The Transforming Power of the Gospel – Chapter 8

Chapter 8: The Transforming Work of the Holy Spirit

This excerpt is a good summary of what Bridge’s says in this chapter…

In John 15:4-5, Jesus made it clear that the divine source of life and power comes through abiding in Him. But how does one abide?

Most often we think of activities such as studying our Bible and praying as abiding in Christ. These are important spiritual activities. But these activities do not constitute abiding in Christ, rather they belong to a subject we call communion with Christ. What does it mean to abide in Christ? It is reliance on Him for His life and His power. By faith we renounce and confidence in our own wisdom, willpower, and moral strength and rely completely on Him to supply the spiritual wisdom and power we need. This does not mean we sit back and “just turn it all over to Him” to live His life through us; rather, we rely on Him to enable us. So we can say that our salvation is by faith and our transformation is by faith. But this does not mean that the object of our faith is the same in both cases.

In salvation, the object of our faith is Christ and His unfinished work for us. When He uttered those memorable words “It is finished” (John 19:30), it was a cry of triumph that the salvation which He had earned for us in His sinless life and sin-bearing death had been completely accomplished. There was nothing more for Him to do. And trusting Him for our salvation, there is nothing for us to do except receive Him by faith.

By contrast, the object of our faith in spiritual transformation is Christ and His ongoing work in us through the Holy Spirit. In our transformation, then, there is something for us to do. In salvation, we are passive except to believe. In transformation, we are active as we seek to pursue holiness in relying on the Holy Spirit to apply the power of Christ to our hearts and enable us to do His will. (p 101-102)

Next Week: Chapter 9 – Dependent Responsibility

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