to face a lot of underlying errors in my walk for which I had to repent. Pastor MacArthur himself is a very good expositor of scripture and I have learned a lot from his teachings.

This was a difficult book, because of the weighty issues discu
Bob Gooch
Read along with Absolutely Free!: A Biblical Reply to Lordship Salvation

The author presents the "lordship salvation" side of the "free grace" vs "lordship salvation" written in answer to previous books written by Hodges and others.

I did not finish the book because the point of my reading was to get understand the main arguments of the debate, which I understood early on in each book, and by the time I reached about the halfway point in each of these books, they seemed to be repeating themselves.
Mar 31, 2014 Dan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
A small group that I'm a part of used this book for several weeks/months. All-in-all, it's not an awful book but I don't think that I agree with a lot of MacArthur's doctrine. I can't get into specifics on this but in several discussions there were opinions of MacArthur that attempted to define what God will and won't do when I believe that there's no way for us to understand the full character of God. There are a lot of good discussion-inducing topic in here so it's worth reading and talking it ...more
Bart Breen
May 24, 2012 Bart Breen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very Important work in the Cheap-Grace vs Lordship Debate

John F. MacArthur is one of the chief proponents of the the modern Lordship movement within western evangelicalism today. This book in particular is considered by many to have been the opening salvo that opened the modern debate. It has led to a great deal of discussion and debate on the issue, particularly with Chuck Swindoll, who is one of the proponents on the "only Grace" side.

In a nutshell, the argument is that "Cheap-Grace" has perva
May 01, 2016 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
While it has been far too long to give it a review now, I do recall the book being helpful in my thinking about the gospel. If you can come away from a Christian living book with one main premise that actually changes your thinking, it's a worthy read. Here, the thought is that Jesus did not offer a cheap gospel to the masses, but called for committed discipleship. He actually turned followers away. We do not follow His example when making the gospel palatable to all.
Oct 18, 2015 Phil rated it liked it
Repetitive, but well worth skimming for deeper dives in certain chapters (e.g. 10, 11, 17, 18). Clear and convincing presentation of Jesus's words about the gospel. Refreshingly free of jargon and philosophical fancy. Also a good reference, both for its bibliography of writers who minimize Christ's demands for discipleship, and for its battery of scriptures that conflict with such writers' arguments.
Nick Gibson
Aug 06, 2016 Nick Gibson rated it liked it
Torn on this. MacArthur presents a convincing argument in support of what seems to be common-sense theology, but the line between salvation by faith and salvation by works is a delicate one and easily crossed. Worth another read.
Larry Thacker Jr.
Aug 08, 2015 Larry Thacker Jr. rated it really liked it
This is a message the church needs to hear. Because of my position I feel compelled to state that I take issue with one point of theology herein, but if we would teach to the central theme of this book, Jesus as Lord, we might see more genuine conversions, or at least fewer false ones.
Jul 22, 2016 Davidus1 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional book. Really captures what the Bible is telling us. Modern culture is focused on itself but MacArthur focuses on God's Word and the true meaning of being saved.
Roberta Hawkins
Mar 09, 2016 Roberta Hawkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A message for the Body.

It was hard to put this book down. I encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to read this very important truth.
The Gospel According to Jesus was effective in generating reflection about saving faith and the fruit that saving faith produces. I read it as part of a discipleship group at my church and it caused great discussions. The book presented an effective argument against "easy-believism". I was a little concerned with a possible application of his argument, how we are to view and judge other Christians, although one paragraph buried in the middle of a chapter towards the end correctly stated that the ...more
May 03, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This was an outstanding book!!! Every professing Christian should be required to read this book. Dr. Macarthur carefully explains the biblical gospel as taught by Jesus in the scriptures. I would guess that many who call themselves believers would be perplexed to hear the actual gospel.

I learned so much from this book and will refer back to it many times, and probably read it again in the future. Its just so rich, you cannot possibly read it once. There's just too much there to absorb the first
Justin Rosales
Jul 16, 2015 Justin Rosales rated it really liked it
Nothing much to say about this book. Good information to store, not much to share with others at this point.
Jul 29, 2016 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
John F. MacArthur Jr.'s book The Gospel According to Jesus gives a highly informed perspective on today's Gospel message, and how some Christians have watered it down to please the ears of today's society. However, MacArthur shatters their misconceptions and shows how the Gospel is really to be told by analyzing Jesus' ministry during His time on earth. It is a really helpful book and helps to guide a Christian in their spiritual walk and in preaching the real Gospel message. Every Christian sho ...more
Anthony Lawson
Feb 26, 2014 Anthony Lawson rated it it was ok
Read this years ago. It stirred up a lot of controversy.
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  • The God Who Justifies
  • Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification
  • The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented
  • What Jesus Demands from the World
  • Baptism and Fullness: The Work of the Holy Spirit Today
  • The Gospel & Personal Evangelism
  • In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement
  • The Forgotten Spurgeon
  • The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • The Attributes of God
  • The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination
  • Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution
  • The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering the Evangelical Gospel
John F. MacArthur, Jr. is a United States Calvinistic evangelical writer and minister, noted for his radio program entitled Grace to You and as the editor of the Gold Medallion Book Award winning MacArthur Study Bible. MacArthur is a fifth-generation pastor, a popular author and conference speaker and has served as pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California since 1969, and ...more
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“J. I. Packer has written, “The repentance that Christ requires of His people consists in a settled refusal to set any limit to the claims which He may make on their lives.”17” 0 likes
“To say “Lord, Lord” and then disobey is the moral equivalent of a Judas kiss.” 0 likes
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