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on December 6, 2000
Have you ever struggled with wanting to serve and please God, but giving up, because you just couldn't do it? I have.
I wanted to live a life that was pleasing to God, but every time I tried, I messed up big-time. I finally just gave up, resigned myself to the fact that I just couldn't do it, so why try?
I stopped going to church, because "I didn't want to be a hypocrite". I started spending time with my friends every weekend at the local pub. I lived with men I wasn't married to, all the while lying to my family about it.
Then, it became an every night deal. All the while I knew I shouldn't be there and I shouldn't be living this way. But God never let me go. His Holy Spirit was always there "nagging" at me to leave that lifestyle and live like a child of God should. Gradually He brought people into my life who showed and taught me what my salvation was really all about. I grew ever so slowly, but I did grow.
After several years of very slow, but constant growth in biblical understanding, I was introduced to several books by Jerry Bridges. They were all very good, and I learned very much through them. But, when I read TRANSFORMING GRACE, my life truly changed!
You need to read this book! You WON'T regret it!!!!!
I thank God for sending Mr. Bridges to explain it all to me so clearly and so biblically! And, Mr. Bridges, I thank YOU for answering His call and allowing him to use you in a mighty way in my life and in the lives of countless others!
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on October 5, 2004
One can read a book about a topic, but it may seem all to academic unless there is something related to the content of that book that you yourself have had to wrestle through. I do not endorse Jerry Bridges' "Transforming Grace" because it tickles my academic theological fancy. I endorse this book because I've "Been there... Done that... Got the t-shirt..."

Jerry Bridges articulates conclusions and thoughts I have come to regarding the Biblical concept of grace in the life of the believer; conclusions and thoughts I came to after wrestling with the issues of law and grace in the context of a former church characterized by a sophisticated subtle legalism founded in a scholastic pseudo-Puritanism; thoughts and conclusions forged in the fire of painful experience, the study of Scripture, and prayer. Bridges has not only articulated many of the same thoughts and conclusions I had come to regarding a Biblical concept of grace, he has expanded on them.

I also saw in "Transforming Grace" some of the principles and concepts set forth by Francis Schaffer in his seminal work "True Spirituality". The advantage of Bridges work is that it articulates those things from "True Spirituality" on a more popular and understandable level.

The Apostle Paul very clearly states in Titus 2:11-12 that it is Biblical grace that teaches us how to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly and righteously and godly in the present age. It is a focus on grace that teaches these things, not a focus on the law or duty or scrupulosity. It is not that there is no place for law and duty, but that place is subordinate to grace, not equal to, above, or apart from it. This truth is a foundational principle to what Bridges is saying in "Transforming Grace".

The grace that is spoken of in this book is not some vague concept of "grace" that has no content or context. It is the grace of God as exhibited in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is in the context of the Gospel that grace has content and meaning. Bridges clearly articulates the great cost of grace from God's perspective in the work and suffering of Jesus Christ. It's through the payment of that great cost by Christ Himself that grace becomes free, unearned, and un-conditional not just for lost and bankrupt sinners, but also for forgiven sinners living their Christian lives in response to the grace and love God has shown them. "Transforming Grace" clearly sets out that Biblical grace is "God's Riches At Christ's Expense."

Nor is Bridges pulling his view of grace out of a hat. This book looks at Scripture and expounds relevant passages.

"Transforming Grace" exposes the latent legalism that still afflicts the Evangelical church at large. But neither is antinomianism spared. Both legalism and antinomianism share the same basic fundamental flaw. Both are the result of an insufficient view of what the Gospel is, and what the grace of God in the Gospel does. It is a focus on the grace of God in the Gospel that will keep us in the way that leads to life, will keep our life in Biblical balance, and is the basis of all true Biblical spirituality.

