Jesus declared that He came to give abundant life and spoke of His love, peace, and joy. Today, it seems, many Christians have forgotten His teachings and let their thoughts dwell on feelings of guilt, condemnation, and fear. In Revelation to Transformation: How Seeing Jesus Will Change Your Life, Paul White, senior pastor of Midland Church in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, argues it is time for believers to stop doing so and to focus on God’s incredible grace and realize He is “altogether lovely.”
When Jesus cried out from the cross that “It is finished,” the “it,” White argues, referred to more than just His human life and the terrible events of His crucifixion. The author believes Jesus was referring to “all of the Old Testament and the way God dealt with mankind through the covenant He had cut with Moses at Mt. Sinai. In short, the great war against sin, which had been fought since the Garden of Eden, was finally over. Now, everything after the dividing line of ‘It is finished’ can be seen through the lens of what we refer to as ‘the finished work.’”
White emphasizes that God took out His wrath against all of humanity’s sins on Jesus’ body, so Christians do not need to worry about God being mad at them when they sin. Even the Apostle Paul repeatedly stressed the freedom and liberty, not the condemnation and guilt, found in God’s grace. White explains it is not works or laws that transform a believer: “True Christianity, where Jesus suffered and died in our place, completely and totally excludes the works of man. ‘Relationship’ becomes the key word, replacing ‘religion,’ causing us to focus not on our efforts but on establishing a growing relationship with a loving God.”
White understands Christians may not be accustomed to living freely under grace. He skillfully examines many Scriptures, from both the Old and New Testaments, and shows how grace is embedded in all of them. He passionately encourages Christians to embrace Jesus’ finished work so they can feel assured they do not have to continuously try to work to gain His favor. “When you approach God wondering what you can do for Him,” writes White, “the end result is heartbreak; however, when you approach Him based on what Jesus has done for you through the finished work, there is eternal life.”
Revelation to Transformation also offers insight into the role of the Holy Spirit, the believer’s role in transformation, and dealing with sin. White’s pastoral desire to help believers experience a fuller Christian life is evident throughout the book and mirrors the love and grace of the “altogether lovely” Jesus.