At the heart of the Christian faith is the simple truth, yet profound mystery, that 'Christ died for our sins'. According to the Apostle Paul, Christ dying in our place is the truth of 'first importance' in the gospel, apart from which we have 'believe in vain' (1 Cor. 15:2-3). And yet it is all too easy for Christians to lose sight of the cross and for things of this world to eclipse the glory of its message.
In seven short studies in the nineteenth chapter of John's Gospel, Richard D. Phillips encourages the reader to take a fresh look at the amazing story of the death of the Saviour, Jesus Christ the Son of God. Writing with intelligence and pastoral warmth, the author especially delights in drawing the reader's attention to the small details surrounding the crucifixion that John recorded in his Gospel.
The aim of these studies is to refocus eyes that have grown dim and to stir up a spirit of thanksgiving and praise in the heart of the believer. For it is at the cross, as the author says, that 'we gaze upon the heart of our Lord with wonder and feel the warmth of his grace in our soul'.
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Richard D. Phillips (MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary) is the senior minister of Second Presbyterian Church of Greenville, South Carolina. He is a council member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, chairman of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, and coeditor of the Reformed Expository Commentary series.