The heart of the gospel is the death of Jesus Christ. To understand the gospel we must understand what happened on the cross. We talk of ‘power in the blood’ but what does Christ’s blood do? How is God reconciled to a sinner? How is divine anger placated and justification secured?
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ implies there is something meaningful and objective to be known and believed. Words matter and the language and terminology we use to describe the work of the Saviour on the cross is important for personal spiritual wellbeing and essential for honest gospel preaching.
Good words, old words, words like atonement, ransom, redemption, and propitiation, to mention a few, are words that carry meaning and significance. We must not lose these words nor their weightiness and power. If we are to know and experience grace, mercy, and peace with God, and real joy in the Lord, it is essential we know the true gospel in all its depth and splendour.
Yet, because language changes and because there is a general dumbing down of doctrinal precision from pulpits and presses, today’s evangelicals are at risk of losing much of the wealth of the theology bequeathed to them by their forebears. This will come at a price. Shallow understanding leads to shallow experience of God’s grace and goodness.
In this book Dr George Ella draws from his wide knowledge of history, theology, language and education to show the importance of keeping a clear focus on Christ’s one saving work on the cross while not losing sight of the many ways salvation is presented, described and admired by the Holy Spirit in scripture revelation. He shows how misusing terms diminishes clear understanding and challenges those who have purposefully confused Bible revelation by ignoring or redefining Bible words and muddying pure gospel streams.
This work will serve all believers well as it re-emphasises the importance of clear doctrine for a Christian’s experience of grace. Young preachers will benefit who realise the importance of the words they bring to their ministry and the need for clarity and truth in serving their congregations with God’s message of peace by the atoning death of Jesus Christ.