Have you lost your joy?
Do you feel like you have to prove yourself? Does your Christian life feel routine and performance oriented, driven by duty and obligation?
The letter of Galatians was written to Christians who had lost their joy—confronted with false messages about rules and regulations they needed to follow. Similar false messages provoked the start of the Protestant Reformation, and have continued to threaten the joy of Christians ever since. Exploring how the sixteenth-century Reformation was a return to the gospel joy originally preached to first-century Galatia, this book was written to help today’s Christians rediscover the path to true freedom and lasting joy in Jesus.
This concise and vigorous book commends gospel joy. It is also, fittingly, a joy to read. Each hard-hitting chapter engages our cultural moment, opens the biblical text, references Reformation wisdom, and points to God in Christ. This energetic manifesto will be of value for personal study, small-group discussion, and classroom reading at a beginning-college level.
—Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
I am thrilled that Tim Chester has addressed this neglected fruit of the Spirit. When the Reformation happened, it was, among other things, a rediscovery of true Christian joy. This joy had suffused the Christian world of the New Testament but throughout the medieval era had been largely forgotten as being central to the Christian life. Thus it is no wonder that when, in the eighteenth century, the Reformed author Andrew Fuller was seeking a revival among his fellow Baptists in England, he asked the ever-pertinent query, ‘Why is it that Christians in the present day come so far short of the primitive Christians in the possession of joy?’ He knew, as did the Reformers, and Paul before them all, that whenever a renewal or revival of the Christian faith takes place, joy will abound!
—Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Charles Spurgeon once told his congregation, ‘It is a great privilege to meet a truly happy man, a graciously happy man.’ Let it never be said that Reformed and joy are uneasy cohabitants in the heart of a Christian. Tim Chester’s work is a much-needed reminder for Reformed Christians that because we have been saved by grace alone, we of all people have reason to live out our days with deep exuberance over such a great salvation. In this volume, you will meet some truly happy men from the past—happy because they recovered a glorious gospel and happy because, in so doing, they restored to the church deep and lasting joy in Jesus. Read, remember, and rejoice! People of grace should be a graciously happy people.
—Jeff Robinson Sr., Senior Editor, The Gospel Coalition; Pastor-Teacher, Christ Fellowship Church, Louisville, Kentucky
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Tim Chester (PhD, University of Wales) is a faculty member of Crosslands and a pastor with Grace Church, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. He is an author or coauthor of over thirty books, including A Meal with Jesus; Reforming Joy; and, with Michael Reeves, Why the Reformation Still Matters.