Book Review: The Transforming Power of the Gospel

Many think the Gospel is this: the “Good News” of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus so that we can go to heaven. That is certainly part of the gospel. But what about that transforms us?

Jerry Bridges devotes a whole book to addressing that question. The Gospel doesn’t start and end with heaven. The goal of God was not to save us from hell, although He does do that. The goal of God in sending Jesus was to reconcile us back to Himself. And then to give us Jesus-power to live the Christian life, for Him, and for all to see, that others may know Him and be reconciled back to Him as well.

This Gospel isn’t just for unbelievers. It is for Christians. We need a higher and better concept and grasp of the Grace of God. Jerry Bridges will practically help you see yourself for who you really are and by contrast, see God for whom He really is.

Read this book and see what a daily embracing of the Gospel looks like. See how spiritual disciplines will move you deeper and closer in your relationship to the Gospel and to Christ Himself. See how we are responsible to live out the commands of Jesus, while at the same time depending “on the Holy Spirit to both do His own work and enable us through His power to do the work we must do.”

Rating: B+
Definitely Worth Reading

Title: The Transforming Power of the Gospel
Author: Jerry Bridges
Length: 192 pages
Genre: Spiritual Life

Fruit From the Vine: I love Fridays

“Therefore [in light of salvation], preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13

I love Fridays.  Not because my life gets easier or my work load gets reduced. I have 2 small children, nothing gets easier, no matter what day it is. I don’t love Fridays and weekends because I get to sleep in, because I don’t. I love Fridays because I love the weekend. I love Fridays because my I love my husband. On the weekends, he is home (for most of it) and the family is together, re-united and united. We do things together. Even if it’s brushing our teeth, or preparing dinner, we’re together.

In preparation for the weekend, on Friday’s I extra clean the house. I try to keep the house tidy anyway, but on Fridays I clean in an expectant way. The floors get mopped, desks get organized and clutter is removed. In addition, a special family dinner is made that everyone can look forward to, and I spend the day anticipating the activities and togetherness that our night and weekend together will bring. My husband is coming home to stay and that makes all the difference in my attitude, service to him, and preparation for his return.

How much more, in exponential proportions, can this attitude, this anticipation, this expectancy be for Jesus. He is returning. He is not returning for His bride in wrath or in condemnation, but with GRACE! To set our hope fully on this, is to do the first part of the verse- prepare for action. As much as I love to work, sweat and labor for my husbands’ ceasing from his weekday work and as much as I anticipate his return, it is just a foretaste of the return of our Hope.

So may I work, sweat, prepare, and serve God because His return is imminent and I long to spend eternity with him, the same way only much greater than the way I long for the weekends.  May you as well! Do some serious spring cleaning right now in your life, Christian. Set your hope on grace at His return by clearing the clutter of messed-up priorities, mopping the floors of your heart, washing the windows so that you can see clearly, and making something special (with your life) for the Savior.  Don’t let sin get a foothold, take out the trash of bitterness, envy and pride, and work hard for your remaining days. Don’t be slothful or lazy, don’t be selfish, don’t be worldly. Don’t just go to Church and be a stagnant Christian. Don’t bury your treasure, don’t hide your talent. Don’t set your hope in possessions or relationships, in an easy life or in everything working out so that you can live the dream. And please don’t set your hope on being “happy”. No, no no, please no. Set your hope FULLY on GRACE!

If you aren’t excited, get excited. Meditate on the Word, spend time praying, serve the Church and your neighbors, disciple others, share the gospel, invest in spiritual things and reap spiritual rewards. Adore Christ as your highest Treasure, anticipating with great joy that “the weekend” is coming soon!