You know a book is good when half of it gets highlighted. Do you ever scan social media and see a bunch of people that call themselves Christians acting anything BUT Christian? It’s probably because they aren’t letting the gospel influence their everyday lives. Gospel Fluency is just like it sounds – being able to speak the gospel like it’s your first language.
It’s hard though. Christians are living as exiles. The world around us exudes characteristics that are anti-gospel. We have to be vigilant in being transformed by the renewing of our minds. We have to actively see the world through a pair of God-sized lenses, and Jeff Vanderstelt helps us do that with his book.
Gospel Fluency by Jeff Vanderstelt: A Book Review
Gospel Fluency Summary
“To become fluent in a new language, you must immerse yourself in it and commit to practicing it, over and over again. You must use it everyday until you actually start to think about life through it. Becoming fluent in the gospel happens the same way—after believing it, we have to intentionally rehearse it (to ourselves and to others) and immerse ourselves in its truths. Only then will we start to see how everything in our lives, from the mundane to the magnificent, is transformed by the hope of the gospel.
Challenging us to cultivate this counter-cultural mindset, Jeff Vanderstelt offers readers wise biblical insights, practical advice, and compelling stories aimed at encouraging and equipping Christians to speak the truths of Jesus into the everyday stuff of life.”
Gospel Fluency Quotes
Jesus gave his life to make me a new creation. He died to forgive me of my sins and change my identity from sinner to saint, from failure to faithful, and from bad to good and even righteous and holy. But I forget what he has said about me. I forget what he has done for me. And sometimes it isn’t forgetfulness. Sometimes it’s just plain unbelief. I know these things. I just don’t believe them. (p. 20)
It is God’s intent that every person who comes into a relationship with him through Jesus Christ eventually will grow up into maturity. And maturity looks like Jesus. He is the perfect human, providing an example of what we are meant to be. A mature Christian is one who resembles Jesus Christ in thought, attitude, emotion, and behavior. And one of the most significant ways by which we grow up into maturity is by speaking the truth in love to one another. (p. 28)
[H]ow do we become a gospel-centered culture full of gospel-fluent people? We need gospel language that is correctly shaped by the gospel story. (p. 51)
Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations, establish them in their new identity in Christ, and teach them to obey Jesus’s commands. Just as Adam and Eve were called to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, we are commissioned by and with Jesus to make disciples. What is called the Great Commission is really the new creation mandate under Jesus as our head. (p. 62)
We don’t help people stop sinning by using the consequences of their sin to motivate them. In fact, when we do this, we just end up teaching them how to sin in other ways. If we don’t lead them to repent and believe in God and the work of Jesus, we are only leading them to look elsewhere for their salvation — trusting in someone or something more than God’s word and work. (p. 80)
Just as Jesus’s works revealed what God is like, so our works reveal the object of our worship — they are an outward expression of the god we are worshiping at the moment. (p. 86)
Gospel Fluency Review
I’m not even kidding when I say that this book should be required reading for every single Christian on the planet. Here’s why:
Jeff Vanderstelt is like a gospel ninja. He has this incredible, seemingly effortless, way of taking a situation and explaining how it either matches up or is in complete opposition to the message of Jesus. He shares this story about how he handled a disagreement his kids got in over a board game and every time I read it my mind is blown.
My Favorite Chapter
Arguably my favorite chapter is called, “Fruit to Root.” In it, Vanderstelt explains that “too often, we focus our attention on changing the external rather than addressing the internal. But Jesus was very clear that what defiles us proceeds from inside our hearts – our beliefs and our motives. The fruit of our lives comes from the roots of our faith.”
Essentially, if we’re producing “bad fruit” we can follow that back down the tree to a bad belief in our “roots.” If we’re producing “good fruit” that will come from solid roots that are built in Christ. I can’t tell you how many times this analogy has popped up for me in my own life.
I love Gospel Fluency and have recommended it to countless people because it helps us deal with our own internal thoughts, our actions, and our relationships with people both inside and outside of the Church. If you’ve never read it, buy a copy today!
Because there’s a better way,
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