Grace is one of those things that can be very difficult for our religion-addicted brains to grasp. From the cradle to the grave, we’re told by the world that we get what we work for, and that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and in all honesty we’re not generally communicating a better message in the church! I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that taking hold of and believing the gospel of pure grace has been the biggest challenge I’ve had in my walk with God. There’s just so much confusion and effort-based preaching that I’ve taken in, and even delivered, over the years that it can all seem a bit too good to be true.
If this sounds a bit like you, I’d love to commend The Naked Gospel to you. I have had this book for a really long time, but finally got around to reading it while I was on holiday recently. Within the pages of this brief and easy-to-read book, Andrew Farley takes aim at the very foundations of law-based religion and the compromised mixtures of law and grace that are so prevalent in the church today. Having shown the impotence of the law to lead us into the life God desires for us, he then shows us how the New Covenant founded on Christ’s blood is infinitely better than what was given to Israel on Mount Sinai.
Using modern-day illustrations and Scripture to challenge widely-held beliefs that fall short of the New Covenant, Farley has written a fantastic guide to the true gospel that is all of grace. Along the way, he presents clearly and persuasively the truth of our identity in Christ, the futility of human effort in serving God, the true purpose of the Law, why it is no longer binding on believers in Christ today, and how we go on living in grace day-by-day.
I read The Naked Gospel in three or four days, and I found it an incredibly encouraging and faith-building read. At the end of the book, I was much less impressed with myself and much more impressed with Jesus, which can only be a good thing! I intend to read it again, going through much slower, so that I can get my mind renewed and be even more amazed at what Christ has done and continues to do in my life by grace.
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering “What is so amazing about grace?”, get this book and find out for yourself. Your religious pre-conceptions will be challenged, but bear with it and you may well see the way to freedom in Christ more clearly than you have before.