What I like about the book is that it sites many passages from the Bible. Grace is something many Christians battle with, thinking that in order to remain accepted by God, we need to follow certain laws or do certain things to be accepted. Virgo writes:
“You reign in life by receiving abundant grace, not by putting yourself under laws. It is because of your standing that you reign in life. It is because you have obtained grace, not because you have achieved or accomplished merit. It is by your position, not by your performance! The imposition of law upon your life will never cause you to reign in life. It will never cause you to enjoy fellowship with Jesus and the grace-filled life that is so necessary for you to bear fruit for God.” (p15-16)
Virgo’s main point, at least as I see it, is that the law cannot make us better. In fact, adding “the law to [the utterly sinful man] does not improve him but strangely makes him even worse.” (p24) It is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings freedom and we have died to the law and are now married to a new husband. It is He who will sanctify us by His Word.
I definitely will recommend this book to others and I think it accomplishes what it sets out to do, point us to the grace of Christ!
I have but one thing to complain about, and I find this with many charismatics (as Virgo is), even if they are reformed. Of course, I do not say that this is the case with all charismatics, and even less that this is how it is with all reformed charismatics.
In his sixth chapter, “A conscience cleansed from dead works,” Virgo does make Scripture say what it doesn’t say. It is the subject of “dead works” as mentioned in Hebrews 9:14, “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Concerning these "dead works, Virgo writes that they are:
- Something with no life in it, done without faith, like church programs. Things done by routine.
- Things done presumptuously. Things we think are good.
- Things that God did not personally tell you to do.
When we look at the passage that Hebrews 9:14 comes from, it is clear that the writer of Hebrews did not have any of the three points in mind that Virgo proclaimed to be dead works. The context is clear as to what dead works are, regulations concerning food and drink, and of various washings, sacrifices of bulls and goats. It is attempting to be accepted by God through the law and rituals. The book of Galatians is very clear on this subject! It is not the law and rituals (dead works) that will cleanse our consciences, but “ the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, [will] cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
It is always important to read the Scriptures in context, and not to tag our own ideas onto what we read!