This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years by Jaquelle Crowe is a 155-page book focused on living a gospel-centered life as a teenager.
The book is divided up into eight areas: our identity, story, community, sin, disciplines, growth, time, and relationships.
In this review, I want to go over each of those areas and talk about what I found most helpful.
Jesus changes everything in our lives.
“If you take away one thing from this book, let it be this: Jesus has no half-hearted followers.”
Next, it talks about six things Christians do (different from the world). They treasure Christ, devalue everything else, put faith in Christ alone, know Him, suffer for Him, and become like Him.
Our identity is completely, totally, fully in Jesus. The gospel doesn’t just give us a free pass to heaven; it transforms everything in our lives!
This section is all about the story of us: how we were created, how sin entered the world through Adam, how because of Adam, we are sinners, and how Jesus freed us from our sin to live for Him.
Because of sin, our fellowship with God is cracked.
Jesus, Son of God, descended down to our planet, died on the cross, rose from the dead, and he is coming back again!
So how does the Gospel, God’s amazing saving act for sinners, change everything?
1. It shows us God’s grace. When we see our sin, God’s grace is made clear.
2. It teaches us that Christ is our one true Master.
Jesus is King and we are made to live for Him.
Our Community (aka, the Church)
… The gospel is about community (Rom. 12: 4-5). Jesus didn’t die only for one individual; he saved an enormous group. Ad he saved them to join together.
No matter what age we are, we are meant to be a part of the church.
We’re called to love the church.
We’re called to serve the church.
We’re called to worship with the church.
We’re called to hold and be held accountable by the church.
As Christians, we hate all sin because we’re saved from sin to pursue holiness.
Five ways to fight sin
1. Feed on God’s Word
The Bible is the greatest weapon to fight sin.
“Reading and knowing it [the Bible] gives us power to see the sin in our lives, turn from temptation, choose obedience, delight ourselves in God, and steel our hearts against sin’s threat.”
2. Hate Sin
3.Repent (a lot)
4. Be accountable to people who love you
“Pursuing holiness without accountability is like walking down a narrow road sandwiched between two deep ditches. It would be impossibly easy to fall astray without the guidance of accountability’s guardrails.”
5. Be humble
Spiritual disciplines are Scriptural habits that help us grow.
Reading God’s Word
“A central part of reading Scripture is meditation…It’s taking God’s Word and thoughtfully reflecting on it.”
Crowe suggests the Legacy Reading Plan, M’Cheyne’s Reading Plan, Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers, The Bible-Eater Plan, Two-Year Bible Reading Plan by Stephen Witmer, and the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan.
Memorizing God’s Word
“We’re called to be ‘ambassadors’ for the gospel, because the primary way God saves people is through the witness and testimony or Christians.”
Spiritual growth is a sign of spiritual life.
Discernment (the ability to tell between right and wrong) is key to growth.
“It’s [Discernment is] a holy call to discern what is pleasing to God and what’s not.”
The gospel changes how we spend our time.
To redeem our time, we ought to give, do, and be our best. (Col. 3:32)
To redeem our time, we ought to enjoy God’s gifts.
To redeem our time, we ought to sacrifice the idol of comfort.
To redeem our time, we ought to live in light of eternity.
are really good
are crazy messy (because of the sins of idolatry and selfishness)
have one purpose (to help you be more like Jesus)
Types of relationships:
teachers, authorities, disciplinarians, and individuals.
We’re called to put their needs before ours and die to ourselves.
Godly friends are just and kind, pursuing righteousness, wise, unconditionally loving, close and committed, teachable, level-headed and self-controlled, honest, trustworthy, and edifying.
The Opposite Gender
“Because of the gospel, the priority in my relationships with the opposite gender is to promote purity.”
The gospel changes everything about our lives. Because of everything God’s done for us, the only response is to spend the rest of our lives following and worshiping the King.
What I Thought
This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years is an awesome book. I think everyone should read it. I love how it’s so focused on the gospel and how it shows key areas in our lives and how they’re transformed by the gospel. It really inspires me to live for Jesus because of what he’s done for me at the cross.