Dr. John MacArthur has served as Pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California since 1969. His book Slave The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ is one of the finest treatments on sanctification that I’ve read in some time. Dr. MacArthur in this book wastes no time and minces no words. It would not be a stretch to say that every word in this book packs a punch and punches right in the gut.
Dr. MacArthur has written many books on the Gospel including The Gospel According to Jesus, Ashamed of the Gospel, Hard to Believe and Truth War among countless sermons and articles about the Gospel throughout his ministry. Yet he says on page 1 that, “But through all those efforts, a profound and comprehensive perspective, one that dominates the New Testament and is crucial to the gospel, escaped me and almost everyone else.” In fact he says on page 2 he wonders if the reason he felt the need to write so many books is because of people not understanding what it means to be a slave to God.
The problem according to Dr. MacArthur is that there has been a centuries old cover-up by English New Testament translators that had obscured a precious, powerful and clarifying revelation of the Holy Spirit regarding believers’ identity in Christ. Slave has thirteen chapters and an appendix titled “Voices from Church History” which helps the reader to see what others throughout Church History have said about believers’ identity in Christ.
If you’ve never read a book by Dr. MacArthur is typical for him to set the historical, grammatical and cultural context as he expounds the Word of God. As Pastor John expounds the Word of God- the reader will gain insight into what slavery was during the Roman times, and also what it means to be a slave to sin, and a slave for Christ.
Dr. MacArthur gives the biblical teaching regarding slavery which sets the backdrop in chapters eight through eleven regarding his explanation of the doctrines of grace (total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace and perservance of the saints). As the book concludes the reader not only gains biblical insight into what it means to be a slave to Christ but Dr. MacArthur offers practical advice for how to put his teaching into practice.
Slave is Dr. MacArthur at his finest. This is a book that the new Christian can read. This is a book the mature Christian should read. This is a book Pastors, theologians and scholars ought to read. I recommend you pick this book up, read it and devour the biblical truth about your new identity in Christ.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Thomas Nelson book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.