I’m reading a book by Jerry Bridges currently called, “Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love”. It has been, so far, an assault on my perpetual tendencies to allocate God’s favor based on my own performance and ability to “keep the rules”. A brief section that I’d read earlier in the week has continued to nip at my mind and soul and so I decided to share it today:
So who needs grace? All of us, the saint as well as the sinner. The most conscientious, dutiful, hardworking Christian needs God’s grace as much as the most dissolute, hard-living sinner. All of us need the same grace. The sinner does not need more grace than the saint, not does the immature and undiscipled believer need more than the godly, zealous missionary. We all need the same amount of grace because the “currency” of our good works is debased and worthless before God.
Neither our merits nor our demerits determine how much grace we need, because grace does not supplement merits or make up for demerits. Grace does not take into account merits or demerits at all. Rather, grace considers all men and women as totally undeserving and unable to do anything to earn the blessing of God. Again, as C. Samuel Storms has so aptly written,
Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to bestow it in the presence of human merit…Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to withdraw it in the presence of human demerit…[Grace] is treating a person without the slightest reference to desert whatsoever, but solely according to the infinite goodness and sovereign purpose of God.
Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace
I challenge you to let that drip through the cracks of your soul and see if it doesn’t both frighten you and soften you. I’m still trying to regain my composure from these ideas, and to be quite honest, I hope I am still trying to recover from them when I see Christ face-to-face.
Great book Kris, I’ve read it. Ah, the scandel of grace!
It has been a great read so far. Bridges has done a good job anticipating some of the questions and casual objections that arise in my mind. My dermatologist recommended it just before he cut my face open last year, so it seemed like an important book to take a look at :). Moral of the story: I don’t know that I like having a Calvinist doctor, too much chance they’ve drifted into predetermination.