Grace is every bit as important for growing as a Christian as it is for becoming a Christian. "The pursuit of holiness", writes Jerry Bridges", must ...Show synopsisGrace is every bit as important for growing as a Christian as it is for becoming a Christian. "The pursuit of holiness", writes Jerry Bridges", must be anchored in the grace of God; otherwise it is doomed to failure.Hide synopsis
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This is a captivating book. It would be enough to say that it achieves its aim of expounding its sub-title, ?God?s role and our role in the pursuit of holiness?. It goes farther than that in opening up questions that many people have but have never had resolved.
As you would expect of someone who has authored ?Transforming Grace?, ?The Pursuit of Holiness? and ?The Gospel for Real Life, it is a vigorous and rigorous examination of the many aspects and dimensions of the doctrine of grace. The writer, Dr Jerry Bridges skilfully weaves bible interpretation and application with true life examples, many of them personal, and does not shy away from the practical difficulties of living a consistent life against biblical teaching.
It is a well argued and constructed book with latter chapters on the disciplines of dependence, commitment, convictions and making choices of particular benefit for bible study groups. I personally liked two things about this book: its acknowledgement from its preface that the pursuit of holiness has to be motivated by an increasing understanding of the grace of God or it becomes oppressive and joyless and secondly, its reference to classic Puritan writings and understanding. The acknowledgement of John Owen, Jonathan Edwards and George Smeaton as key writers and people such as Charles Hodge as skilful interpreters is refreshing as much literature on spiritual formation seems to be response centred rather than Bible centred.
The bible texts and passages are explained well here and the themes of discipline, holiness and practical living are treated sensitively but also actively challenge the reader to set their standards by a gospel inspired life.
This is a book that I will turn to, share with others, recommend to bible study groups and endorse to pastors and outreach workers on building their understanding of imparting the doctrine of grace appropriately. I would have liked to have seen an Index but a ?Notes? section at the end of the book serves a similar purpose.
In the Discipline of Grace the relationship of graceful living is thru personal discipline. You have to do a personal evaluation to fully examine that you practice what you preach. Thats the hard part. God's santification and our involvement and cooperation with Him is whats referred to as the pursuit of holiness. You can't just do a little bit and expect it to be done. It should be your highest priority. But grace must be anchored in God's grace or it will fail. Most people believe God blesses those who do good which is wrong thinking. This is how grace and love are tied together. We have to have faith and trust in Jesus who died for our sins. I learned alot reading this book in that it taught me to do a total and full self-examination and focus more on those areas where I scored low. It taught me that the most important thing is Jesus died for all our sins and we need to trust in His saving grace. A good reminder that we can't buy our way into Heaven with good deeds. There is also a workbook that you can buy to dig deeper into the material.
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