The Transforming Power of the Gospel – Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Instruments of Grace

Here are some excerpts that I thought did a good job of helping me to understand this chapter…

In applying the power of Christ to us, however, the Holy Spirit uses means or, as I prefer to call them, instruments of grace. And though they are His instruments, it is our responsibility to take advantage of them. I have a treadmill and a set of weights that I use to try to maintain a reasonable level of physical fitness. These pieces of equipment are instruments of physical fitness, but they will not accomplish their intended purpose if I do not use them. in the same manner, the Holy Spirit’s instruments of grace will not accomplish their purpose if I do not take advantage of them. The way we take advantage of them is through what is usually called the practice of spiritual disciplines.   p.119

Also keep in mind that though the practice of these disciplines involves our activity, we must always depend on the Holy Spirit to make them effective in our lives. As someone has so well said, grace does not make our effort unnecessary but makes it effective. So the same activity is both an instrument of grace from the Holy Spirit and a discipline of practice.  p. 120

Godliness is basically God-centeredness. It means to live all of life in awareness of our absolute dependence on God and our accountability to Him in both the spiritual and temporal dimensions of life. So it is really at the heart of spiritual transformation. And it is through the practice of the spiritual disciplines that we become more God-centered in our everyday lives.   p.121

Someone once wisely observed that “discipline without desire is drudgery.” What is it then that will give us the desire? It is, first of all, the gratitude that grows out of a daily embracing of the gospel.  p.122

For some believers the idea of spending time alone with God each day is not even in their thinking. Others will have their quiet time, read a daily Bible reading, say a few prayers, but never really enjoy actual fellowship with God. I suspect that only a small minority of believers experience the longing for and joy of an authentic time with God wach day, but this should be the goal of every Christian.   p.125

Next Week: Chapter 10 – The Word of God and Prayer

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