Book Review: In Christ Alone

Book by Sinclair Ferguson

Review by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

In Christ Alone is a collection of articles that were first written by Ferguson in both Ligonier’s Tabletalk monthly magazine and Jim Boice’s Eternity magazine, each one displaying a different aspect of the foundation of what it means to be a Christian: a follower of the crucified Lord, Jesus Christ. This book is one steeped in love for the Savior by giving pastoral and theological insight into the Person and work of Christ. The chief desire of the Christian must be to know Christ, who He is and what He’s done, to die to ourselves and to live for Him above all else.

The book is cut up into six sections that deal with: Christ’s incarnation (Word become flesh), the work of Christ in His different offices while on this earth (prophet, priest, king), the Spirit who testifies of His glory, the blessings of grace that is given to every believer, wisdom that is harmonious with the glorious Gospel in our own lives, and encouragement to live on in this world where unbelief seems to run rampant. Each chapter is roughly 4-5 pages each, and should be read slowly and carefully to take in the Christ-centered thoughts and kernels of truth brought out from the Scriptures. It could be a great meditation not just for the new believer who is on the path to be captivated by God with new eyes, but also for the believer who has possibly lost sight of God and His weighty glory. Reading the ways of the Old Testament rituals continues to draw me closer to God, in that faithful Jews were so motivated by their glimpse of this Almighty God that they had great faith in the promised Messiah who was to come and deliver them from the bondage of sin that laid in every one of them. They did not know the Messiah by name; we do and yet are still not stopping to gaze at His wonderful face. We need the Christ-centered Gospel to break us again. Ferguson’s exposition of John 1 could not sit still without singing afresh psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Col. 3), placing many songs that would be an instrument for you to worship the risen Christ, who lives today as the Great High Priest. The cross should bring us to that point where our eyes are exhausted upon a continual straining to see Him in all His beauty, compassion, and unrivaled love. As CJ Mahaney writes, “This book is a feast that will satisfy both mind and heart, sharpening your thinking and deepening your devotion to Christ Alone.”

This book was written to call us to look fresh at Christ, and to be enthralled with what you see. It was not meant to be a work that involved your own opinions or musings, but a recognition that God was not silent and did reveal Himself through the ministry of the Word, by the illumination of the Spirit, to testify about Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, that we may truly be, as the subtitle says, living the Gospel centered life.

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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