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The Gospel for Real Life: Turn to the Liberating Power of the Cross...Every Day

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great for believers, good for even outsiders too.

    Technically this is the third book I've read from Dr. Jerry Bridges. Based on the two previous books I read, I feel he is a very good author who is underappreciated within Christian circles. I really enjoyed reading The Discipline of Grace, especially and with the theme of that book I wondered what differences this book would have from his other books? Well after reading this book I have to say there are certainly some similarities of the two, but there are a few extra features. If you don't know what I mean, I guess the best way to describe Dr. Bridges' writing style is that with each book he tries to tie in previous books while introducing something new at the same time.

    Like The Discipline of Grace, Dr. Bridges' The Gospel For Real Life has the gospel centered as a chunk of its theme, only this seemed to be a book less complicated in theological discussion as well as having the basic gospel message as being the primary theme for this rather than being complimentary like in The Discipline of Grace. Now this book specifically goes over most of what an outsider of the faith or someone who is new to Christianity, should or ought to know. I feel this is a very good book which at times has a bit of humor, but is quite theologically educational and isn't too long of a read. There is also a study guide included in this edition and I think this would be helpful for those who like to have Bible Study discussions; especially if you decide to lend this to an outsider of the faith. I highly recommend this book to anyone including someone who is not a Christian.

    Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by NavPress Publishers, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by NavPress Publishers to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Gospel for Believers

    Since reading this book several months ago, I have been utilizing its information, chapter by chapter, in my church's basketball ministry which seeks to evangelize non-believers and edify believers. The Gospel, of course, is the only teaching necessary to bring lost sheep to the fold. But for a believer who has lost sight over time of what it means to find joy in his salvation, preaching the Gospel to himself is perhaps the healthiest of all spiritual activities, for it keeps the goodness of Christ's work at the forefront of the mind. Each week I meet with the men on the bleachers of our gymnasium, I share with them a new angle of the Gospel to consider (from Bridges' book), and each week I come away refreshed, having mulled over the same truths myself.

    So far, we have discussed together the unsearchable riches that we believers have found in Christ (and have hopefully brought to the forefront of the unbelievers' minds), the purpose of the cross, the amazing joy Christ found in obedience, the justice of God, and the wrath of God. The issues Jerry has collected in this volume are worth every minute a Christian may spend reviewing them. Far too often, Christians get stuck in the following mindset, completely ignoring the work Christ did in their own lives: they view the Gospel as a door through which they entered in order to get into Christianity, and it is therefore something they need no bother with anymore. But, Friend, this is so not the case! Bridges makes the truth of Scripture clear that when I accepted Christ Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, I did not enter Christianity, but He entered my own heart and life! Revelation 3:20 brings this truth light, and thankfully so. I can thus view the Gospel as something passed---one and done. I can view it as perpetually present, constantly cleansing me and keeping me in the right standing (I don't deserve) before an eternally holy Father.

    I have enjoyed tremendously the opportunity to share the lessons of this book with others. While I certainly need to "water down" a bit the writing style of Bridges to fit my crowd---he tends to write more to long-time believers than to new or non-believers---I gladly do so for the opportunity to emphasize the eternal blessings the Gospel perpetually offers. I thank God for another excellent work by Jerry Bridges, and I encourage anyone craving a return to the joy of his salvation to pick up a copy for himself.

    ©2011 E.T.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Excellent book!

    This is the perfect book for getting a clear understanding of the Gospel. It explains in great detail the meaning of what Jesus did on the cross... why He died, what He accomplished, and why we need to accept what He did for us. The author states "We cannot begin to understand the true significance of the cross unless we understand something of the holiness of God and the depth of our sin." After reading this book, you will have a greater knowledge of God and His holiness along with the realization that "We bring nothing to our salvation except our sin that made it necessary." Only one chapter I had a trouble with... the chapter on Faith. And he even points out that you may disagree. He says faith is a GIFT from God and that God makes us spiritually 'alive'... so that we may then believe. Sounds like predestination to me... not free will. He explains his belief of this in great detail and yet I still don't agree. I'm sure I will look into it further. That being said, it is only one chapter that I take issue with and it by no means takes away from the mass of great information in this book. You may agree with his view on the subject. This book was very well written. I began to underline the parts that I wanted to remember or even quote in my review... but there were so many good points, I would have underlined or shared most of the book! Jesus said to go and preach the Gospel. But how many of us have a full understanding of the Gospel ourselves? I thought I knew until the question was put directly to me and I realized how difficult it was to share with someone else. I began to ask myself "What is the Gospel? What do I tell people when they ask?" Then I set out on a quest to find out. I'm so glad I had the chance to read this book for review. If you want to share more than "Jesus, loves you", then you need to read this book! Plain and simple. *I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. ~Thanks NavPress! :)

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  • Posted May 8, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    This is my 3rd book by Jerry Bridges & he is truly amazing....I have read & reread. His books I can not part with!

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  • Posted May 6, 2011

    "The Gospel for Real Life" by 'Jerry Bridges' -- Book Review

    "The Gospel for Real Life" by 'Jerry Bridges' from NavPress is a fantastic book on the subject of Gospel. The clarity with which the subject has been handled makes this book special. Jerry Bridges is an experienced Bible teacher and a member of the Navigator Collegiate Ministry Group. Initially Jerry claims that this book is not meant to be theological treatise but intends to be 'Gospel 101'. However, I would say that "The Gospel for Real Life" is a theological treatise in its own flair. The greatest attraction in this book has been the lucid writing style of Jerry. I finished this book in two sittings and thoroughly enjoyed reading the same. The message was absolutely unambiguous and easy to comprehend.

