At Best, A Missed Opportunity

I believe part of the problem is our tendency to give an unbeliever just enough of the gospel to get him or her to pray a prayer to receive Christ.  Then we immediately put the gospel on the shelf, so to speak, and go on to the duties of discipleship.  As a result, Christians are not instructed in the gospel.  And because they do not fully understand the riches and glory of the gospel, they cannot preach it to themselves, nor live by it in their daily lives.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 46

Important, Essential, and Often, Completely Missed

The gospel is not only the most important message in all of history; it is the only essential message in all of history.  Yet we allow thousands of professing Christians to live their entire lives without clearly understanding it and experiencing the joy of living by it.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 46

Believers Obey Christ Even Though They Know Their Labors Are Faulty at Best

Believers obey Christ as the one by whom our obedience is accepted by God.  Believers know all their duties are weak, imperfect and unable to abide in God’s presence.  Therefore they look to Christ as the one who bears the iniquity of their holy things, who adds license to their prayers, gathers out all the weeds from their duties and makes them acceptable to God.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 42-43

 

Consider the Example of the Apostle Paul

Consider the example of the Apostle Paul.  He not only referred to himself as the least of the apostles, not even deserving to be called an apostle, but he considered himself less than the least of all God’s people (I Corinthians 1:15-16, Ephesians 3:8).  And toward the end of his life he referred to himself as the worst of sinners and as a monument to the unlimited patience of Jesus Christ.  (I Timothy 1:15-16).

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 42

Saint and Sinner

We should always view ourselves both in terms of what we are in Christ, that is, saints, and what we are in ourselves, namely, sinners.  To help us understand this twofold view of ourselves, consider Jesus as an analogy.  In His own person He was sinless, but as our representative He assumed our guilt.  However, He never had any of the personal feelings associated with guilt.  He was fully conscious of His own sinlessness even when bearing our sins and the curse of our sins in our place.  In like manner, while we should also rejoice in the righteousness we have in Christ, we should never cease to feel deeply our own sinfulness and consequent unworthiness.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 40

Is Grace Only For Sinners?

The problem with self-righteousness is that it seems almost impossible to recognize in ourselves.  We will own up to almost any other sin, but not the sin of self-righteousness.  When we have this attitude, though, we deprive ourselves of the joy of living in the grace of God.  Because, you see, grace is only for sinners?

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 39-40

We Have Become Much too Comfortable

One of our problems with these so-called refined sins is that we have become to comfortable with the whole concept of sin.  Because we do sin so frequently we learn to coexist with it as long as it doesn’t get too out of control or scandolous.  We forget, or perhaps have never learned, how seriously God regards all sin.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 35

Our Problem Is Ususally “Refined” Sins.

Most often our sin problem is in the area I call “refined” sins.  There are the sins of nice people, sins that we can regularly commit and still retain our positions as elders, deacons, Sunday School teachers and yes, even full-time Christian workers.

What are some of these “refined” sins?  As I look at my own life, one of the first that came to mind was the tendency to judge others and to speak critically of them to other people.  That this sin came to mind so quickly surprised me, because I don’t think of myself as a critical or judgmental person.  Perhaps that is part of the problem. 

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 32-33