Crossway recently took the 14 Gospel Coalition booklets and put them into one volume in, The Gospel as Center: Renewing Our Faith and Reforming Our Ministry Practices. We have carried these booklets on our church Resource Table and have they have been quite helpful. If you don’t have the booklets or the book, you can download 10 of them for free below.
- The Holy Spirit by Kevin DeYoung
- The Plan by Colin S. Smith
- Justification by Philip Ryken
- Creation by Andrew M. Davis
- The Kingdom of God by Stephen Um
- Gospel-Centered Ministry by D.A. Carson and Tim Keller
- Christ’s Redemption by Sandy Wilson
- The Church: God’s New People by Tim Savage
- Baptism and the Lord’s Supper by Ligon Duncan and Thabiti Anyabwile
- The Restoration of All Things by Sam Storms
Also, Eric Shumacher gives a couple of good suggestions of how to use them in discipleship. Read here.
Jesus says in Luke 9:23:
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
And in Matthew 10:38:
And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
The cross was the Roman method for execution. It was a painful and slow way to die. It humiliated the person and made them powerless. It is the perfect metaphor for what it means to follow Christ. To take up our cross daily means that we die to self. Dying to self is painful and slow. Dying to self is humbling. Dying to self makes us realize that we have really no control over anything in our lives.
Dying to self is the means ordained by God so that we will share in his holiness (Heb 12:10). Dying to self causes us to see the greatness of Christ (Gal 2:20). Dying to self reminds us of the sovereignty of God. Dying to self teaches us to pray more–realizing that we need God’s grace each day. Dying to self shows us that the only thing we truly need is his daily bread. Dying to self opens our eyes to see who we really are.
I am a sinner; he is righteous.
I am a hypocrite; he is perfect.
I am nothing; he is everything.
I am faithless; he is faithful.
I am weak; he is strong.
I am proud; he is merciful.
I am foolish, he is wise.
I am evil; he is holy.
I am impatient; he is longsuffering.
I am small; he is great.
I am selfish; he is good.
I am greedy; he is giving.
I am worthless; he is gracious.
Thank you Father for giving your only Son. Thank you that he took my place at the cross and received the punishment for my sins. Thank you that you love and accept me in Jesus. Thank you for making me your child by the Spirit. Oh Father in heaven, as your child, teach me to die to self according to your good and sovereign purpose.