Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Gospel According to Jesus” as Want to Read:
The Gospel According to Jesus
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Gospel According to Jesus

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  3,504 ratings  ·  202 reviews
The first edition of The Gospel According to Jesus won wide acclaim in confronting the easy-believism that has characterized some aspects of evangelical Christianity. Over the past 50 years, a handful of books have become true classics, revered world-wide for their crystal-clear presentation of the Gospel and lauded for their contribution to the Christian faith. These extr ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published by Zondervan (first published 1988)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Gospel According to Jesus, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Gospel According to Jesus

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,504 ratings  ·  202 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Gospel According to Jesus
Louis Lapides
Feb 08, 2014 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
Oct 16, 2011 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 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
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. ...more
Jun 22, 2013 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
Ryan Coon
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jesvin Jose
May 23, 2016 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
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
This is an astute book that thoroughly examines the Biblical view of salvation. He deftly uses scripture to assert that the Bible clearly states one cannot be saved without a changed life as evidence. There are a lot of churches preaching that one can be saved and continue to conform to worldly thinking and living. They call these people "sterile Christians". In other words they are saved even though there is nothing in the behavior or talk to show it.

MacArthur clearly examines this false teachi
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am not always a fan of John MacArthur's writing but the last couple books I've read of his have been fantastic. I always love his sermons, of course. This book was exceptionally good and clear with regard to the Gospel. I heard a sermon today on 1 Peter 1 that could have simply made the point that salvation must be accompanied by works and a change in life. John makes this point so well and backs it up with Scripture, church tradition, and the Apostle's writings. Excellent book that should be ...more
Sydneyann Chase
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Game changer book in my life. I had a friend give me this book a couple years ago as one of the most important and impactful books she has read in regards to her faith in Christ. I have to agree, this is a game changer for me too. There are some things I think the author takes a little of an extreme interpretation on, but overall this book is one I think every one should consider reading.
Billy Hanna
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book focusing on the Lordship of Christ. Many times I was moved to step back and consider how other material things in my life are so often taking the seat which should be occupied by Christ alone. Tough book to read in bug chunks as, in classic MacArthur style, it is quite bulky and the content is full on. That being said it is a great read and a well needed kick up the backside.
Dan Mason
I came away from this book with my understanding of MacArthur’s reputation verified: a deep knowledge of God’s Word coupled with an unflinching harshness against anything that may not line up with his particular understanding of it.
Vianny D'Souza
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book! It's more above how the Gospel should be presented and what it actually is. Brilliant examples given from the parables as to how Jesus proclaimed his Gospel. I also loved the small sections on the gospel according to the apostles and according to church history towards the end. ...more
Rebi Cimpean
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's solid theology. I had never questioned that Jesus is Lord and Savior, but that's mostly because of the teachings of my church. I was surprised to read that as far as '78 the Church was fighting against those who claimed you can be saved without accepting Jesus as Lord. But that's coming to Romania as well, so I'm happy I already read this book and I'm prepared. ...more
Amanda Geaney
"It may surprise you to learn that Scripture never once exhorts sinners to "accept Christ." The familiar twenty-first-century evangelistic appeal in all its variations ("make a decision for Christ"; "ask Jesus into your heart"; "try Jesus"; "accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior") violates both the spirit and the terminology of the biblical summons to unbelievers.
The gospel invitation is not an entreaty for sinners to allow the Savior into their lives. It is both an appeal and a command fo
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
Bill Pence
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the beginning of 1978, John MacArthur began preaching through the Gospel of Matthew, verse by verse, a series which eventually lasted seven and a half years, comprising 226 sermons. After completing that series, MacArthur wrote this now modern-day classic to distill his observations about how Jesus proclaimed His own gospel, and to take a hard look at the truths He included in the gospel message. His chief goal was to take an honest and in-depth look at Jesus’ gospel and His evangelistic meth ...more
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. ...more
Evan Staffieri
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic to say the least! John MacArthur has been gifted by our Lord to teach the Bible and preach all throughout the word, and this book does exactly that, while going further into depth. Sound theology as always from Dr. MacArthur, and I am constantly finding more and more chapters that take me deeper into understanding the Gospel According to Jesus and what He did for all of us. This book affirms the truth and goes hand in hand with scripture...what more could you ask for?!
Charles Ferguson
Jul 30, 2011 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 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'. ...more
Andy Kline
May 30, 2009 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.
Colton Yarbro
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an important book. In my humble opinion, I think it should be read by everyone who claims to follow Jesus.
BJ Hewitt
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-read this book. This time using audible and following along with my book. I got so much more out of it this way.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This rather old book by John MacArthur was a read that rocked me to my core. I had previously heard of MacArthur's controversial doctrine of "lordship salvation" from persons (or persons who knew such persons) who clearly had a bone to pick with him.

