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The Great Work of the Gospel: How We Experience God's Grace [Paperback]

By John M. Ensor (Author)
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Item Number 41665  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.51"
Weight:   0.49 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2006
ISBN  1581347731  
EAN  9781581347739  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
For each of us, there comes a time in our lives when we want to know God's grace. But for some people, the gospel message of Christ's atoning sacrifice sounds too good to be true. Forgiveness is God's great work because it is all-inclusive and everlasting. In this book, John Ensor helps his readers understand the human experience of God's ongoing, outworking grace.

Publishers Description

Forgiveness is God's Great Work because sin is the greatest of problems, the cross is the most excellent of solutions, and grace produces the most extreme changes. It is all-inclusive and everlasting. In this book, John Ensor helps us grasp the reality and human experience of God's ongoing, outworking, wonderful grace.

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More About John M. Ensor

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John Ensor is Director of Urban Initiatives for Heartbeat International, an organization for Christian communities establishing pregnancy help centers worldwide. He is currently working with Christian leaders to open five pregnancy help centers in the neediest neighborhoods of Miami, Florida. He has also served as President of A Woman's Concern. John and his wife, Kristen, have three grown children and reside near Boston, Massachusetts.

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don't Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( P ) > Piper, John   [105  similar products]
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3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Soteriology   [1285  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Phenomenal  May 22, 2008
I am reading through this book for the second time now. This is significant, in that I can only recall doing that one other time with a book. This work has elicited such a response. I am very thankful for Mr. Ensor and those gifted like him. He has written a significant and phenomenal book on the greatest subject in all the world: The work of God. How this work impacts and affects people is the flow of Ensor's work, and it is flooded with insightful looks into real people and how there lives are impacted by the work of God. However, the central focus begins to quickly unfold as you read this book: that all of this work in people's lives; all the affects; all the reactions and responses serves to reveal the great God behind this work.
Very well written and well thought out. I hope to give this book as a gift many times and use it in a study.

Enjoy and be enriched.
Powerful and Cross-Centered  Sep 9, 2006
On one of John Ensor's web sites, "Heartbeat of Miami," is a most sobering map. Showing the locations of each Miami's abortion facilities in red and ultrasound-equipped pregnancy help centers in blue, the red dots outnumber of the blue by a margin of fifteen to one. As leader of "Heartbeat of Miami," Ensor hopes within the next two years to increase the number of adequately equipped pregnancy help centers to at least 4. From his work directing this organization that constantly sees people at their most broken comes Ensor's third book, The Great Work of the Gospel.

The Great Work of the Gospel is a book about the human experience of God's outworking grace--"the sin-forgiving gift of it, the guilt-removing power of it, the soul-satisfying joy of it, the cross-suffering mystery of it, the conscience-cleansing experience of it, the life-transforming quality of it, the muscular faith-building impact of it, the eternally reconciling splendor of it." The book seeks to understand how God works out His grace and how we, as recipients of that grace, experience it. This is His Great Work.

Through ten chapters, John Ensor provides ten reflections on this Great Work. He writes about many of Scripture's grand themes: the Great Work considered, desired, needed, promised, revealed, justified, experienced, enjoyed, shared and unsheathed. Each chapter revolves around a particular passage of Scripture and ends with several group study questions. Most chapters involve men or women Ensor has encountered in his vocation--many of whom are women who have been subjected to cruel and terrible treatment at the hands of others.

Perhaps the greatest compliment I can give this book is simply in pointing to the amount of fodder it provided for thinking and writing. I spent many hours pondering what Ensor wrote and dedicated several articles to exploring his themes. With tenderness and passion, Ensor explores the grace of God and how it manifests itself in us. It explores the great work of God; the great work of the gospel. A deeply moving book, it is also powerful in pointing always to the cross of Jesus Christ. I recommend it unreservedly. It is undoubtedly one of the finest books I have read this year.
Re-center minds and hearts around the gospel  Jul 27, 2006
The theme of The Great Work of the Gospel by John Ensor "is about our human experience of God's outworking grace" (p. 11). From its first chapter to the last, this well-paced book explores the power of God's saving grace in the life of man. Ensor writes emphatically concerning the work of salvation, "But it is not a partnership. It is not `I do half and God does half.' It is God's work" (p. 15). Throughout, Ensor is quick to remind us that the work of grace in a believer's life is God's work; He is the sovereign craftsman building grace into our lives so as to produce a work that would glorify Him.

Ensor organizes his book around the central themes of the gospel, core truths that comprise what we would consider the saving message of Jesus Christ. He begins with the forgiveness of sins and the reconciliation a sinner can have with God as he takes hold of God's mercy. Because, as Ensor puts it, "God desires to make his mercy the apex of his own glory in the eyes of all creation" (p. 28). From that foundation of forgiveness, he moves through the entire process of salvation, from owning up to our guilt before God to pushing past our grudges by forgiving others just as generously as God forgives the repentant sinner. In between these two poles, we read about God's holy wrath against sin, hope in God's forgiving grace, Jesus Christ as the incarnation of God's outworking grace, the wrath and mercy displayed on the cross, experiencing a clean conscience, and having a glad heart to obey God. In each chapter, the author displays a skillful handling of the Bible and a warm, personable tone that invites the reader in through real-life stories, vivid illustrations, and gripping quotes.

The book pulls no punches with regard to the "hard" matters of the Christian faith. On pages 32-33, he denounces, with gentleness and biblical reasoning, the modern psychological perspective which treats guilt as a negative, something to be treated rather than prayerfully examined. In his chapter on God's judgment, he spends a good amount of time explaining and defending the doctrine of eternal punishment in hell for the unbeliever. He writes later on how many Christians "remain hamstrung by their secret guilt and are living very shallow lives...because they have nothing but a shallow understanding of the cross, and in many cases only a small appetite for learning more" (p. 97). And on the topic of a clean conscience, he writes with stunning insight, "The very question of self-forgiveness may reflect a resistance to glory in God's mercy and a preference to grind our teeth for failing to be as good as our pride always assured us that we were" (p. 114). It is this "no holds barred" attitude toward the truth and toward error that makes for an invigorating read.

The author has given his life for service to the Lord. He works for women in need, establishing crisis pregnancy centers worldwide. So when he writes about forgiveness, sin, righteousness, hope, and joy, the readers get a sense that the author has experienced and clearly grasps these issues that he's tackling. This is why when he ends on how the outworking of God's grace motivates us to serving God in good deeds, we know that we are hearing from a man who practices what he preaches. This crowning chapter is really the height of the book, driving us out of our private reformations into works for the good of others. The examples he uses in this chapter are memorable. Overall, this book reminds us afresh that doctrine is powerful, motivating, captivating, and sorely need in our times with all "the feeble and anemic preaching of the age" (p. 160). It is a book that will re-center our minds and hearts around the center of it all: the gospel. - Jason Park, Christian Book [..]

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