    In a sense, this book is about the unsearchable riches of Christ. The significance of the cross, the pleasure of obedience, justice and reconciliation, the gift of God, sanctification and the right standing with God have been explained to the readers in a compelling way. More importantly, the book also contains eight weeks of bible study contents suitable for group study.

    The content is uplifting and accurate to hit our senses; and they continue to evoke and flood out our hearts. Jerry has written this book in a non - jargony style without using any complex language. It makes even a young believer to absorb the incredible truths of the Gospel with ease. I believe that this book will be enjoyed by both new believers and mature and grown Christians alike.

    I would give this one five out of five stars.

    Please note that I received this book from NavPress Publishers through its book review bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. Also be informed that the opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

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  • Posted May 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A book to read over and over

    The author sums up the entire book right at the beginning with this comment: "All of us, regardless of how long we have known Christ, need to bathe ourselves in the gospel every day. I pray this book will help us do that." And I think he definitely succeeds in his goal with this fantastic little book. The Gospel for Real Life is neither long, nor complicated, nor full of big words. It's a simple, straightforward preaching of the gospel. It covers every aspect of believing in Christ, from why we would want to be followers to what Jesus did on the cross for us, to reconciliation to God to the Great Commission. And everything in between.

    This is the kind of book that I need to keep on my nightstand and constantly be reading through, so that I keep my mind on the importance of the gospel in my every day life. I think it's easy for us as believers to forget the depths of our need and the enormity of what Jesus did for us. Daily life gets busy and we get caught up in the little things. But this book helped me focus on the gospel and be thinking during my day about what it all means for my life. As I said earlier, the book isn't complicated and the chapters aren't long, so it's easy to read through one or two chapters at a time. Although brief, each chapter is full of simply presented truth, good examples, and lots of Bible verses.

    In addition to the 16 short chapter in The Gospel for Real Life, there's also a nice guide at the back for individual or group study. If you're looking for an excellent book for your devotion or Bible study, I highly recommend considering this book.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    Loved this book immensely!!

    Do you ever find yourself feeling complacent when you hear the Gospel and wish you could restore the freshness of its meaning? Or maybe you are a new believer trying to grasp the significance of the cross? Whether you are a new believer or an experienced one, in The Gospel for Real Life: Turn to the Liberating Power of the Cross.Every Day, Jerry Bridges explains how the Gospel applies to your life every single day. The author first starts with the bad news. If you thought you weren't that bad of a sinner or that you don't sin every single day, the author is quick to prove you wrong. It is against the backdrop of understanding the depth of your sin and then the awareness of the vast contrast with the holiness of God that you can fully understand the meaning and significance of the cross. The author illuminated this point in such a way to cause me to question myself - I knew my good deeds would not save me, but am I now trusting in them somehow to make myself more acceptable? Then the author delivers the good news. The Gospel DOES result in forgiveness and eternal life, but it also includes the inheritance you can currently grasp right here on earth. God wants you to enjoy His "unsearchable riches," in the middle of life and all its difficulties. The benefits of the Gospel are available not just in your initial salvation but in your day-to-day acceptance of it throughout life. Intimidating theological terms (propitiation, expiation, progressive sanctification, etc.) are explained without feeling like a systematic theology primer. He uses common life illustrations to help the reader grasp the full meaning. He goes further to display the importance of the concepts of these terms and how they are about living out your faith, not just knowledge you hold in your head. The book concludes with how you become the person you are becoming and your calling to share the Gospel with others. The study guide at the back would be great for either personal Bible study or small groups with much opportunity for discussion and application. I loved this book immensely! It enriched the meaning of the cross for me and pushed me to think hard about my faith and the Holy Spirit's work in me. Even more, I learned how I have failed to grasp all that I am entitled to through Christ and am opening my eyes to what it means to become partakers and beneficiaries of all He did in both His life and death. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted April 23, 2011

    teaching real truth

    Author Jerry Bridges does something very special in this book. He takes sometimes very complex thinking and distils it into very simple language. Illustrated by practical examples, he talks very ably about reconciliation, assurance, sanctification and mercy by way of teaching us real truths about the unsearchable riches of Christ.
    I found this a challenging read in the sense that it asked hard questions of the reader, but an enjoyable read in the way that truths were illustrated with examples, the Bible was expounded and the Saviour commended. This is not a book either that is detached from current times. Examples are drawn from modern times, confronting modern thinking, current standards and the church's place in the world as a beacon of hope and uprightness.
    I enjoyed a section that highlighted particularly God's provision, protection, encouragement, comfort and discipline. We often forget God's almighty hand and forget sincere praise and thanks in our regular petitions. This is a great book about the great challenge of the Gospel in confronting us with the realities of our lives and of the eternity to come. I would recommend the study guide published as part of this publication - it is excellent for bible study groups to look at the book and the source Scriptures in more detail. This is a book I will share with others.

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    Posted May 15, 2011

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    Posted June 12, 2011

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