“I believe legalism is the greatest problem of the Christian church. Legalism is, first of all, the attempt to achieve righteousness with God by keeping a set of rules.” (157) In this book, compiled from a series of spoken messages, the purpose is to discover what does and does not matter in our Christian walk. The problem of legalism is identified and we are helped to eliminate it from our life, yielding a new understanding of grace.
Prince was convinced that we Christians fail to live the kinds of lives God wants us to live because we are unclear about the relationship between law and grace. He gives basic definitions of both and argues that they do not mix.
He explains the law of Moses, how Christ fulfilled it, that Christians are no longer under it, the reason for its being given, and its effects on those who try to keep it.
He then looks at what God does require of Christians living under grace, what obedience means, how God enables us by grace, the distinctions in the Old and New Covenants, how their operations differ, the contrast between grace and works, receiving grace, how to recognize it in our life, and how to freely give it.
Prince uses lots of Scripture to argue that we must stop trying to earn God's approval by keeping a set of rules. “...[W]hen Christ died on the cross, He once for all time, ended the Law as an acceptable means for achieving righteousness with God. We have, therefore, no other alternative – it is grace or nothing.” (162)
Prince points out that learning to rely on God's grace is a lifelong process. He has given us the tools to begin that process in this book. I highly recommend it. Get started living by God's grace today.
Derek Prince (1915-2003) was born in India of British parents. Educated as a scholar of Greek and Latin at Eton College and Cambridge University, he held a Fellowship in Ancient and Modern Philosophy at King's College. While serving with the British army in World War II, he began to study the Bible and experienced a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. It altered the course of his life, which he then devoted to studying and teaching the Bible. He is the author of more than 50 books. Derek Prince Ministries continues his work. You can find out more at www.derekprince.com.
Chosen Books, 240 pages. Visit the publisher's product page.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.