Transforming Grace

July 29, 2009 at 9:11 am | Posted in Books and Movies, Grace and Faith, Theology | Leave a comment

For Christmas a year and a half ago, my sister gave me a copy of Jerry Bridges Transforming Grace, Living Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love, and I’ve finally gotten around to reading it.  I’m about half way through, and so far it has been a great read.  Bridges main theme is that, as Christians, we often believe that salvation is by grace, but that living the Christian life is on our own merits.  He counters with the biblical truth that all of the Christian life, from new birth to heaven is by grace.  Here are a few quotes to give you a feel for the book:

In a section talking about our spiritual bankruptcy before God, “I think most of us actually declared temporary bankruptcy.  Having trusted in Christ alone for our salvation, we have subtly and unconsciously reverted to a works relationship with God in our Christian lives.  We recognize that even our best efforts cannot get us to Heaven, but we do think they earn us God’s blessings in our daily lives.” (p.15)

“Here is a spiritual principle regarding the grace of God: To the extent you are clinging to any vestiges of self-righteousness or are putting any confidence in your own spiritual attainments, to that degree you are not living by the grace of God in your life.  This principle applies both in salvation and in living the Christian life.” (p.35)

After quoting R.C. Sproul on the difficulty of relying totally on God’s grace, Bridges adds, “Not only do we think we must pay our own way, at least to some degree, we subtly insist on paying our own way.  As Dr. Sproul said, ‘Grace is for other people – for beggars,’ but not for us.” (p.63 – his emphasis)

And finally, “Our good works are not truly good unless they are motivated by a love for God and a desire to glorify him.  But we cannot have such a God-ward motivation if we think we must earn God’s favor by our obedience, or if we fear we may forfeit God’s favor by our disobedience.” (p.86)

Don’t read this book if you don’t want to be convinced of the Reformed teaching on sin and grace; but do read this book if you want to know biblical truth put into applicable terms that encourage the reader.

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