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By Grace Alone: How the Grace of God Amazes Me [Hardcover]

Sinclair B. Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 123 pages
  • Publisher: EVANGELICAL PRESS (12 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567692028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567692020
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Grace 8 Sep 2011
To be honest, there was no way I was not going to love this book! It's about my favourite biblical topic, it's by my favourite preacher/theologian, it's based on one of my favourite hymns and the foreword is by a friend who is my favourite African preacher.

But, even if all that had not been the case, I would still have written a glowing review of this book. Sinclair Fergusom takes the wonderful hymn by the Burundi Pastor, E T Sibomana, 'O how the grace of God amazes me' and, taking each of the seven verses, explains how the grace of God meets with and deals with sinful men and women, setting them free from the dominion of sin and releasing them into the glorious security of the kingdom of God.

I had the inestimable privilege of being taught both systematics and homiletics by Sinclair and he has always had a gift of being able to explain the most profound theology in a completely comprehensible and profoundly heart warming way. This book is no exception. It would make a great devotional guide but it would also make a very useful evangelistic tool to give to a thoughtful non-Christian friend or a pastoral tool to give to a troubled Christian friend - as I have done this very evening.

Of all the excellent seven chapters I must highlight The Great Exchange, where the author guides us through the sufferings of Christ leading up to and on the cross; Delivered from Evil, which is undoubtedly the best one chapter overview of Job I have ever read, and True Freedom where Romans 6 is expounded most helpfully.

You will be glad to know that not many books make me burst into song, but this one did, several times. O how the grace of God amazes me.

in a promotional video for the book Ferguson says, "There is no such thing as grace.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By megan
By Grace Alone: How the Grace of God Amazes Me. This was one of the best books i have read this year. It helps me to understand how much God love us all and how much love there is in the world to go around everyone who wants it. Sinclair Ferguson writes the book in such an easy way everyone can understand it. God's love just shines through Sinclair, you can tell that from every page as you read this book. The Grace and the Beauty throughout this book and God's love is just simply wonderful, yes it just amazes me how much i have learned and understood. I found myself reading parts of the book over and over again, because every paper was wonderful and so amazing. It made me want to read my bible more and more. This book is well worth reading, and i found i could not put it down.
Brilliant read..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazingly good book on amazing grace 5 Oct 2010
It has been a real pleasure to read this book. Sinclair Ferguson is entirely right - there are so many Christians who do not appreciate how much God loves them. This book is for them - and also for the many who have not yet tasted God's grace.

It is a very simply written exposition of God's amazing grace. Its starting point is a hymn 'O how the grace of God amazes me' by the African Christian Emmanuel T. Sibomana. The themes of the hymn's different stanzas are the starting point for the different chapters. For example, chapter 3 picks up the third stanza's theme -the cost of the Christian's salvation.

I have found it all so helpful - good theology and Bible exposition simply and clearly written and illustrated. It helped me in terms of thinking about difficulties in the Christian life (yes, God really does love His child - and the problems really come from God's enemy, the devil) and it will undoubtedly fit into any preaching or speaking on God's grace I do.

A book to be read - and given or loaned to others who want and need to understand God's grace.
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5.0 out of 5 stars O How the grace of God amazes me, indeed 12 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book based on the old hymn, O How the Grace of God Amazes Me. Sinclair Ferguson writes this book enabling the reader to be clear about Gods grace and how amazing it is. There is no focus on the author and his own thoughts or values but the reader can simply turn to God and see how amazing the gift of the Lord Jesus is. We don't need to be in bondage to sin, we have freedom from that bondage only through the Lord Jesus. God grace is indeed truly amazing.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ferguson Presents the Gospel Through a Powerful Hymn 2 Mar 2010
By John A. Bird - Published on
Good hymns are packed with theological truth. They stir our hearts and emotions, and they stir our minds. We can worship by singing them, and we can worship by dissecting them, examining them, and meditating on the truth behind them. In his new book, By Grace Alone, Sinclair Ferguson takes readers through the seven stanzas of Emmanuel T. Sibomana's powerful hymn, "O How the Grace of God Amazes Me." Sibomana was an obscure African pastor born in 1915. His hymn, according to Ferguson, "captures the rich contours and multisided character of the grace of God."

Though the seven chapters are based on the seven stanzas, Dr. Ferguson goes beyond the words of the hymn, to the doctrinal truths upon which it is based. Each chapter explores a different aspect of the grace of God in the life of believers: Christ's breaking of the bondage of sin, God's unconditional love, Christ's sacrifice, our reconciliation to Him, His preservation of us, our deliverance from Satan, and our true freedom in Christ.

