How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home, New from Reformation Trust

from May 11, 2011 Category: Reformation Trust

If you were to think of the best news imaginable, what would come to your mind? That you are debt free? Healed from a terminal disease? Perhaps a new job after a long period of unemployment? While each of these examples would certainly be good news, in his new book Dr. Derek W.H. Thomas asks us to consider this as the best news imaginable: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).

Thomas writes, “Our status in relation to Christ makes all the difference. Outside of union with Christ, we are guilty and condemned. But ‘in Christ,’ we are declared not guilty (justified). Outside of Christ, there is only death (Rom. 5:12, 14, 17, 21); in union with Christ, there is ‘justification and life’ (Rom. 5:18, 21).” 

How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home leads readers through Romans 8, revealing the steps through which God leads His people in the process of their salvation, but also loving counsel on such topics as prayer, resisting the Devil, as well as exhortations and comforts for weary pilgrims. Romans 8 is an overview of the Christian life.

Endorsements

In a glorious section of God’s Word, Paul sets before us the trials and the triumphs, the pains and the gains, the indicatives and the imperatives of living life as a child of God—saved by Christ, led by the Spirit, and cared for by a heavenly Father.”

—Dr. Iain D. Campbell, Pastor, Free Church of Scotland in Point, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

The best books are those that instruct the mind, engage the imagination, and ignite the heart with love for God. Dr. Derek Thomas’ How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home does all three. With theological care, textual precision, and a pastor’s heart, Dr. Thomas holds Paul’s glorious meditation in Romans 8 to our eyes and helps us remember again just how great is the salvation Jesus won for His people. If you want a better understanding of the Bible, a deeper appreciation for the gospel, and a spur to worship Jesus Christ our Savior, this book is a great place to start.”

—Greg Gilbert, Senior pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky

Inside the book

Guilty! I can still hear that word as I close my eyes. It was 1975 in Oxford, England. I was passing by the city courthouse,where a murder trial was reaching its conclusion. The details were gruesome and the daily papers had carried detailed accounts of each day’s court proceedings. I am not sure what made me attend the final day, but I did. I watched with fascination as the judge placed a black shawl on his head just before he pronounced the final verdict: ‘Guilty.’ A roar of approval erupted in the courthouse. The defendant was found guilty of murder and condemned to a life sentence with no possibility of parole. Just as that man was found guilty in the judge’s eyes, we are all guilty in God’s sight: ‘None is righteous, no, not one … all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Rom. 3:10, 23). [Pages 1-2] 

Given the universal, pervasive sinfulness of human beings, how can anyone ever be in a right relationship with God? More particularly, how can a human being ever be in a right relationship with a holy God? More particularly still, how is it possible for a just God to justify a sinner? That is one of the greatest questions we can ever ask.

To those with light views of sin, the justification of human beings may seem relatively simple to achieve. God is all-powerful, they conclude, and, after all, it is God’s business to forgive. Such trivializing of the issue signals the paucity of our understanding of who God is and what sin has done to our relationship with Him. God, Scripture declares, ‘will by no means clear the guilty’ (Ex. 34:7; Nah. 1:3). The holiness of God requires that justice be done in clearing the guilty, something that cannot be accomplished merely by an act of God’s will.” [ Pages 9-10 ]

How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home is a powerful exploration of the manifold gifts the heavenly Father has lavished upon His people—and a preview of the greater inheritance that lies ahead.

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About Derek W. H. Thomas | More by Derek Thomas

Dr. Derek W. H. Thomas is the associate minister at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, and an adjunct professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He is a council member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, which he also serves as editorial director and as editor of Reformation21, the Alliance’s online magazine.

A native of Wales, Dr. Thomas graduated from RTS in 1978, then pastored for seventeen years in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He earned his PhD from the University of Wales, Lampeter. He served as the minister of teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, before his call to Columbia.

His interests include the music of Anton Bruckner, Richard Wagner, and Gustav Mahler, and he has a passion for good coffee. Dr. Thomas and his wife, Rosemary, have been married for almost thirty-five years.

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