13 Quotes From Jerry Bridges In “Transforming Grace”

Transforming GraceI think Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges is one of the best books about God’s grace I have ever read! You can read my full book review by clicking here. There are way too many quotes for me to share from this book, so here are a few that really zero-in on grace (I’ll be posting more quotes soon).

“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 into heaven, but we do think they earn God’s blessings in our daily lives.” 

“It was because of His grace that God the Father sent His only Son to die in our place. To say it another way, Christ’s death was the result of God’s grace; grace is not the result of Christ’s death.”

“The gospel is addressed to those who have no money or good works. It invites us to come and ‘buy’ salvation without money and without cost [Isaiah 55:1]. But note the invitation to come is addressed to those who have no money—not to those who don’t have enough. Grace is not a matter of God’s making up the difference, but of God’s providing all the ‘cost’ of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.” 

“We can never rightly understand God’s grace until we understand our place as those who need His grace.”

“We were dead in our transgressions, but God intervened. We were in bondage to sin, but God intervened. We were objects of wrath, but God intervened. God Who is rich in mercy intervened. Because of His great love for us, God intervened and made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our transgressions and sins. All this is summed up in one succinct statement: ‘it is by grace you have been saved.’ Our condition was hopeless, but God intervened in grace.” 

“God’s grace, then, does not supplement our good works. Instead, His grace overcomes our bad works, which are our sins. God did this by placing our sins on Christ and by letting fall on Him the wrath we so richly deserved. … That’s the way His grace operates. It looks not to our sins or even to our good deeds but only to the merit of Christ.”

“The apostle John wrote that Jesus was ‘full of grace and truth,’ and ‘from the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another’ (John 1:14, 16). The idea portrayed in verse 16 is analogous to the ocean waves crashing upon the beach. One wave has hardly disappeared before another arrives. They just keep coming from an inexhaustible supply. So it is with the grace of God through Christ. He is full of grace and truth, and it is from His inexhaustible fullness that we received one blessing after another.” 

“God often does bless people who seem to us to be quite unworthy. But that is what grace is all about, because we are all unworthy.”

“We all want grace, but we cannot enjoy grace when there is an attitude of comparing.” 

“Under a sense of legalism, obedience is done with a view to meriting salvation or God’s blessing on our lives. Under grace, obedience is a loving response to salvation already provided in Christ, and the assurance that, having provided salvation, God will also through Christ provide all else that we need.”

“All Christians look to Christ alone for their justification, but not nearly as many also look to Him for their perfect holiness before God. … Holiness should be an objective for your daily life. But to live by grace, you must never, never look to the work of the Holy Spirit in you as the basis for your relationship with God. You must always look outside of yourself to Christ. You will never be holy enough through your own efforts to come before God. You are holy only through Christ.” 

“When our Father looks at us, He does not see our miserable performance. Instead, He sees the perfect performance of Jesus.”

“We died to the observance of the law as a requirement for attaining righteousness before God. We died to the curse and condemnation that resulted from our inability to perfectly keep the law. … Being under law implies the wrath of God, whereas grace implies forgiveness and favor. Law implies a broken relationship with God, whereas grace implies a restored relationship with Him. So when Paul said we died to the law, he meant we died to that entire state of condemnation, curse, and alienation from God.” 

Don’t Misuse God’s Name

Representing God's nameYou’ve heard the old nursery rhyme: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. We all know this isn’t true: words do hurt, and names that people call us may leave lasting wounds.

Words and names are important to God. God used His word to create the universe (God said, “Let there by light”); Jesus was called The Word (see John 1:1); God has named people and even renamed them to reflect their character or destiny.

The most important name of all is God’s own name, so the Third Commandment says, “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God…” (Exodus 20:7). How can we misuse God’s name? There are five ways—

(1) As emptiness or nothingness

  • Are our words empty? Do we use filler phrases like “Oh my God!” that neither talk to Jehovah or about Jehovah? We shouldn’t use God’s name unless we’re talking to Him or about Him in a respectful way.

(2) In vanity

  • In reality this means calling ourselves a Christian, but speaking in an un-Christlike way.
  • “Giving God a ‘bad name’ might diminish or demolish people’s belief, respect, and awe for God, a tragedy for a world that needs holiness. … It is a major responsibility to represent God; one which should not be taken lightly.” —Dr. Laura Schlessinger

(3) Being insincere

  • Are our promises empty, or is our word our bond? If we have to use phrases like “I swear to God that I will…” then that means we cannot be trusted on our own merits. When we claim to be Christians but cannot be trusted, we undermine the trustworthiness of God in the minds of other people.
  • “The godly man, therefore, will make promises cautiously but keep them conscientiously once they are made, knowing that irresponsibility and unreliability here are great and grievous sins.” —J.I. Packer

(4) Having an unholy vocabulary

  • Holy means something set apart for a special use. Perhaps there are words we use to describe God that we are also using for lesser things. It might be good to listen to how the Holy Spirit would challenge us to have a unique vocabulary to talk to or about our unique God.

