The Transforming Power of the Gospel: Chapter 5

Chapter 5:  A Daily Embracing of the Gospel

Bridges is making the point in this chapter that it is very easy for us to try to live the Christian life via our default mode – works righteousness. Here are a few quotes from the chapter that I thought were helpful and pertinent…

Dependence on one’s law keeping and faith in Christ are mutually exclusive. In fact, faith involves a total renunciation of dependence on one’s good works and instead total reliance on Jesus Christ and His righteousness. p.54

Many have so light an apprehension of God’s holiness and of the extent and guilt of their sin that consciously they see little need for justification…. Many others have a theoretical commitment to this doctrine, but in their day-to-day existence they rely on their sanctification for justification, drawing their assurance of acceptance with God from their sincerity, their past experience of conversion, their recent religious performance or the relative infrequency of their conscious, willful disobedience. (quoting Richard Lovelace – who was one of my professors when I was at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary) p. 55

If we want to enjoy the benefits of the gospel in our daily lives we must learn to… look outside of ourselves and our performance, whether good or bad, and see ourselves standing before God justified – cleansed from our sins through the shed blood of Christ and clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ. p. 56

We never, of ourselves, earn God’s blessing through our good works because even our very best deeds are imperfect in accomplishment and defiled by our remaining sinful corruption. p. 59

My all-time favorite quote outside the Bible, one to which I return almost daily, is the first few words of the hymn “My Hope Is Built”: My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” For me, that hope is not only for eternal life but for God’s favor and blessing on my life today. p. 59

We have a natural drift toward a performance-based relationship with God. We are like a person in a rowboat trying to row upstream against the current. The instant the rower stops pulling on his or her oars, the boat will start drifting backward with the current. We can never as the old saying goes, “rest on our oars” in our daily dependence on Christ. Practically speaking, how do we keep plugging along? We go to the Scriptures containing the promises of God regarding the forgiveness of our sins and the imputation (crediting) to us of Christ’s perfect righteousness. p.59

Bridges then lists a bunch of these promises in Scripture including: Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 1:18, Isaiah 43:25, Isaiah 53:6, Romans 4:7-8, Romans 8:1, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:9

He sums up the chapter by saying that “A daily embracing of the gospel is everyday work. That is why we need to preach the gospel to ourselves every day.”

Next Week: Chapter 6 – The Motivation of the Gospel

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