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Jerry Bridges – Every Day In Fact!

12 Feb

The New Testament letters are filled with imperatives — that is, exhortations and challenges to pursue holiness, put on Christlike character, and present our bodies as living sacrifices. But these imperatives are always based on the objective truth of what Jesus did for us in His sinless life and sin-bearing death.

As a young Christian, I did not understand this. I went directly to the imperatives to learn what I was to do. And in my early years of Bible teaching, I taught from the same dutiful perspective. I would contrast the “ought tos” of Scripture with the sinful desires of the flesh. I taught that we should fill our minds with the “ought tos” of Scripture in order to fortify ourselves against the desires of the flesh. But the reality is that in the internal conflict between ought and desire, desire too often wins out. And even when ought wins, it is often a dutiful response rather than one of love and gratitude.

But then in the midst of what I thought would be a fruitful and rewarding ministry, the Holy Spirit began to peel back the layers of my heart to reveal something of the corruption and depravity still there. There were no “big” sins, just an ugly nest of what I call “respectable” sins.

I was driven to the gospel. Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned — every one — to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all,” became my lifeline. I began to sing some of the old gospel hymns I had learned as a child. Such words as “Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me” and “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy cross I cling” took on new meaning. I learned experientially that as a believer engaged in ministry, I still needed the gospel — every day in fact!

~Jerry Bridges~




The Transforming Power of the Gospel (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2012) Ch. 6: The Motivation of the Gospel

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Jerry Bridges – Transformation and the Holy Spirit

28 Jan

The transformation process the Bible describes is much more than a change of conduct or improved human morality; it is actually a work of the Holy Spirit in the very core of our being. In the only two instances in Scripture where the word transformed is used, it occurs both times in the passive voice. We are being transformed (see 2 Corinthians 3:18), and we are to be transformed (see Romans 12:2). In both instances, we are the object, not the agent, of the transformation process; the agent is the Holy Spirit.

~Jerry Bridges~




The Transforming Power of the Gospel (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2012) Ch. 8: The Transforming Work of the Holy Spirit

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Jerry Bridges – The Battle of “Rights”

31 Dec

There is a very high sense of entitlement within modern society. Older people feel entitled to certain benefits from the government. Middle-aged people feel entitled to generous health and retirement benefits from their employers. Younger adults feel entitled to immediately enjoy the same standard of living their parents took years to achieve. And young people feel entitled to whatever material luxuries they desire.

Many observers of our culture are quite concerned about this pervasive sense of “rights” and expectations within our society as a whole. But for Christians, such a high sense of entitlement is especially detrimental to our spiritual lives. For one thing, God is the ultimate supplier of all our needs and desires. Every good gift is from Him, regardless of the intermediate means through which that gift is supplied. As James said, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). However, God, through His providential workings, almost always uses some person or institution or other human instrumentality to meet our needs. Ultimately, though, He is the One who provides or withholds what we desire or think we need.

Therefore, a high sense of entitlement and expectations, though seemingly directed toward some person or institution, is actually directed toward God and His providential dealings in our lives. If we do not receive what we think we have a right to expect, it is ultimately God who has withheld.

More importantly, our sense of entitlement, which may be originally directed toward other people or institutions, is almost invariably transferred directly to God. We begin to be as demanding of our “rights” before God as we are toward people. It is bad enough, and certainly not very Christian, to have the attitude “The world owes me something just because I am,” but to have the attitude that God owes me something is exceedingly dangerous to spiritual health. It will ruin our relationship with God, nullify our effectiveness in ministry, and perhaps turn us bitter or resentful. Unlike our government, or school, or family, or employer, God will not “give in” to our sense of rights or respond to pressure tactics. We never win the battle of “rights” with God. He cares too much about our spiritual growth to let that happen.

~Jerry Bridges~




Transforming Grace (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2008) p. 76-77

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Jerry Bridges – In No One’s Debt

28 Nov

As the Sovereign Ruler of the universe, God has the right to require perfect obedience and faithful service from all of us without in the least obligating Himself. We owe Him that obedience and service. If we were to perfectly obey every command God has given and faithfully perform every duty- which, of course, we never do – we still could only say, “I have merely done my duty.”

Through the inspired pen of the apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit again asserts God’s freedom from obligation to anyone: “Who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” (Romans 11:35). This assertion wasn’t made in a vacuum. Paul had been dealing with the difficult question of the Jews’ future in the face of God’s apparent spurning of them in favor of the Gentiles. Regardless of how we understand that future, the principle stated by the Holy Spirit through Paul is crystal clear: God doesn’t owe anyone anything.

~Jerry Bridges~




Holiness: Day by Day (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2008) p. 82

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Jerry Bridges – Peace Through Thanksgiving

22 Nov

The great antidote to anxiety is to come to God in prayer about everything. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Nothing’s too big for Him to handle or too small to escape His attention. Paul said we’re to come to God “with thanksgiving.” We should thank Him for His past faithfulness in delivering us from troubles. We should thank Him for the fact that He’s in control of every circumstance of our lives and that nothing can touch us that He doesn’t allow. We should thank Him that in His infinite wisdom He’s able to work in this circumstance for our good. We can thank Him that He won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The promised result is not deliverance, but the peace of God. One of the reasons we don’t find this peace is that all too often we won’t settle for anything other than deliverance from the trouble. But God, through Paul, promises us peace, a peace that is unexplainable. It will guard our hearts and minds against the anxiety to which you and I are so prone.

~Jerry Bridges~




Holiness: Day by Day (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2008) p. 81

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Jerry Bridges – God Will Guide Us

16 Nov

We can trust God to guide us. He will lead us all the way. And when we stand before His throne we will not be singing about successfully discovering the will of God. Rather with Fanny Crosby we, too, will sing, “Jesus led me all the way.”

~Jerry Bridges~




Trusting God: Even When Life Hearts (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2008) p. 186

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Jerry Bridges – Trusting God Step-by-Step

31 Oct

God’s guidance is almost always step-by-step; He does not show us our life’s plan all at once. Sometimes our anxiousness to know the will of God comes from a desire to “peer over God’s shoulder” to see what His plan is. What we need to do is learn to trust Him to guide us.

~Jerry Bridges~




Trusting God: Even When Life Hearts (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2008) p. 184-185

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