Friday, July 24, 2015

Book Review: Transforming Grace

Transforming Grace. Jerry Bridges. 1991. NavPress. 207 pages. [Source: Borrowed]

I loved, loved, loved Jerry Bridges' Transforming Grace. It is a MUST READ in my opinion. If you've never read Jerry Bridges before, you don't know what you're missing. He is a GREAT author that every Christian--every Christian who reads--should try. And Transforming Grace would be a great introduction to his work.

Why? Well, because people NEED to know about grace, to embrace grace, to come to a greater, deeper appreciation of what grace is and all that it means. Not that any person can fully and totally comprehend God's grace and 'all that it means.' But you can live in awe of it, and let it transform you day by day, year by year. Grace isn't something to celebrate a couple of times in your life. It's something to celebrate each and every day.

Believers need to preach the gospel to themselves daily--and reading Jerry Bridges, well, may just help you remember to do just that. I believe that the book would prove beneficial to new believers and to old believers--those who have perhaps been in the faith for decades, but, could use a little refreshing. (Who doesn't need refreshing from the Spirit?!) The truth, in my opinion, never gets old. The good news is GREAT news. And one never outgrows one's need for gospel-truth, for the richness of grace.

Table of Contents:

  • The Performance Treadmill
  • Grace--Who Needs It?
  • Grace--It Really Is Amazing
  • The Generous Landowner
  • Does God Have A Right?
  • Compelled by Love
  • The Proof of Love
  • Holiness: A Gift of God's Grace
  • Called To Be Free
  • The Sufficiency of Grace
  • The Least of All God's People
  • Appropriating God's Grace
  • Garments of Grace

One of the best kept secrets among Christians today is this: Jesus paid it all. I mean all. He not only purchased your forgiveness of sins and your ticket to Heaven, He purchased every blessing and every answer to prayer you will ever receive. Every one of them--no exceptions. Why is this such a well-kept secret? For one thing we are afraid of this truth. We are afraid to tell even ourselves that we don't have to work anymore, the work is all done. We are afraid that if we really believe this, we will slack off in our Christian duties. (19)
What, then, is the grace by which we are saved and under which we live? Grace is God's free and unmerited favor shown to guilty sinners who deserve only judgment. It is the love of God shown to the unlovely. It is God reaching downward to people who are in rebellion against Him. Grace stands in direct opposition to any supposed worthiness on our part. (22)
You are loved and accepted by God through the merits of Jesus, and you are blessed by God through the merit of Jesus. Nothing you ever do will cause Him to love you any more or any less. He loves you strictly by His grace given to you through Jesus. (73)
To live by grace is to live solely by the merit of Jesus Christ. To live by grace is to base my entire relationship with God, including my acceptance and standing with Him, on my union with Christ. It is to recognize that in myself I bring nothing of worth to my relationship with God, because even my righteous acts are like filthy rags in His sight (Isaiah 64:6). Even my best works are stained with mixed motives and imperfect performance. I never truly love God with all my heart, and I never truly love my neighbor with the degree of consistency with which I love myself. (101)
God never allows pain without a purpose in the lives of His children. He never allows Satan, nor circumstances, nor any ill-intending person to afflict us unless He uses that affliction for our good. God never wastes pain. He always causes it to work together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His Son (see Romans 8:28-29). (139)
The Bible is God's self-revelation to us of all He wants us to know about Himself and His provision for our salvation and our spiritual growth. It is God's only objective, authoritative communication. to us. If we are to appropriate the grace of God then, we must become intimate friends with the Bible. We must seek to know and understand the great truths of Scripture: truths about God and His character, and truths about man and his desperate need of God's grace. (177)
It is difficult for us to see God's hand of love in the adversities and heartaches of life because we persist in thinking, as the world does, that happiness is the greatest good. Thus we tend to evaluate all our circumstances in terms of whether or not they produce happiness. Holiness, however, is a greater good than happiness, so God arranges and orchestrates circumstances to produce holiness before happiness. He is more concerned about our eternal than our temporal welfare and more concerned about our spiritual than our material welfare. So all the trials and difficulties, all the heartaches, disappointments, and humiliations come from His loving hand to make us partakers of His holiness. (183)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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