George Whitefield On Developing Godly Attributes

George Whitefield“The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) do not automatically become evident in our lives. If we are not discerning enough to recognize their availability to us, to desire them, and then to nourish them in our thoughts, they will never become embedded in our nature or behavior. Every further step of spiritual growth in God’s grace must be preceded by acknowledging our lack of a godly attribute and then by exhibiting a prayerful determination to obtain it. …

“Today many people are attempting to use their mental capacity and logical thinking to obtain sanctification, yet this is nothing but a religious fabrication. They believe that if they just mentally put themselves on the altar and believe the altar provides the gift of sanctification, they can then logically conclude they are fully sanctified. Then they go happily on their way, expressing their flippant, theological babble about the ‘deep’ things of God.

“Yet the heartstrings of their old nature have not been broken, and their unyielding character, which they inherited from Adam, has not been ground to powder. Their soul has not throbbed with the lonely, gushing groans of Gethsemane. Having no scars from their death on Calvary, they will exhibit nothing of the soft, sweet, gentle, restful, victorious, overflowing, and triumphant life that flows like a spring morning from an empty tomb.” —George Whitefield

The Blessing Of Humility (book review)

The Blessing Of HumilityIt’s not very often that someone would describe humility as a “blessing,” but Jerry Bridges solidly makes the case that Jesus taught and exemplified humility as one of the greatest blessings of all. As with every other Jerry Bridges book I have read, The Blessing Of Humility is a paradigm-changer.

Bridges introduces the topic of his book like this: “The character trait of humility is the second-most frequently taught trait in the New Testament, second only to love. At one time I counted fifty instances of love taught, either by precept or example, in the New Testament; I counted forty instances of humility. I regard these two traits as the foundational stones of Christian character. All other character traits, in one way or another, are built upon love and humility” (emphasis mine).

The longest recorded sermon from Jesus in the gospels is the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). This sermon begins as Jesus is addressing His followers, and He lists eight “blessed are” statements which we now call The Beatitudes. Jerry Bridges believes that each of the Beatitudes point us to the lovingly humble lifestyle that should characterize all Christians. So one-by-one, Bridges unpacks each Beatitude, showing us how Jesus lived it out, and how His followers can too.

In fact, Bridges says, “Our guide will be Jesus Himself, Who began His longest recorded sermon with a litany of countercultural blessings known to us as the Beatitudes. Taken together, they offer a portrait of humility in action, something which God commands and which God promises to bless.”

This book isn’t very long, and probably could be read through quite quickly. However, if you will read this book slowly, allowing time to “soak in” each Beatitude and its implications for your life, I believe your spiritual heart will be unalterably changed.

I am a Tyndale book reviewer.

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