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You'll never be able to ask for too much, need too much, hope for too much. This Bible study shows how God's grace will transform you.
The freedom in falling short of God’s standard relies on His gift of grace. Unfortunately, too many of us forget the free offer. We spend our lives basing our relationship with God on our performance rather than on Him. We see our identity as never being worthy of His love.
Isn’t it time to stop trying to measure up and begin accepting the transforming power of God’s grace?
The product of more than 10 years of Bible study, Navigator author Jerry Bridges' Transforming Grace is a fountainhead of inspiration and renewal that will show you just how inexhaustible and generous God’s grace really is.
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I still dont get it...
Why all the hoopla over this book? Never mind James' passage: "Faith without works is dead." This writing feels uncomfortably pantheistic; it sublimely dictates that we play no role in our salvation. If so, yes; we can expect to see Adolf, Pol Pot and Mao all inside the pearly gates, too. Any writer who is as focused on lottery-style grace is a smorgasbord-style christian who also ignores the gospel of the lost sheep. Why would the heavens rejoice over a repentent sinner if there is no outpouring of God's grace due to their repentence? Notably- scant mention of heaven or afterlife in this book, either. Sure our works are imperfect, that does not prove we should not "strive to be perfect as your father is perfect." (And perhaps- God is imperfect, too. Afterall- if cosmology dictates He is "all knowing, all loving, and all powerful," how can so little justice, mercy or godly wrath exist in this world?)
11/17/2012 3:34:57 PM
A must read!
I've had the opportunity now to read several Jerry Bridges books and I must say that he's quickly become one of my favorite authors. I recently finished Transforming Grace and found it very refreshing and thought-provoking. It tackles a complex concept in a clear,understandable fashion.
Dr. Bridges begins by using the analogy of bankruptcy to illustrate our spiritual condition. There are two types of bankruptcy: chapter 11, which is what we would call "temporary" bankruptcy...the type that is chosen by a company who can eventually get back on their feet...and chapter 7, which is for a company that has reached the end of it's financial rope and has no future. He asserts that most of us have only "filed" chapter 11 when it comes to our spiritual condition. While we recognize that we're spiritually bankrupt when it comes to salvation, we then subtly and unconsciously revert back to a works relationship with God in our everyday walk, rather than recognizing that even our daily relationship with God is based on the infinite merit of Christ, not on our own performance. The entire Christian life from start to finish is lived on the basis of God's grace to us through Christ. He goes on to develop this idea throughout the book, successfully navigating the tension between "working out our own salvation with fear and trembling" and depending utterly and completely on God's grace in everything.
Bridges writes graciously, with transparency and humility about his own struggles with falling back into a "works based" mentality. He delves into the reasons why we fail to experience grace in our lives as we should.
After spending the majority of the book fully developing exactly what grace is and how it applies to us, Bridges addresses how we appropriate this grace. There are four principal means: prayer, His Word, submission to His providential workings in our lives, and the ministry of others. Each of these is explored in depth.
Finally, he discusses the character traits that should be evidenced in our lives, flowing out of experiencing God's grace. There are five in particular that he focuses on : gratitude, contentment, humility, forbearance, and forgiveness.
The book concludes by reiterating that in order to experience the joy of living by God's transforming grace, it's essential to begin and end by recognizing our own spiritual bankruptcy.
Transforming Grace is perfect for personal reading or a group study. The companion study guide provides great questions to use in a group setting.
This is a truly gracious, insightful, and clearly stated study on what exactly God's grace is and how it applies to us. For anyone who finds themselves tempted to fall back into the "performance treadmill" (which we all do at times), Transforming Grace is essential reading.
Thanks so much to Navpress for providing review copies of the book and study guide to me.
8/23/2010 4:39:22 PM
Outstanding Bible Study on Grace
I almost hate to write reviews for Jerry Bridges books, as I feel there is nothing more beneficial I could do than just provide quote after quote. His writing has been so life changing for me, I am determined to read everything Jerry Bridges has written.
As someone who struggles with “the performance treadmill” I was so blessed by Bridges’ gracious words, and most of all, his humility. Recently, I have been writing a series on the fruit of the Spirit in Christian fiction. I wrote that I had difficulty finding characters that demonstrated the fruit of gentleness and meekness. What is refreshing to me about Jerry’s work is that he willingly admits his sins and struggles. He has a humility and meekness in his writing that make his words even more beautiful. Bridges is in the trenches with us, working out his salvation with fear and trembling, yet always ultimately looking to God’s grace.
