Discipleship Must be Based on God’s Grace

That is why we must not put the gospel on the shelf once a person becomes a new believer.  He or she will have just as difficult a time believing that God relates to us every day on the basis of grace as a person has believing that God saves by grace instead of by works.  So we must not only preach the gospel to ourselves every day, we must continue to teach it and preach it to those whom we may be discipling in some way, whether in a Sunday School class or Bible study we are teaching or in a one-to one mentoring relationship.  Discipleship must be based on God’s grace.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 79-80

Are We Disciplined by Grace or Law?

We are performance oriented by nature and our culture, and sometimes our upbringing, reinforces this legalistic mind-set.  All too often a child’s acceptance by his or her parents is based on the child’s performance, and this certainly tends to be true in our society.  We carry this same type of thinking to our relationship with God.  So, whether it is our response to God’s discipline of us or our practice of those spiritual disciplines that are so good and helpful, we tend to think it is the “law” of God rather than the grace of God that disciplines us.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 79

Disciplined By Grace

The title [of this post] may seem to some people like an oxymoron.  Discipline, to them, suggests restraint and legalism, rules and regulations, and a God who frowns on any one who has fun.  Grace on the other hand, seems to mean freedom from any rules, spontaneous and unstructured living, and most of all, a God who loves us unconditionally regardless of our sinful behavior.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 77

We Have All the Resources Needed to Pursue Holiness

So the imperative to pursue holiness – to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies – is based on the fact of grace.  That is, through our union with Christ in His death to sin and life to God, God has given us all the resources we need to pursue holiness.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 76

We Have Been Given All We Need to Bring the Indicative in Line with the Imperative in Our Lives

When we as believers died to sin, we died to a status wherein we were under bondage to the tyrannical reign of sin.  At the same time we were granted citizenship in the Kingdom of God and, through our vital union with Jesus Christ, were furnished all the resources we need to become in fact we have become in status.  We have been given all we need to bring the imperative – “do not let sin reign in your mortal body” – in line with the indicative – “we died to sin.”  But this could not have happened without a change in our status.  And it is through our legal union with Christ in His death and resurrection that our status has been forever changed.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 76

Sin Reigns Not Within in Us as Believers

Not only are we to believe we have died to sin; we are also to believe we are alive unto God, united to the risen Christ, and partakers of His divine nature.  It is the belief of this truth that will give us the courage not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies.  And it is through reliance upon this truth that we will experience the power of His Spirit, who dwells within us to enable us to resist the motions of sin so that it is not able to reign in us.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 75

His Presence, Our Mark as Believers

Not only are we in Christ, He is also in us (Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:17).  Christ enters into our humanity through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to renew us and to transform us more and more into His likeness.  This presence of Christ within us to make us holy is another assurance that we are believers cannot continue in a life of sin or have a continued cavalier attitude toward sin.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 72