But I am convinced that MacArthur's theology is grossly misunderstood. Contrary to popular belief, MacArthur does not espouse a works-based-salvation theology. Rather, he advocates for a doctrine as old the New Testament itself: "You shall know a tr
In his normal, somewhat abrasive, style, John MacArthur takes on what he calls "easy-believism:" basically the idea that it is not enough to just proclaim that you believe in Jesus, your life needs to change and reflect that reality through the Lordship of Jesus in your behavior, your morals, your ethics, and your worldview. Skating around the whole faith versus works issue so near and dear to contemporary evangelicalism (sometimes persuasively, sometimes dismissively), he nevertheless tries to ...more
Aaron Kleinheksel
I always thought the argument between the adherents of so-called "Lordship Salvation" and similarly so-called "easy-believism" was largely one of semantics; a case in which the two factions of Christ-followers were talking past each other, in some cases to the detriment of the Church as a whole. When I spared any thought to it at all, it was mostly frustration over what I felt were Christians wasting time arguing over foolishness. It was gratifying to read that MacArthur initially felt the same ...more
Alice Evans
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some books that will come into your life, impact it, and change it for the better. This masterpeice is one of them.

We know we are saved by grace and grace alone, yet some modern- day preachers have taken this to mean a person has to merely beleive in Jesus, yet have no desire to repent or follow Jesus. Many sermons now eliminate any sense of "deny yourself" or Jesus being "Lord", ignoring many of the words of our LORD and totally watering down any sense of sin and holiness. Macarthu
This was an excellent book. Even though this was an anniversary edition published in the 90’s of a book that was originally published in the 1980’s, its messsage is still very relevant for today if not even more so.

The book deals with the duel subjects of easy believism and no-LORDship Christianity which are closely connected to each other. No-LORDship Christianity is the belief that one can accept Christ as their Savior without making Him their Master and LORD. This easy believism says that a
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Holiness of God
  • Chosen By God: Know God's Perfect Plan for His Glory and His Children
  • Coronavirus and Christ
  • The Attributes of God
  • All of Grace
  • Knowing God
  • Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God
  • Mortification of Sin
  • What Is the Gospel?
  • Holiness
  • Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers
  • What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics
  • Don't Waste Your Life
  • Church Discipline: How the Church Protects the Name of Jesus
  • God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel: How Truth Overwhelms a Life Built on Lies
  • Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus
  • The Pursuit of Holiness
  • The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective
See similar books…
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

News & Interviews

Ciannon Smart has been holed up in her England home since the pandemic began a year ago, but by no means has she been idle. She’s been on...
25 likes · 6 comments
“We have no business preaching grace to people who do not understand the implications of God's law. It is meaningless to expound on grace to someone who does not know the divine demand for righteousness. Those who do not even sense their own guilt cannot possibly comprehend God's mercy. You cannot preach a gospel of grace to someone who has not heard that God requires obedience and punishes disobedience.” 1 likes
“The great miracle of redemption is not that we accept Christ, but that He accepts us.” 0 likes
More quotes…