Drinking Deeply

Monday, January 29, 2007 at 7:06 PM

Book Review: The Discipline of Grace

The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges is a book written to bring together two equally necessary truths. 1) The need of living by grace and 2) The need for spiritual disciplines as we grow as a Christian. I found the book exactly what I needed.

The book emphasized the continual need of the Gospel for believers. It was not something that only unbelievers needed, and believers needed "discipleship" but something that was daily necessary to the Christian walk.

Beginning with a simple but theologically deep Gospel presentation, the book moved onto a series of chapters that reminded me of my need to preach the Gospel to myself daily, my need for God's grace, and the grounds by which I am being sanctified.

From there, the book moved on into basic disciplines of a Christian life, why they are important and how we can implement them all the while not forgetting our need for God and becoming self-reliant.

I found the book pretty much perfect for where I was at. Not only was it theologically refreshing, but filled with theology-driven application as well. I realized that in my previous two or so years I had viewed sanctification wrong (to some extent or another). One year I bordered upon being legalistic, convinced that the answer to sin was simply to stop sinning (that's probably a bad summary, but boil it down that's what it was). I will filled with Christian disciplines. I prayed. I read my Bible. I memorized verses. And as long as I was ok, that held me up. I had good weeks because I made good weeks.

But then things crashed, went through a tough break and wasn't able to dig myself out of it. Was reminded of God's grace and pretty much went the other extreme. God's gospel was sufficient and I didn't need disciplines as much as I needed the Gospel, so I'll just keep preaching the Gospel to myself and I'll naturally become a good Christian.

To put it simply, I lost a large number of habits (that I am still trying to recover).

I found that this book struck and excellent balance, filling with Scripture what I always kind of thought to one extreme or another, but never really made sense of in my mind.

I would highly recommend this book to all Christians, wherever you are in your walk. Probably recommend it more than C.J. Mahaney's book "A Cross-Centered Life," which was my personal favorite on sanctification prior to this one.

Some quotes -

"Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace." (on the need for the Gospel daily)

"A belief is what you hold, but a conviction is what holds you. You may live contrary to what you believe, but you cannot live contrary to your convictions." (on the need for convictions founded upon God's Word)

here's a blog post by Vincent Cheung on the topic that I found very informative too.

My recommendation: Own it


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