September 25, 2006

You and the Gospel 5

The Discipline of Grace
by Jerry Bridges

Two Illustrations of Dependence & Discipline

To illustrate the concept of dependence and discipline, it is helpful to view them as separate wings on an airplane. One wing is dependence, the other is discipline. Which would you like to lose while you are in the air? Neither, of course! No plane can fly with one wing. In the same way, both discipline and dependence are completely necessary for living the Christian life. "We must exercise both discipline and dependence in the pursuit of holiness...God enables us to do the work, but he does not do the work for us." - Bridges

Another way of seeing this is by considering a farmer. There are things that a farmer must do in order to look for a harvest. But, in all there work, there are 2 things they cannot do. They must plow and plant and fertilize, and they must fertilize and till the ground and make sure the seeds are irrigated. But, he cannot control what the weather is going to do, or even if the plants will grow. He can exert all the energy in the world into his side of the farming, but without the life that makes things grow, his discipline is worthless. "God has ordained certain disciplines necessary to grow in holiness...[but,] we cannot make ourselves grow." - Bridges Only God can make us grow, and He grows us as we put into use the strength he has given us to do what he wants us to do.

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September 21, 2006

You and the Gospel 4

The Discipline of Grace
by Jerry Bridges

The Balance of Dependence and Discipline

A believer must understand the balance of dependence and discipline. Discipline is the work of sowing what you want to see grow. Dependence is the trusting and resting in the only provision for that sowing. A believer disciplines in the Christian life by making choices. Yet, even in all the work of making right choices, the believer must depend on God for the enabling, knowledge, endurance and resources. The believer does all the sowing, but in his sowing, he must depend on God to grow the spiritual fruit. These two cannot be separated. Yes, there must be sowing, right choices must be made, but if the believer stops there, all that he will grow is pride and self-sufficiency. At the same time, the believer will never grow if he simply sits back in "dependence"--"lets go and lets God" do the work. The work/discipline a believer does is seeking to make right choices. He depends on God by reading his Bible, and seeking God in prayer. Declaring dependence both in prayer and time spent in God's Word show in a tangible way dependence in the life of a believer. Right choices made based on a renewed mind, empowered by a Spirit-filled will and completed by the One finisher is the balance of dependent discipline.

"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it." - Psalm 127:1 Does the Lord builds the house or do the workers build the house? Yes. The balance of dependence and discipline is found by understanding that it is God who provides and enables and completes, but the workers must labor to build. The understanding is that the laborers cannot build apart from the Lord graciously enabling. In fact, they labor in vain otherwise.

Our Christian labor apart from dependence on Christ is harmful. We will only grow pride and self-sufficiency. Our "dependence" apart from discipline is worthless -- as nothing will get accomplished. Let us be believers that work with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength realizing that anything we do is an act of God's grace. It is He alone that saved us, enables us, keeps us, and makes our work right.

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September 19, 2006

You and the Gospel 3

1 Corinthians, Part 5: Proclaiming Christ-Crucified
by Josh Harris

Josh Harris wondrously preached this Gospel-centered living from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 at his church on the September 17th. Just listened to the podcast this! Good stuff!

Practical Cross-Centered Living

Click here to listen online. | Click here to download.

It is well worth the time!

Posted by jonkopp at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 18, 2006

You and the Gospel 2

The Discipline of Grace
by Jerry Bridges

The Gospel for Real Life

The gospel is more than the good news of eternal life for unbelievers; it is the good news of who the believer is, what he came from, where his power lies, what he does, and what he can do. Because the world, the flesh and the devil scream lies at him, the believer must talk himself back to the truth of the gospel.

...He must remind himself that Jesus died to break the power of his sin, leaving him a battle plan and strategies.

...He must remind himself that Jesus died for his sin and sins, leaving him a sinner, humbly begging for mercy.

...He must remind himself that Jesus rose again, leaving him a dependant with all power to live.

...He must remember that Jesus died for him, leaving him a loved and motivated servant.

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September 15, 2006

You and the Gospel

The Discipline of Grace
by Jerry Bridges

. . . in one sentence.

The believer's view of himself must be that his worst is never bad enough to exempt him from grace, and his best is never good enough to graduate him from grace.

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