If I had to recommend just one book not including the Bible, it would be this book—above all other works and above all other commentaries. Many call Romans 8, “The Mount Everest of the Bible”. Martin Luther called it, “the clearest gospel of all”.
It is with this little paperback Octavius Winslow separates himself from the pack of scholars and theologians. I feel like it wasn’t that Winslow had to explain the depth and weight of Romans 8 for the scholarly purposes but he had to write this book because if he did not, his heart would have burst in worship and love to our sweet God and Lord. Let me contend that his heart did burst and this book was the result.
Winslow’s love for God drips and flows over every single page of this book. If you love to highlight important passages, you will soon be wishing for a device that will highlight entire pages. (I thought it might be more convenient just to dip pages into a vat of highlighter ink. But I digress.)
That’s what makes this book so special. You start with the chapter that is the richest source of the plenary doctrines of our Christian and dare I say the framework of our Biblical and Systematic theology. Romans 8 covers it: Gospel, Trinity, Perfect Atonement, Justification, Regeneration, Adoption, Redemption, Grace, Law, Creation, Fall, Depravity, Sin, Suffering, Intercession and Love. Not that Romans 8 is complete in these things but it when the reader, blessed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or even the non-believer blessed with being pursued by the same Holy Spirit, that you have suddenly realized the glitter in the ground are not mere shards of glass but a path leading to a gem mine that knows no depths and knows no limit on the treasure that can be only in found in Jesus Christ. This book written by a man of God who has descended into the depths of that mine shaft and has only come back to the surface to share with the world with what the author has found in Him.
I ask you, dear reader, have you read this book yet? No? Then why are you not doing so now.
To the Christian, it is a full-blown out description of Christ as the path of life, the fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). This is a book that cries out, “See what God has done! Come to Him, one who gives great love and sweet rest for your tiresome soul!”
For here is love: “I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15
And here is love: “She shall bare a son and you shall call his name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
And here is love: “For our sake, He made Him to be sin who knew no sin so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
And here is love: “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19-20
And here is love:
“… Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
“And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” Romans 9:25-26
And here is love: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
And here is love: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
And here is love: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
To the non-believer who denies the Triune God, this book displays the empirical evidence that you have been seeking that, yes, God does exists and He is not far. May the Holy Spirit show you the power of God by which you can be saved if you would only trust in Him!
To those who are strong in the faith, it book will only serve to prepare your heart to anchor in Christ alone against any stormy gale and fill your heart with such sweet truths.
To those who are weak in the faith, it serves as the sweet, joyous rest for your soul as you lay your head against the bosom of God and rest in the His finished work.
Among my other favorite books, I cannot recommend any one of them to every single person. Yet, No Condemnation in Christ Jesus by Octavius Winslow, is the first Christian book I have read outside of the Bible that I can fully recommend to anyone who can read English.
Likewise, most of the modern Christian self-help books have fallen short in displaying the marvelous and weighty beauty and majesty of our sweet Savior, King and Lord. Those self-help books are just that: about self, in vain and encourages no one. This book is godly encouragement that is rooted in the very breath of God himself (2 Timothy 3:16).
Get this. Read this book. Be encouraged and lifted to the heights of the heavens.