Christ declares, "Abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me" (John 15:4).
A branch derives life from the vine by virtue of its union with the vine. Similarly, Christ is the vine, and we are the branches. There is a vital, organic union between us. We draw on Christ's life through the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us. We must, therefore, abide in Christ by cultivating close and constant communion with him. That is to say, we must continually look "unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
The present work seeks to explain what this looking implies. It does so by turning to the writings of two largely forgotten Puritans and Baptists from the seventeenth century—Thomas Wilcox and Vavasor Powell. Together, they teach us that to abide in Christ is to behold him in his manifold roles and relations. As we do, Christ becomes our all in all.
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J. Stephen Yuille is the pastor of Grace Community Church, Glen Rose, Texas.
"Stephen Yuille loves the Puritans (as do I). There are four themes that cause him to continually return to their writings: God-fearing, heaven-seeking, sin-hating, and Christ-exalting. It is this latter theme he pursues in Looking Unto Jesus, particularly through the writings of Thomas Wilcox and Vavasor Powell. Though not well known, both men have a word for those whose passion is Christ. The Puritans must never be lost. This work will help in ensuring this does not happen." — Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"From the pen of pastor Stephen Yuille comes a refreshing and enlightening look at two lesser-known seventeenth-century Baptist Puritans: Thomas Wilcox and Vavasor Powell. I love the Puritans. Though I do not ascribe to a Reformed soteriology myself, I have always been drawn to the genuine piety and holiness of life to which the Puritans aspired and about which they wrote with evangelical passion and warmth. Aptly titled Looking Unto Jesus, this book will help you do just that. Take up and read, and be blessed." — David L. Allen, Professor of Preaching, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Stephen Yuille, a wise guide to the Puritans and their texts, has made available spiritual gems from two largely forgotten Baptists: Thomas Wilcox and Vavasor Powell. A few of their works have been prized as classical statements of Puritan piety down through the years, and I am excited to recommend them to a new generation of readers. Read and be strengthened in our most precious faith! — Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary