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The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith?
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The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith?

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  1,587 ratings  ·  99 reviews
What does Jesus mean when he says, "Follow me"? Twenty years ago, pastor-teacher and bestselling author John MacArthur tackled that seemingly simple question---and wrote a book that has since taken its place among Christianity's classics. This 20th Anniversary edition of MacArthur's provocative book has been revised and contains one new chapter.
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Published May 26th 2009 by Zondervan (first published 1988)
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Philip
Meh...it 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
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Jeanie
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
Debi
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
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.
Louis Lapides
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 know ...more
Ryan Coon
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
Charles Ferguson
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
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
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
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
Nnanke
Apr 29, 2015 Nnanke rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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.
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Dan
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
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
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Malia
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
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Patrick
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
Anthony Lawson
Read this years ago. It stirred up a lot of controversy.
Jean Pierre
This book apparently was one of MacArthur's more controversial books. I found it to be a very informative book. He presents the apparent controversy of Lordship salvation that many people (particularly dispensationalists) see as a works salvation. MacArthur (a self proclaimed leaky-dispensationalist himself) shows how Lordship salvation is not kin to a works-based salvation and also masterfully demonstrates how one cannot claim Jesus as Savior without submitting to his Lordship. Very good book.
Ross Lucas
I've read this book for the second time. I can credit my original reading of this book (in 1990) for helping me to understand that what I had professed as a teenager was not saving faith. MacArthur helped me understand that my actions, my lifestyle, did not reflect the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I am grateful to Pastor John for his clear presentation of the gospel message. Remember, "The gate is narrow and the path is hard that leads to life, and few are those who find it" (Mt. 7:14 ESV ...more
Andrew Glos
A long, pompous, excessively repetitive diatribe against Christians who believe that works should not be a fruit of faith. It's not clear to me where I can find this massive contingent of Christians who believe it is wrong to live out your faith, but MacArthur seems to see them on every street corner. It's a good book, well written and researched. It's just droning and repetitive and arguing against a great heresy which I don't think many actually espouse consciously and openly.
Jeff Short
I was aware this book was surrounded by controversy, but not informed as to the exact nature of the controversy. I read it on a recommendation from a friend and am glad I did. I appreciated the highlighting of the lordship of Jesus in the Gospel. This truth is emphasized far too little in our day. This book reveals the true picture of Jesus who is Lord and what that means. Many will be offended who prefer their own imagination to Scripture truth. I recommend you read it prayerfully.
Jonathan Franzone
This book was a bit long and felt at times like Dr. MacArthur was "beating a dead horse", but it was really good too. "Christianity" in America today is so watered down that I think we need more of this type of writing and preaching. I know far too many people that are comfortable with their lives of sin as long as they get their church in once a week or several times a year. True Christianity necessarily causes a changed life. Period.
Robert Selle
This is a very erudite yet passionate look at the notion of salvation, and especially what Jesus' take is on it. The author takes a highly traditionalist view of Jesus and the Atonement, but one that, thankfully, emphasizes the idea of human responsibility as a crucial component of salvation. MacArthur lays out the case for both faith in Jesus and the practice of love as the two inseparable sides of the coin of salvation.
Jim
Whereas often a book seems to lose momentum as you read. Not the case with this book, I actually liked the book the more I read. This is a book dealing with the subject of "Lordship of Christ and the Christian". I felt it was well done and covered many angles on this subject. Part 6: Appendixes are a great way to finish out this book (a must read). You haven't read this book if you don't include the appendixes. Enjoy!
Chris Fowler
With confusion abounding as a result of the modern emphasis on "decisional regeneration," John MacArthur clearly explains the characteristics of genuine faith as proclaimed through Jesus in the Gospels. There is no end of counter proposals in the "Lordship Salvation" controversy, but all believers and those who hope to be, would best be served by considering the Biblical accounts, instead of men's theories.
Brian Eshleman
Thriving in a movement that emphasizes grace with solid biblical grounds to do so and under a pastor I greatly admire who speaks of moving people from believer, to unbeliever to disciple, I was challenged by this book. But to argue with MaAurthur's contention that belief and surrender of actions to Christ's Lordship are one in the same is to argue with the methodical drumbeat of Chrit's own words.
Sean
Everyone has an interpretaion of what the Bible "really" says, and MacArthur is no exception. He conveys his belief that anyone who doesn't agree with his "true" interpretation of what the New Testament says about salvation is under a "satanic delusion" - furthering Christianity's blatant and judgmental arrogance (well, his version of Christianity anyway).
Carrie
While not he is not LDS, I think NT Wright has a lot of good Christian doctrine. He is a little off on some points, and very wrong on others when read with an LDS understanding. Most of the time I felt like I was trying to figure out what he was saying because his understanding of Christianity is confusing to me. But I enjoyed reading it for perspective.
Robert Tingle
Whether new to the faith or a seasoned saint, this book is a must read. Our society is still under the impression that being a follower of Christ merely means simple belief in a set of facts. John MacArthur clearly exposes what true faith is, and it's implications on how we live and share the gospel, and does so backed with scripture. Well-written.
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John F. MacArthur, Jr. is a United States Reformed 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 as ...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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