Monday, April 16, 2007

Blog Series - D.O.G. # 1

Chapter 1 - How Good Is Good Enough?

I'm going to try and post fairly often about The Discipline of Grace, the book I mentioned we're going through for our women's small group book study. MOST LIKELY, I will just give you some quotes. I may talk about some things we hit on in our small group or I may find snippets of time to add my own thoughts. I may summarize some of the chapters.

Here are a few quotes from the first chapter. I love this book. We have our first small group over it tonight.

"The pursuit of holiness requires sustained and vigorous effort. It allows for no indolence, no lethargy, no halfhearted commitment, and no laissez faire attitude toward even the smallest of sins. In short, it demands the highest priority in the life of a Christian, because to be holy is to be like Christ - God's goal for every Christian... (later) At the same time, however, the pursuit of holiness must be anchored in teh grace of God; otherwise it is doomed to failure."

"A significant part of the Mosaic Law was the promise of blessing for obedience and curses for disobedience... Some Christians live as if that principle applies to them today. But Paul said that 'the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we may be justified by faith' (Gal. 3:24). Chrsit has already borne the curses for our disobedience and earned for us the blessings of obedience. As a result we are now to look to Christ alone - not Christ plus performance - for God's blessing in our lives. We are saved by grace and we are to live by grace alone."

Bridges talks a lot about so-called "good days/bad days" in the Christian walk. Why do we think like that? We can "focus on our external performance and become proud like the Pharisees" or we can have feelings of guilt at our spiritual failures.

"On a good day, as we perceive it, we tend toward self-righteous Pharisaism. On a not-so-good day we allow ourselves to wallow in a sense of failure and guilt. In fact, it may be more than not-so-good days - it may be weeks or months."

"Our own performance is never good enough to be acceptable to Him. The only way we can relate to God is throught the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ."

"The gospel, applied to our hearts ever day, frees us to be brutally honest with ourselves and God. The assurance of His total forgiveness of our sins through the blood of Christ means we don't have to play defensive games anymore... rationalizing and excusing our sins. We can call sin exactly what it is, regardless of how ugly and shameful it may be, because we know that Jesus bore that sin in His body on the cross."

Then, he goes on to address possible responses to this kind of thinking and addresses motives in discipline.

It's just so stinkin' good so far. I read the first chapter twice and I can't wait until tonight. If you find these quotes helpful, but don't have time to read the book, join with me in hearing some quotes from time to time and I'll keep them coming. I'll try to just pick a few for easier reading next time. I could barely narrow down my list of quotes to share. :)

It may be review, but I definitely needed to hear it. I needed this book in college!


sarahdodson said...

Jamie, thanks so much for sharing these quotes and your thoughts. Sounds like an EXCELLENT book/study. Maybe I can find a copy of the book and organize a small bible study. hmmm...
Keep 'em coming!
ps. Good job on your running! Gooo... Jamie!

Eron said...


This book is on my summer reading list.