Bridges defines the Christian experience into three distinct phases: justification, sanctification, and glorification. He goes on to show the reader how essential grace is in all elements of the Christian walk. He starts off by giving an illustration of our complete bankruptcy showing how foolish it is to depend on works. Bridges took passages I was very familiar with: such as the generous landowner and the widow of Zarephath and enabled me to gain new insights from these passages.
Here are a few quotes that blessed me:
“So he (God) supplies perfectly measured grace to meet the needs of the godly. For daily needs there is daily grace; for sudden needs, sudden grace; for overwhelming need, overwhelming grace. God’s grace is given wonderfully, but not wastefully; freely but not foolishly; bountifully, but not blindly.” (John Blanchard, 176)
“The Word, stored in your heart, provides a mental depository for the Holy Spirit to use to mediate His grace to us, whatever our need for grace might be.” (220)
“The Spirit of God is sovereign in His working, and we cannot squeeze Him into the mold of our spiritual formulas.” (221)
Thought some of the writers here might appreciate Charles Swindoll’s thoughts on the writing process. He describes it as, “blood, sweat, tears, sleepless nights, lengthy stares at blank sheets of paper, unproductive days when everything gets dumped into the trash, and periodic moments when inspiration and insight flow.” (187)
In short, if you are looking for a theologically sound book that will impact the way you live your life…if you want to be encouraged in your growth…I most definitely recommend Transforming Grace.
Disclosure: I was provided this book by NavPress in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
8/13/2010 2:02:37 PM
Jerry Bridges wrote an amazing book on the topic of grace. So often we as Christians subconsciously try to work for salvation or favor with God. We often believe that God's grace can be earned by our own merit. But the truth is that God's grace is simply a free gift. It can never be earned and it is not deserved. God is amazingly gracious and freely bestows this grace upon us.
This book is Scripturally sound and filled with info that takes a close look at the Scriptures. Walking through God's word we see up close and personal this grace at work. The subtitle of this book is, "Living Confidently in God's Unfailing Love." This explains well another aspect of this book. We do take a look at how God loves us and how we need to grasp that to live in grace.
We also need to accept God's grace and then in turn freely extend it to others. We need to realize we are spiritually bankrupt before God. We need to completely depend on Him in all things. The Holy Spirit that lives in us then does the work in us that God desires. It is all an act of amazing grace.
This is a must read for Christians.We must understand God's grace. I highly recommend this book. It is now on my favorites list.
7/31/2010 9:34:37 PM
'Transforming Grace' will change your life
“Transforming Grace” by Jerry Bridges is yet another bestseller for NavPress and truly the best yet for the best-selling author and well-known speaker. Bridges definitely has a gift of choosing difficult themes and transcribing them into understandable books that every pastor, teacher and layperson should read.
“Transforming Grace” will show you the correct way to view grace and how to better understand what the Bible is talking about when teaching about it. Even though we know better, we still manage to make our relationship with God a works-based relationship. We may say we believe otherwise, but our actions prove us wrong. In this book, Bridges shows where we go wrong, how to act properly and why it is so important to accept the grace God offers.
It is important to understand that God’s grace is His gift to us no matter what. We cannot earn it and we certainly don’t deserve it. It is ours because we are His. We don’t have to beg for it. We can’t steal it from someone else. And it is not for sale. Only God can give it to you and you can’t give it away.
There is a Discussion Guide available making this book perfect for small groups and Sunday School classes. We can live confidently in God’s unfailing love and Bridges has outlined the method in his book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
7/20/2010 7:58:04 AM
Jerry Bridges gives a needed word in Transforming Grace. What he says is not new; in fact it is completely Scriptural. But the context of modern Christianity makes it seem as though this was a new discovery.
Many Christians would decry the legalistic approach that marks some in the conservative branches of the church. Legalism is a cancer that eats away the soul of a Body. Unfortunately, legalists do not know that they are legalists. One man’s legalism is another man’s convictions, they like to say.