(5) Worthlessness of conduct

  • As the cliche goes, “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying.” So we need to make sure that we both talk like Jesus talked and live like Jesus lived.

Anything less than these standards just may be misusing God’s holy name and character by misrepresenting Him or giving Him a “bad name.” What do you think?

I am continuing our look at the Ten Commandments in our series The Love In The Law next Sunday. I would absolutely love it if you could join us!

12 Quotes From “The Love Of God”

The Love Of GodOswald Chambers has a way of writing about biblical truths that satisfy both the head and the heart. You can read my review of Chambers’ book The Love Of God by clicking here. Below are just a few of the many, many quotes I highlighted in this amazing book.

“In the future, when trial and difficulties await you, do not be fearful, whatever and whoever you may lose faith in, let not this faith slip from you—God is Love; whisper it not only to your heart in its hour of darkness, but here in your corner of God’s earth and man’s great city, live in the belief of it; preach it by your sweetened, chastened, happy life; sing it in consecrated moments of peaceful joy, sing until the world around you ‘is wrought to sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not.’ The world does not bid you sing, but God does. Song is the sign of an unburdened heart; then sing your songs of love unbidden, ever rising higher and higher into a fuller conception of the greatest, grandest fact on the stage of Time—God is Love.”

“God did not create man as a puppet to please a despotic idea of His own, He created us out of the superabundant flow of overflowing love and goodness, He created us susceptible of all the blessedness which He had ordained for us.”

“Drink deep and full of the love of God and you will not demand the impossible from earth’s loves, and the love of wife and child, of husband and friend, will grow holier and healthier and simpler and grander.”

“Love is difficult to define, but the working definition I would like to give is that ‘Love is the sovereign preference of my person for another person, embracing everyone and everything in that preference.’”

“The majority of us are unnoticed and unnoticeable people. If we take the extraordinary experience as a model for the Christian life, we erect a wrong standard without knowing it.” 

“God will use any number of extraordinary things to chisel the detail of His ‘lily work’ in His children. He will use people who are like hedgehogs, He will use difficult circumstances, the weather; He will use anything and everything, no matter what it is, and we shall always know when God is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.”

“A Christian is one in whom the indwelling Spirit of God shines out all the time.”

“Our Lord did not say to His disciples: ‘I have had a most successful time on earth, I have addressed thousands of people and been the means of their salvation; now you go and do the same kind of thing.’ He said: ‘If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet.’ We try to get out of it by washing the feet of those who are not of our own set. We will wash the heathen’s feet, the feet in the slums; but fancy washing my brother’s feet! my wife’s! my husband’s! the feet of the minister of my church! Our Lord said one another’s feet. It is in the ordinary commonplace circumstances that the unconscious light of God is seen.”

“The reason we are going through the things we are is that God wants to know whether He can make us good bread with which to feed others. The stuff of our lives, not simply of our talk, is to be the nutriment of those who know us. … It is in the solitary life that we prove whether we are willing to be made the unadvertised life for the community to which we belong—whether we are willing to be made bread or to be simply the advertisement for bread? If we are to be made bread, then we must not be surprised if we are treated in the way Our Lord was treated.”

“For a man to lay down his life is not to lay it down in a sudden crisis, such as death, but to lay it down in deliberate expenditure as one would lay out a pound note. Not—‘Here it is, take it out in one huge martyrdom and be done with it.’ It is a continual substitution whereby we realize that we have another day to spend out for Jesus Christ, another opportunity to prove ourselves His friends.”

“The test of spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have power to rise only, there is something wrong. … Spiritual selfishness makes us want to stay on the mount; we feel so good, as if we could do anything—talk like angels and live like angels, if only we could stay there. But there must be the power to descend; the mountain is not the place for us to live, we were built for the valleys. … We never live for the glory of God on the mount, we see His glory there, but we do not live for His glory there; it is in the valley that we live for the glory of God. … The reason we have to live in the valley is that the majority of people live there, and if we are to be of use to God in the world we must be useful from God’s standpoint, not from our own standpoint or the standpoint of other people. … As disciples of Jesus we have to learn not only what Our Lord is like on the Mount of Transfiguration, but what He is like in the valley of humiliation, where everything is giving the lie to His power, where the disciples are powerless, and where He is not doing anything.”

“We shall find that the spheres God brings us into are not meant to teach us something but to make us something.”

