Love or hate the Puritans, those familiar with their works know that they were laced with Scripture and designed to move the reader. In a Puritan-like style, Pastor Jeremy Walker’s book ‘Life in Christ’ is thoroughly Biblical and determined to motivate the believer to live a God-ward life.
In a systematic way, Walker provides the reader with the steps that one could expect to live a life united to Christ. The chapters serve as the common touching points that all Christians pass on the journey, from (1)Looking to Christ to (8)A Life in Review, Pastor Walker encourages and challenges the Christian to look onward and upward.
My favorite 3 chapters can be found in the middle part of the book: (3) The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, (5) The Jewel of Assurance and (6) The Marks of God’s Children. From chapter 3, Walker states:
“Paul thinks little of himself, much of others, and most of Christ. He would not dream of preaching himself—he would have nothing to say. He does not preach a what, but a whom; Paul is taken up with the unsearchable riches of Christ. “Behold Christ!” is his motto. His gospel is Christ in all His saving splendor.”
The whole chapter is looking remind the reader of the vast riches that can and are found in Christ. His definition of assurance resonated with me, “Assurance knows that it has the bud of grace which shall one day bloom fully in glory.”
And a final example of his writing is his clear and powerful warning of not being fooled by insufficient indicators of one’s conversion:
“The Pharisees were well instructed (Rom. 2:17–20). The devils have a highly orthodox theology (James 2:19). It is possible to know your Bible inside out, recite the catechism by heart, win Sunday school prizes, excel in theological examinations, receive postgraduate degrees in theology, write books on abstruse theological topics, and to go to hell if that knowledge is not spiritually apprehended (1 Cor. 2:14).”
I recommend this book for pastors that love to see their flock maturing in Christ. I also recommend this book for students of the word, that love their Christ and long to be united with Him. The book is clearly outlined with points, sub-points, etc. but on occasion is rather ‘wordy’ (another Puritan-like feature), so be warned should you be the kind of reader would rather skim through the material rather than wrestle with the material.
An additional feature that I found especially helpful was his questions at the end of each chapter. Many books will include questions that can be used for group discussions and the like, but Pastor Walker’s questions seemed a bit more intentional and better at driving conversation than most.