Bridges has a word for those who would claim to have moved beyond a narrow legalism into more mainstream evangelical faith. And though they may have checked their legalism at the door, they still carry within themselves a “performance mentality.” God expects proper performance and will reward it with blessing. Real transforming grace is a foreign and dangerous concept to many.
Transforming grace finds its center in the merits of Christ that have been imputed to the one who believes. Quite simply this means that God cannot love me any more than He does already, and He loves me as much as He loves His Son. Bridges reports that some of his colleagues have warned him against proclaiming such a message, fearing it will lead to loose and careless living. This is indication that they do not know what it means to live via the merit of Christ.
All of Bridges’ books are worth reading. This is a welcomed addition to his corpus of practical insight on living the Christian life.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
7/11/2010 5:23:14 PM
Helpful Both as a Devotional and a Practical Guide to Living in Grace
According to Jerry Bridges, most Christians agree that salvation is by grace, but "seem to believe success in the Christian life...is basically up to us....We give lip service to the attitude of the apostle Paul, `But by the grace of God I am what I am' (1 Corinthians 15:10), but our unspoken motto is, `God helps those who help themselves.'" This attitude is one that Bridges sets out to correct in his book, Transforming Grace, which is a thorough examination of how God's grace works in the life of a believer after salvation.
Bridges begins, in his warm and pastoral style, by convincing readers that they can do nothing to warrant God's favor. His blessings and rewards are not earned through "merits." Nor are they forfeited through "demerits." "Grace does not take into account merits or demerits at all. Rather, grace considers all men and woman as totally undeserving and unable to do anything to earn the blessing of God." Realizing this, says the author, will free believers from living on a "performance treadmill," where they feel in and out of God's favor depending upon how they measure up to standards set by themselves or others.
Those familiar with Bridges' most popular book, The Pursuit of Holiness, know that, despite his unfailing emphasis on grace, he always insists on the Lordship of Christ and obedience to His laws. Lest one doesn't realize that, he makes it clear in this book. "Anyone who thinks, Since God's love is not conditioned on my obedience, I am free to live as I please, is not living by grace, nor does he understand grace." God's grace always results in love for His laws and a desire to obey them. This obedience, however, is motivated by the love of Christ, not the desire for reward or the fear of punishment.
Transforming Grace, like Bridges' other books, is well written and easy to follow. The author takes the time to explain the most basic concepts. New Christians, or those who have yet to be introduced to the truth of grace, would benefit from this book. But there's plenty of substance for those who want it. New Christian or not, this isn't a book to rush through. There's something to provoke deep thought and reflection on every page. I find this book very helpful, both as devotional reading and a practical guide to Christian living, and I highly recommend it.
7/11/2010 9:42:56 AM
Thank you Jerry Bridges!
I just finished Jerry Bridges book “Transforming Grace” and I was not disappointed. Bridges is an accomplished Christian writer and his books have blessed the Christian world for decades. Knowing this and having read his book “The Practice of Godliness” and skimmed his bestseller “The Pursuit of Holiness,” I had a good idea of what I was in for. Bridges writing is very readable and clear but with rock-solid biblical content.
Like any good author, Bridges takes his subject matter and meticulous breaks it down from every angle. With a topic such as “grace,” he has his hands full because most Christians (myself included) think we understand grace. The reality is, however, most don’t and that is why we are constantly stuck on, as Bridges calls it in chapter one, “the performance treadmill.” We affirm all the right stuff – Christ alone, faith alone, and grace alone, but live as if it’s our works that really make the difference. Bridges masterfully explains what the Bible teaches about grace throughout the book, and then after 250 pages the reader can say, “I think I’m starting to understand grace.” The act of reading this book will also prove to be a worship experience as you meditate on God’s amazing grace.
My recommendation to you is this: buy the book, read it, and then read it again.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
7/10/2010 2:03:17 PM
Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges, is a great asset for anyone to learn about Gods Grace. The author explains to the reader how to put Gods grace to work in our life. By using the scriptures he gives as illustrations and searching them out I have found a greater understanding of what Grace really means. I feel this book would be a valuable tool for any christian who wants to grow spiritually and learn how to accept Gods amazing Grace. My rating is 5 stars you wont be disappointed. on aside i was given a work book that went along with this book that will also help in your personal spiritual walk with God. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
7/8/2010 8:07:57 AM