Thursdays With Oswald—New Healthy Habits

Oswald ChambersThis is a periodic series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

New Healthy Habits

When the Spirit of God brings a Word of God to us, are we going to wake up and lay hold [Ephesians 5:14-18] of it, or remain in the condition St. Augustine was in—“a little more worldliness; a little less intensity”? … When God tells us to do a thing He empowers us to do it, only we must do the doing. … All we need is grit and gumption and reliance on the Holy Spirit. We must bring the same determined energy to the revelations in God’s Book as we bring to earthly professions. Most of us leave the sweat of brain outside when we come to deal with the Bible. …

When in your soul’s vision you see clearly what God wants, let me advise you to do something physical immediately. If you accompany a moral or spiritual decision with a physical effort you give the necessary initiative to form the new habit. …

How are we going to find out the will of God? “God will communicate it to us.” He will not. His will is there all the time, but we have to discover it by being renewed in our minds, by taking heed to His Word and obeying it. If we are not going to be “conformed to this world; but transformed,” we must use our brains. God does the spiritual, powerful part we cannot do; but we have to work it out, and as we do the obeying we prove… “what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” [Romans 12:1-2].

From The Moral Foundations Of Life

Everything we need to form new, healthy, God-pleasing habits has already been given to us in the Bible. Now we need to put our brains and our bodies to work—

God’s Word + Holy Spirit revelation + Concentration + Physical obedience = 

New God-honoring habits

8 Quotes About The Holy Spirit From “God’s Pursuit Of Man”

God's Pursuit Of ManA.W. Tozer shows how important the Holy Spirit is in bringing us into a deeper relationship with the fullness of the Godhead in his book God’s Pursuit Of Man. Check out some quotes on this subject.

“One of the most telling blows which the enemy ever struck at the life of the Church was to create in her a fear of the Holy Spirit.” 

“The true Christian ideal is not to be happy but to be holy. The holy heart alone can be the habitation of the Holy Ghost.”

“For the Holy Spirit is not a luxury, not something added now and again to produce a deluxe type of Christian once in a generation. No, He is for every child of God a vital necessity, and that He fill and indwell His people is more than a languid hope. It is rather an inescapable imperative.” 

“God will not surprise a doubting heart with an effusion of the Holy Spirit, nor will He fill anyone who has doctrinal questions about the possibility of being filled.”

“If the Spirit takes charge of your life He will expect unquestioning obedience in everything. He will not tolerate in you the self-sins even though they are permitted and excused by most Christians. By the self-sins I mean self-love, self-pity, self-seeking, self-confidence, self-righteousness, self-aggrandizement, self-defense.”

“However wonderful the crisis experience of being filled with the Spirit, we should remember that it is only a means toward something greater: that greater thing is the lifelong walk in the Spirit, indwelt, directed, taught and empowered by His mighty Person.”

“We must make our thoughts a clean sanctuary for His holy habitation. He dwells in our thoughts, and soiled thoughts are as repugnant to Him as soiled linen to a king.” 

“The Spirit indwelt life is not a special deluxe edition of Christianity to be enjoyed by a certain rare and privileged few who happen to be made of finer and more sensitive stuff than the rest. Rather, it is the normal state for every redeemed man and woman the world over.”

You can read some other quotes from this book by clicking here.

You can read my review of God’s Pursuit Of Man by clicking here.

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading from today…

“The book of Acts is the account of holy men and women seeking the Lord’s face. From beginning to end, it tells of how prayer moves God. Whether in the Upper Room, in prisons, in some secret house hiding from authorities, or in Simon’s house on a street called Straight— they prayed! In the morning and sometimes all night, they prayed without ceasing. Cornelius prayed always and Peter prayed on rooftops. By the seashore, in the temple, or in the desert, they called upon the Lord continually. They spent hours and days shut in with God, until they received dear, detailed guidance. And what incredible specifics God gave them.”  Read more of David Wilkerson’s post Seeking The Face Of The Lord.

Chuck Colson on the value and testimony in doing good work.

“For of Him, besides these benefits whereof we have spoken partly such as are left to the administration of nature and bestowed both upon good and bad, we have a particular bounty of His love peculiar only to the good. For although we can never yield Him sufficient thanks for our being, life, sense, and understanding of Him, yet for that He has not forsaken us when we were involved in sin, when we turned away from His contemplation, and were blinded with love of black iniquity; for that He has sent us His Word, His only Son, by whose incarnation and passion for us we might conceive how dearly God esteemed us, and by that singular sacrifice be purged from our guilt, and by the illumination of His Holy Spirit in our hearts, tread down all difficulties, and ascend to that eternal rest, and ineffable sweetness of His contemplation—what heart, how many tongues, can suffice to return sufficient thanks for this last benefit.” —Augustine

“Self-righteousness is terrible among God’s people. If we feel that we are what we ought to be, then we will remain what we are. We will not look for any change or improvement in our lives. This will quite naturally lead us to judge everyone by what we are. This is the judgment of which we must be careful. To judge others by ourselves is to create havoc in the local assembly.” —A.W. Tozer

Tim Elmore on this generation’s Nomophobia. And check out his newest book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid.

