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The Truth About Forgiveness by John MacArthur is a simple book. No wasted reading, no redundant explanation, no back-patting, feel-good nonsense: only the truth. It doesn’t take up that much space: only 60 pages. But in those 60 pages MacArthur manages to teach more about forgiveness than some books would in 300 pages.

“No amount of tears can atone for sin. No number of good deeds can make amends for wrong we have done against God.”

In a world where sin is written off as sickness, and psychologists advise patients not to blame themselves, MacArthur begins his book by showing how we are helpless to atone for our sin, thus also helpless to be forgiven. “In the human realm there is nothing in time or eternity that can free us from the guilt of our sin,” MacArthur writes. The theme of this book is a forgiveness despite our efforts, not as a result of our efforts. This book tells of a wonderful forgiveness that is offered to us.

“The only way to find real forgiveness and freedom from our sin is through humble, contrite repentence.”

MacArthur then tackles repentance, which must necessarily go hand in hand with forgiveness. We can’t escape our guilt, so it is necessary to repent of it. In his own words, “we must come face-to-face with the exceeding sinfulness of our sin.” He then proceeds to lay out the gospel of salvation in clear terms: Jesus Christ came to earth as a man, and died for our sins, so that those who repent may have everlasting life.

This is a fantastic book. It’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s simple. MacArthur goes head to head against very entrenched ideas on today’s society and interprets them all within the lens of the gospel. Like its predecessor, The Truth about the Lordship of Christ, this book has an incredibly Gospel-focused message that doesn’t waste your time needlessly. I highly recommend this book to all readers, particularly those who want to know or be reminded of what the core of Christianity is all about.

~ Andrew


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Published on 20 December, 2012. Last updated on

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Into the Book was born out of a crazy idea of a blog that'd provide book reviews for teens. There aren't very many book review websites out there exposing awesome, high-quality Christian literature, and there are even fewer that target teenagers. Since 2009, we've been providing high-quality book reviews to the world through our blog. Into the Book has grown around reviews since then, but it remains our oldest project.

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