Ferguson gives a strong gospel presentation in every chapter. He stresses that salvation is entirely the work of God:

The gospel is an invitation to receive a gift. But many people hear it as a summons to do better. Paul makes it clear that the gospel is not about something we do. It is about what God has done for us in Jesus Christ.... You did not, do not, and cannot earn your own salvation. You can contribute nothing to it in any way. It is not earned by your achievements, your merit, your faith, your level of sanctification, your faithfulness, or your Christian service. Reconciliation is a free gift of grace from beginning to end. Christ already has done everything that is needed in order to take your sins and to transfer His righteousness to you.

Two stanzas of Sibomana's hymn, and so two chapters of Ferguson's book, deal with Satan's attacks and lies. These two chapters, and particularly chapter five, "Guaranteed Security," are my favorites. Satan casts his darts at believers. He does everything he can to cause us to doubt and drive us to despair. But we should remember this: God, who was willing to give His own son, is for us. We can trust Him to deliver us; indeed, He already has done so.

In chapter seven, Ferguson drives home the fact that Christians have been freed from the bondage of sin. "Sin has no authority over anyone who is in Christ. You are no longer under its dominion. You have received a new identity. You have died out of that old kingdom. You have been raised through Christ into the new kingdom where He--not sin--reigns." Remembering this is a powerful defense against Satan's darts. In Christ, we are free to serve Him, love others, and pursue righteousness.

As Ferguson explores all that God has given us in Christ, he does so with the aim of showing how amazing God's grace really is. This is something we too often forget: "We often do not seem very amazed by grace. It is, sadly, possible to be un-amazed by the grace of God, to take it for granted, as though it were ours by right or, worse, by merit. Thus, we disgrace the grace of God." I'm grateful that Dr. Ferguson has reminded us of these aspects of God's truly amazing grace. As we reflect on these truths, let us say with pastor Sibomana, "O how the grace of God amazes me!"

I received a review copy of this book from Reformation Trust.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God Grace is Sufficient and Powerful 9 Mar 2010
By Mike Robinson - Published on
Tired of sugary light preaching and fluffy music lyrics? Herein Dr. Sinclair Ferguson takes a stand as he reveals the truth within a well-aged doctrinaire hymn that reflects vital biblical truth. His new book, about the truth and application of God's grace, where God's sovereign mercy is the crucial aspect of the Christian walk, deserves applause. Ferguson is amazed at God's great grace and he aims to lift the hearts, passions, and minds of the reader by focusing on God's grand grace. In "By Grace Alone," the author expounds seven stanzas from African minister Emmanuel T. Sibomana's potent hymn: "O How the Grace of God Amazes Me."

"By Grace Alone" delivers clear and powerful truths regarding topics such as:
- How grace breaks the burden and control of sin
- The importance of Christ's vicarious atonement
- God's sovereign love for His people
- The necessity and sufficiency of God's grace in salvation
- How to walk in victory over Satan's attacks
- Real and lasting emotional and spiritual freedom through Jesus Christ

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25).

Jesus was nailed to a wooden cross to die for all His beloved. Jesus was persecuted, hounded, arrested, and Rome applied all manner of torment on Him. Jesus died as the propitiation (turned away God's wrath for the Christian) because of men breaking God's moral law. That is grace, real grace. God's power and grace rose up Christ from the dead after it fastened Him to the cross. God Himself, unlimited, all conquering, all-consuming, infinite, eternal, omnipotent humbled Himself to die by the hands of men. That is wonderful grace and a love that suffers long. This should motivate all believers to delight in God's grace as we aim to follow hard after the moral commandments of our Lord God.

For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living? (Psalms 56:13).

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand (John 10:27-29).

Ferguson writes with an easy style as he covers deep subjects communicated in a simple but dynamic manner. The author inspires the Christian to look to Heaven and be amazed at the grace of God in Jesus.
One Way to God: Christian Philosophy and Presuppositional Apologetics Examine World Religions
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grace 20 Jun 2010
By Matthew R. Kuiper - Published on
Sinclair Ferguson truly is a father to my generation as he pleads with us to love God greater and to seek his face. By Grace Alone is a successor to his first book In Christ Alone. The purpose of In Christ Alone was to cultivate passions for the character and person of Christ. The intent of By Grace Alone is to relate to believers what the character of Christ means to us as he gives us his abundant grace. Ferguson does not wish to write a book strictly considering the systematic theology of grace but wishes to provide insight into the topic through the use of church history hymnody. All throughout his text Ferguson provides hymn writers take on what grace is. I find this to be highly effective and enlightening. Often times Christian writers would rather quote the big guns, (Spurgeon, Edwards, Owens, etc.) in order to provide insight. A theological wordsmith is an indispensable asset into understanding a topic like grace, but the power of a poet should not be understated. Ferguson presents hymns to provide illustration and grounding for each of the chapters in his books. What I find to be especially gripping in this presentation is that hymns that I have sung for most of my life begin to come alive and relevant to me.
The chief hymn that Ferguson uses throughout the text is entitled " O How the Grace of God Amazes Me" which is an African hymn. Each one of the chapters receives its theme and topic from a verse from this hymn.
I highly recommend this book. Ferguson is excellent with the topic of grace. A great source of edification in my own life.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grace and Grace Alone 11 Sep 2010
By defrosted calvinist - Published on
I recieved this book through the Reformation Publishing Trust and I am not obliged to give a positive review.

