November 26, 2018
"Now after John (the baptist) was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15
Sin is something we don't like to think about.
And often Christians refuse to even talk about it, worried they may offend. But it's something we all do and something we all can find forgiveness for.
Sin is basically rebellion against God and His character. For example when we hate, we are going against God who is - love, when we are impatient or prideful or selfish or unfaithful we are in conflict with God, who is patient, humble, selfless and faithful. In other words everything that is good is of God and anything that rebels against His goodness is sin.
And all sin grieves God.
This book deals with those sins we all commit but often sweep under the carpet and try to justify by saying, 'everyone does them.'
But the truth is they still need to be dealt with, within our own hearts.
Jerry Bridges says here:
"This book, as the title announces, is about sin - not the obvious sins of our culture but the subtle sins of believers, the target audience of this book. So let me say up front that I am not without the sins addressed in this book. In fact, you will find that I sometimes use my own sad experiences as examples of some of these sins.
The motivation for this book stems from a growing conviction that those of us whom I call conservative evangelicals may have become so preoccupied with some of the major sins of society around us that we have lost sight of the need to deal with our own more 'refined' or subtle sins."
The good news is the gospel. God sent a way for our sins to be forgiven and forgotten. To be wiped away as far as the east is from the west through His son Jesus Christ.
He continues here:
"While seeking to address these 'respectable' sins, however, I also want this to be a book of hope. We are never to wallow hopelessly in our sins. Rather, we are to believe the gospel through which God has dealt with both the guilt of our sin and its dominion over us...
...Many Christians think of the gospel as only for unbelievers. Once we trust in Christ, so the thinking goes, we no longer need the gospel. But as I seek to bring out in this book, the gospel is a vital gift from God not only for our salvation but also to enable us to deal with the ongoing activity of sin in our lives. So we still need the gospel every day."
Here are the chapter headings:
1. Ordinary Saints
2. The Disappearance of Sin
3. The Malignancy of Sin
4. The Remedy for Sin
5. The Power of the Holy Spirit
6. Directions for Dealing with Sins
8. Anxiety and Frustration
13. Lack of Self-Control
14. Impatience and Irritability
16. The Weeds of Anger
18. Envy, Jealousy, and Related Sins
19. Sins of the Tongue
21. Where Do We Go from Here?
There were chapters in this book which were hard to read. I think everyone will find at least a few they don't like! But it's because they deal with the sins we struggle with the most.
Reading through this book made me appreciate the grace of God and how wonderful and amazing it really is. He truly is good!
This is the first book I've read by Jerry Bridges and I'm looking forward to reading more by him. His writing style was easy to get through and his humility was apparent throughout the book. I really appreciated that. Instead of pointing the finger, he included himself with us, as a sinner who needed the grace of God daily.
He understood the power of God and how He can change a heart through repentance, and he gave the glory to Him.
I'll leave you with this quote from Charles Spurgeon on repentance and grace. It's a reminder that we need God's grace on a daily basis...
“Repentance grows as faith grows. Do not make any mistake about it; repentance is not a thing of days and weeks, a temporary penance to be got over as fast as possible! No; it is the grace of a lifetime, like faith itself. God's little children repent, and so do the young men *(and women) and the fathers *(and mothers). Repentance is the inseparable companion of faith.”
NOTE: *italics added by me.