Read this (even if you don’t think you need to): 4 Signs You May Be Addicted To Busyness.

13 Quotes From “God’s Pursuit Of Man”

God's Pursuit Of ManA.W. Tozer paints such a vivid picture of God’s desire for us to be in a deeper relationship with Him. I love it! You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some quotes I especially appreciated from God’s Pursuit Of Man.

“We habitually stand in our now and look back by faith to see the past filled with God. We look forward and see Him inhabiting our future; but our now is uninhabited except for ourselves. Thus we are guilty of a kind of temporary atheism which leaves us alone in the universe while, for the time, God is not.” 

“Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection of reality, a cheap copy of an original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard. It cannot but be a major tragedy in the life of any man to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, no ears to hear and no heart to love.”

“Self-righteousness is an effective bar to God’s favor because it throws the sinner back upon his own merits and shuts him out from the imputed righteousness of Christ.” 

“Every man looks to his fellow men because he has no one else to whom he can look. David could say, ‘Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee’ (Psalm 73:25). But the sons of this world have not God; they have only each other, and they walk holding to each other and looking to one another for assurance like frightened children. But their hope will fail them, for they are like a group of men, none of whom has learned to fly a plane, who suddenly find themselves aloft without a pilot, each looking to the other to bring them safely down. Their desperate but mistaken trust cannot save them from the crash which must certainly follow. … Yet in their pride men assert their will and claim ownership of the earth. Well, for a time it is true that this is man’s world. God is admitted only by man’s sufferance. He is treated as visiting royalty in a democratic country. Everyone takes His name upon his lips and (especially at certain seasons) He is feted and celebrated and hymned. But behind all this flattery men hold firmly to their right of self-determination. As long as man is allowed to play host he will honor God with his attention, but always He must remain a guest and never seek to be Lord. Man will have it understood that this is his world; he will make its laws and decide how it shall be run. God is permitted to decide nothing. Man bows to Him and as he bows, manages with difficulty to conceal the crown upon his own head.”

“The degree of blessing enjoyed by any man will correspond exactly with the completeness of God’s victory over him.”

“A thousand years of remorse over a wrong act would not please God as much as a change of conduct and a reformed life. … We can best repent our neglect by neglecting Him no more. Let us begin to think of Him as One to be worshiped and obeyed. Let us throw open every door and invite Him in. Let us surrender to Him every room in the temple of our hearts and insist that He enter and occupy as Lord and Master within His own dwelling.”

“God made man in His own image and placed within him an organ by means of which he could know spiritual things. When man sinned that organ died. ‘Dead in sin’ is a description not of the body nor yet of the intellect, but of the organ of God-knowledge within the human soul. Now men are forced to depend upon another and inferior organ and one furthermore which is wholly inadequate to the purpose. I mean, of course, the mind as the seat of his powers of reason and understanding. Man by reason cannot know God; he can only know about God.” 

“The danger is that we think of ‘the power of God’ as something belonging to God as muscular energy belongs to a man, as something which He has and which might be separated from Him and still have existence in itself. We must remember that the “attributes” of God are not component parts of the blessed Godhead nor elements out of which He is composed. A god who could be composed would not be God at all but the work of something or someone greater than he, great enough to compose him. We would then have a synthetic god made out of the pieces we call attributes, and the true God would be another being altogether, One indeed who is above all thought and all conceiving.”

“Christianity takes for granted the absence of any self-help and offers a power which is nothing less than the power of God. This power is to come upon powerless men as a gentle but resistless invasion from another world, bringing a moral potency infinitely beyond anything that might be stirred up from within. This power is sufficient; no additional help is needed, no auxiliary source of spiritual energy, for it is the Holy Spirit of God come where the weakness lay to supply power and grace to meet the moral need.” 

Man, who moved out of the heart of God by sin, now moves back into the heart of God by redemption. God, who moved out of the heart of man because of sin, now enters again His ancient dwelling to drive out His enemies and once more make the place of His feet glorious.”

“To will the will of God is to do more than give unprotesting consent to it; it is rather to choose God’s will with positive determination. As the work of God advances, the Christian finds himself free to choose whatever he will, and he gladly chooses the will of God as his highest conceivable good.” 

“That terrible zone of confusion so evident in the whole life of the Christian community could be cleared up in one day if the followers of Christ would begin to follow Christ instead of each other.”

“Religious contentment is the enemy of the spiritual life always.”

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