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Life is messy. Whether we walk in the world or walk in the church, we all have struggles. Take some of the people you’ll meet in this book, for instance. Amber is consumed by anger because her husband cheated on her. Amber’s husband, John, suffers from overwhelming guilt and shame because of his affair. Sandy has barely survived 17 years of domestic violence; Anna, who was sexually abused, hates men; and Lindsey, who was a straight-A student all her life, dropped out of college to commit suicide. Rick is addicted to porn, and Keith can’t lay off drugs. For these and others, religion has brought forgiveness of sins, but not freedom from suffering. For those who have tried it, medication and counseling have brought some relief, but not lasting healing. For Diana—who is afraid of small spaces, public places, and just about everything else—Bible studies and baptism have brought redemption, but not recovery. Along with the Apostle Paul, they all cry out, “I need something more!” What was the common denominator that brought healing and freedom to each of them? CHRIST’S SUFFERING, or what Paul Coneff calls The Hidden Half of the Gospel. While Jesus died to forgive our sins for eternity, He also suffered to bring us healing today. As the Bible clearly says, Jesus was “made like us in EVERY way…suffering as He was tempted in ALL points… so He could help us.” (Luke 9:22; 22:15; 24:24-26; Heb. 2:17-18; 4:15; Isa. 53) Lonely? Jesus was alone and abandoned by His closest friends to identify with you. Betrayed? Jesus was betrayed by a kiss, for the price of a slave, to identify with you. Abused? Jesus was physically violated and verbally abused to identify with you. Addicted? Jesus was tempted to numb His pain to identify with you. Rejected? Jesus felt forsaken by His Father to identify with you. The Hidden Half of the Gospel invites you to journey through Christ’s story of suffering, as well as the stories and testimonies of Diana, Lindsey, Amber, John, Sandy, Anna, Rick, and Keith. For these and many others, personal identification with Christ’s suffering led to healing and freedom, moving them into ministry with a testimony…and it can do the same for you. Discover the “Roots” of Satan’s ability to deceive us with his lies, leading us into addictions and a cycle of sin and forgiveness, without freedom; how this creates a negative identity in our lives – and how Christ overcame every attack of the enemy against His truest, deepest identity as God’s Son (John 8:44; Matt. 15:18-19; Romans 1:25; Matt. 12:43-45; Luke 4:3, 7, 9; 23:35-37) Discover the “Roots” of Christ’s ability to heal us and set us free through the power of personal identification with Him in His suffering so He could be “made like us in EVERY way… suffering when He was tempted so He could help us,” giving us confidence to go “boldly to the throne of grace,” and how this allows us to receive our truest, deepest identities as God’s sons and daughters (Isaiah 53; 62:2-4, 12; Heb. 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 1 Cor. 1:1-2; 2 Cor. 1:1-2; Eph. 1:1-2) Discover the “Roots” of moving into ministry with a testimony, filled with joy as we share the way the good news of God’s grace and truth has changed our lives, telling us that we are fully loved, fully known and fully forgiven (John 4:28-30, 39-42; Eph. 1:7-8) Packed with sample prayers, practical tips, and the stories of those listed above, The Hidden Half of the Gospel shows how you too can move from information, to application, and finally transformation by the whole gospel.
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