Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Discipline of Grace

To preach the gospel to yourself, then, means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life. It means that you appropriate, again by faith, the fact that Jesus fully satisfied the law of God, that He is your propitiation, and that God’s holy wrath is no longer directed toward you.
I’ve been listening to Jerry Bridges’ book The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness. Although it’s been a little while since I last went through his book The Pursuit of Holiness, I’m enjoying this one even more than his more famous, prior work.

Bridges has an uncanny ability to take the deep truths of Scripture and make them accessible and understandable to everyone, from new believers on up. In this book he draws upon various passages in the Bible to teach on the gospel’s implications for believers. All too often we presuppose that the gospel is for those who aren’t Christians, but Bridges reminds us that the foundation of every step in the Christian walk is the gospel. The Apostle Paul, in Galatians 3:3, asks, “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” In other words, Paul’s readers entered into fellowship with Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives through believing the gospel. Everything afterwards much be completed (perfected) by the Spirit through continued belief in the gospel. Bridges takes this deep truth and opens it up through passage after passage of Scripture that is clear and easy to understand.

Bridges is one of those authors that I can’t help but enjoy reading and learning from. I highly recommend The Discipline of Grace to everyone, and I believe that the earlier in your Christian walk that you read it, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

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