Gospel: Recovering the Power That Made Christianity Revolutionary, by JD Greear, combats one of the greatest misconceptions about Christianity: that Christianity is about what we do for God. If that was reality, then we should we should strive to live holy lives, be generous, kind, and share our faith so that God would be pleased and look favorably on us. Every page of JD's book combats this lie, and instead lays out the good news of Jesus--that though man is separated from God to such a degree that there is nothing he can do to get back to God, man can be saved by the work of Christ. I won't go into the implications of this, because that is why I think you should read the book. I will say though that to understand the gospel will bring the greatest freedom and the greatest joy a person could ever imagine. It is the way to know God, to be loved by God, to be His friend, and the gospel changes us into the image of God. JD Greear lays this out with skill of a learned theologian, the honesty and compassion of a good pastor, the humility of a great leader, and the humor and wit of a guy you would want at your next Christmas party.
Two of the greatest strengths of the book are as follows: First, there is a prayer that God formed in Greear's life as he began to understand the depth of the gospel. The prayer is four-fold, and it aims to bring the life of the reader under the authority of Christ. I have personally been praying this prayer now for 3 months, and it has lead to a depth with God I have not had in a long time. To understand not just on an intellectual level, but on a heart level the wonderful truths of the gospel will unleash a power and joy in a person's life that will be almost too much to bear. This prayer is a good tool to use in understanding the gospel, and I would recommend the book based off the prayer alone.
Second, Greear makes it clear that the gospel saves us from sin, death, and the wrath of God, but he also makes it clear that the also gospel saves us to something. Generosity, holy living, being a good parent, being an ace at reformed theology, living missionally, none of these save us, none of these bring God's favor, none of these are the good news of Christ, but, once we understand we are saved by the work of Jesus alone, our hearts will be changed and we will want to do these things. People that God changes He calls to live out the gift that has been given to them, but that is as natural as saying once a person is married, they are called to live out being a husband or a wife. It is not a burden but a joy if we see the gospel.
I highly recommend this book. Lamentations 3 tells us that God's mercies are new every morning. Since that is true, every day we can understand and know God deeper than the day before. We can understand with greater clarity the abundant life of John 10:10, we can take up the mantel of "royal priest," we can ask God for amazing things as Moses did in Exodus 33, and we can fearlessly live out the great commission.