Books Reviews

Book Review: True Spirituality: Becoming a Romans 12 Christian By Chip Ingram

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Decision moments come in our lives. What will we do after high school? If college, what major? If workforce, what career? Who will we marry? Where will we live? Decisions. Big decisions. Life decisions.

In our walk with Christ, we must decide if we are going to be all-in with our following Jesus or are we going to give a half-hearted effort of living for Christ. In his book True Spirituality: Becoming a Romans 12 Christian (which is an update of his previous book, Living on the Edge), Chip Ingram walks through the text of Romans 12 to decipher what true spirituality, what a genuine walk with Christ, what an all-in Christian looks like. Then, Ingram calls followers of Jesus to choose that path.

The first two sections of the book look closely at the first two verses of Romans 12 to extract the full meaning of being a “living sacrifice” (see Romans 12:1) and not being “conformed to the pattern of this world” (see Romans 12:2). As Christians, if we live out these two verses we can give to God what He wants the most and get from God His best for our lives. Surrendering fully to Christ and pulling away from the world and all the entrapments of the world dictate an enormous amount of the depth and quality of our faith journey.

Section Three uses the verses of Romans 12:3-8 to analyze the reality of who we are. Once we see and understand who we are in Christ, we can fit into the kingdom work for the Lord through His church and fulfill our ultimate purpose for which God created us. This introspective thinking allows us to see ourselves as God sees us then be used of Him in the way He has planned for us.

Section Four walks through verses 9-13 of Romans 12 to discover what authentic community looks like, why authenticity is so important, and how these relationships within the body of Christ will help shape who we are becoming in Christ. God never intended us to live the Christian life all alone. He has given us brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage us, hold us accountable, look out for us, and help us grow. Then, we get to provide that for the Christians around us as well. But, all of that is accomplished in the midst of this wonderful blessing of community.

The last section utilizes Romans 12:14-21 to show God’s plan for us overcoming the evil around us and the evil done to us. Every one of us have had people who have hurt us or damaged us in some way. A Romans 12 Christian will learn to forgive those who have hurt us and seek the healing that is available only in Christ. Until we can overcome the hurts in our lives, we will never be all that God has intended for us to be.

With this in depth look at the incredible truth of Romans 12, Ingram unpacks how we as believers can move from being a nominal Christian who is merely floating through life to being a sold-out, all-in follower of Jesus who is impacting the world around us for His kingdom.

 

This article is a book review of the following book:

Ingram, Chip. True Spirituality: Becoming a Romans 12 Christian. New York: Howard Books,

2009.

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