Brian Russell subtitles this book “An explanation of the sovereignty of God and our experience of His saving grace.” He seeks not only to make clear what the Bible teaches about God’s complete sovereignty in salvation, but to apply it to the life of the believer from conversion to glorification. His concern is to show how “the doctrines of grace,” and traditionally “the five points of Calvinism” are the very heart of the biblical Gospel, and that far from being, as some have claimed, an enemy to evangelism, rightly understood these great truths are the great spur to Gospel preaching and give us our assurance and confidence in the triumph of the message we proclaim. Moreover, this is the authentic Gospel which gives all the glory where it belongs—to God alone.
As he briefly outlines, these truths have been a battleground between Christians over the centuries. However, he does not write in any contentious spirit but humbly and graciously, yet in the conviction that much modern preaching falls sadly short of the true Gospel which shows sinners their utter need of God’s free and sovereign grace. As he says, “the need for such preaching cannot be too strongly emphasized.”
This book is for you if you have recently come to an awareness of these doctrines, if you have long held them as “your” doctrinal position but want to be sure of their application in your Christian life, or indeed if you want to consider seriously what the Bible teaches about the “grace of God that brings salvation” (Titus 2:11).
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“‘Grace does not run in the blood, but corruption does. A sinner begets a sinner, but a saint does not beget a saint.’” (Page 25)
“And how does God save sinners? Does He just tell them in the gospel what they must do to be saved and then leave them to do it? No, He saves them by grace (Eph. 2:5, 8): that is, by a divine rescue operation springing from a love that is totally undeserved, unsought and unaided by sinful human beings. The gospel that everyone needs to hear cannot therefore be the true gospel of Christ unless it is the gospel of the grace of God through and through; a gospel that truly enshrines and sets forth the nature and necessity of ‘the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus’ (Eph. 2:7), toward the whole human race who by nature are hostile and unresponsive to Him (Rom. 1:30; 8:7).” (Pages 9–10)
“The stark truth expressed by Jesus in these words is that no person has the moral or spiritual ability to come to Him of their own accord. It must first be granted or given to them by God before they will come to Christ and put their trust in Him. The ‘flesh’ has no desire to embrace Christ. The spiritually dead must first be made alive or regenerated by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God before they can have any desire to come to Christ in faith.” (Page 35)
“When the Bible speaks of man’s heart being evil or wicked, it is not referring to the organ that pumps blood, but the inner, unseen control room of our being from which all our desires, thoughts, decisions and actions emanate.” (Page 26)