Sinclair Ferguson is one of Scotland's best exports, a theologian and a pastor he is a conservative evangelical and is a leading conference speaker on both sides of the Atlantic. Ferguson is a heavy weight in the Reformed tradition and writes at both an academic level and at like with this book at a more popular level. I would commend anything that he has written so I am pleased to review his book `By Grace Alone.'

It might seem a strange subject matter especially as the subtitle is How the Grace of God Amazes Me. Yet my father who is not a believer once said "of course God will forgive me that is His job", that statement profoundly misunderstands God and presumes on His grace. That God who is Holy can forgive sinners who have sinned against Him like you and me is truly amazing. It amazes me that even those of us who have been walking with Jesus for some years still take grace so lightly. I believe it is because we misunderstand our standing before God when we were unbelievers, As Ferguson says `Guilt is not just a feeling. It is not just a psychological condition, although it can become one. It is a legal standing. When the foreman of the jury in a trial speaks the word Guilty, he is not commenting on the feelings of the accused. He is pronouncing a verdict. He is saying that the accused has been judged to have committed the crimes with which he was charged. The accused is guilty and will be treated accordingly--no matter what he or she may "feel."p.56 And before the bar of heaven we would be condemned because we are guilty and justice demands a guilty verdict.

The other issue for us is to misunderstand both the meaning of the grace that we have received and its effects upon us for living out our lives before God.

This is what Sinclair Ferguson is seeking to redress, he does this by taking the hymn `How the Grace of God Amazes Me' by the African pastor Emmanuel T. Sibomaname and examining the song verse by verse. This is a mistake in my view because even though it is a great hymn it is not well known, certainly not in the North of Scotland. Each chapter concentrates on the theme of a verse through this Ferguson examines, grace and the Christian life from start to finish. He serves the church well and recognises our need when he says in chapter 7 `Sometimes we imagine that our greatest need is to move on to the "higher" or "deeper" teaching of the gospel. But in fact, our real need is to get a deeper and firmer grasp of the main truths of the gospel' p102. Helping us to get a deeper and firmer grasp of the main truths of the gospel is in essence what Ferguson is seeking to give us through this book and overall he achieves this.

Buy this book and enjoy it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars By Grace Alone, by Sinclair B. Ferguson 12 Dec 2010
By R. McIntosh - Published on
By Grace Alone, by Sinclair B. Ferguson, includes nuggets on the saving, transforming power of the gospel, morsels to which I hope to return. The book is inspired by a hymn whose English translation is titled: "O How the Grace of God Amazes Me."

Ferguson's writing style may cause people to give Scripture greater pause. The story-telling and commentary might help readers view the reality of and humanity within the verses through fresh eyes. The book could be read by both believers and non-believers, and included are words one might say to Christ when coming to Him for salvation.

Many great points are made in this book!

I like that...

-guilt is addressed as reality and feeling and the point made that the knowledge of the lack of it can affect our feelings through greater understanding of the gospel (p.57).
-Ferguson talks about different languages (temple, court, market) Paul uses to communicate the gospel (p.48).
-Ferguson acknowledges the influence of "right thinking" on gospel-powered living (p. 105) while recognizing, in referencing John Owen, the difference between knowing the truth and knowing its power (p. 67-68).
-Ferguson approaches 2 Cor. 5:16 through the lens of having "a new attitude to other people" (p.60).
-in reference to Romans 6:23's "wages of sin", Ferguson talks of sin as an "employer" (p.107, 108). What a way to breathe life into the familiar phrase of whose weight I've overlooked countless times.

The last of the above points comes from Chapter 7; this chapter, to me, would stand as a great book on its own. The concept of the transfer from sin's domain to God's kingdom is one that I would like to seep into and out of my heart. It is one I feel God may be stirring in my heart through this book, and he may continue to do so through a book I will read in the near future.

While there is much to like about this book, I do have some level of hesitation with regard to the emphasis on Satan's influence on sin in chapters 5 and 6. He may be given more credit to his role in sin than what I'm comfortable with. It is my belief that sin might originate in people or Satan and that we might not always or ever know the source for our particular sins. If people put too much stock into Satan's influence on sin, I wonder if a result might be a reduction of their feelings of responsibility, conviction, and depravity. If it doesn't have this result, though, it might not be a big deal to have an emphasis on Satan.

All in all, though, I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to read this book, and I am gladdened to think that God may be using it to work transformation in me.

Disclosure: I received a free pdf copy of this book to review from Reformation Trust Publishing, and, upon approval of my review, a printed version will be sent out.
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