If you are looking for a well-balanced presentation of what Biblical grace is, I highly recommend "Transforming Grace".
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on March 24, 2003
I never understood God's grace and what it meant until I read "Transforming grace". I have spent years trying to earn what God had already given to me freely- eternal salvation. I no longer see God as a task master ready to step on me for the smallest infraction. I now see him as the God who loved me even when I was at emnity with him. Thats grace! I see God as a holy,gracious,generous,loving, and good God.
If you've been feeling like the life of the believer is more of a burden than a blessing, then you need to read this book. I promise that you won't feel like that after reading this book. You will be walking once and for all in the light of God's wonderful grace.
I really recommend this book. It's an easy read, and Jerry Bridges keeps it real and biblical.
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on June 12, 2011
Anytime anyone talks about God's Grace they will always receive a high five from me. But in spite of that I can only give this book 3 stars, and I was inclined to rate it even lower. The first part of the book is a wonderful presentation of God's grace. Grace that not only does not come because of our merit but comes in spite of our demerit. In fact, it throws out the whole merit/demerit system altogether. As I said, this was very good.

If the book stopped there, it would have been worthy of 5 stars. However, because the author is afraid of being called 'antinomian' and feels the needs to somehow cover for God's holiness in His graciousness toward sinners, the second part of the book is exceedingly torturous and painful as it takes back everything he freely gave us in the first part. No sooner has the author free the believer with grace then, as fast as lightening, he binds him up again in bondage to the Law.

The solution to the author's problem (although the author does not appear to understand for all his good intentions) is that the issue is not whether or not there are things in the Law that we can benefit from today. Of course there are. All the Bible is for us. The issue is whether or not God is now dealing with us on the basis of a System of Law/Works or a System of Grace/Faith.

Since God raised up the Apostle Paul to preach his Gospel of Grace to the nations about 2000 years ago, God is no longer dealing with the world on the basis of a system of Law/Works through Israel and her Rise (something spoken about since the world began--Prophecy) but on the basis of a system of Grace/Faith apart from Israel and her Law and in spite of her Fall (something NOT spoken of since the world began--the Mystery). A Law/Works system is a system of command with required blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience. This is the system that Israel lived under for 1500 years, and they proved once and for all that mankind cannot approach God on the basis of a Law/Works sytem. All they could attain even with all their divine advantages were nothing but the curses, which culminated in their removal from the land, the destruction of their nation and the sacking of their city, Jerusalem, with her Temple. At that time Gentiles participated in God's program by coming to Israel and her Law system.

A Grace/Faith system, however, is a system that blesses based on the Person and Work, merit, effort and performance of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is based on who He is and what He has done, not who we are or what we have done. And these blessings are given freely to all who believe. This program has been in effect since God's raised up the Apostle Paul in the 1st century to proclaim.

The author messes up everything in God's plan when he brings the believer back under the Law, even if only the "Moral" part of the Law. Doesn't he know that the "Moral" Law does NOT say "Thou shalt not covet nor lie nor commit adultery?" NO! It says "Thou shalt not covet nor lie nor commit adultery, and if you do covet, lie or commit adultery you shall surely be put to death! That is the Law. Please, let's not emasculate the Law in part or in whole. To do away with the so called "religious" and "civil" parts of the Law as irrelevant and then to emasulate the remaining "moral" part does a great disservice to God and His Word.

The author seems to suggest that the Law comes in only enough to make up for the shortcomings of grace. He is very confused here. Take, for instance, Paul's reference to the fact that the whole Law is summed up in "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." The author leads us to believe that this is now the goal for believers today and shows their relationship to the Law. But this is absolutely not the case! Paul's point, in fact, is the very opposite. Paul's point is that you do not have to go back to the Law system because the Grace system accomplishes all that the Law demanded and much, much more, actually empowering us to do it (something the Law could never do). You see, the Law system had an easy command--just love others as you love yourself--easy, smeasy. But the Grace system beseeches us to something far, far higher--love others more than yourself (I Cor. 13, etc.)--and then empowers us to do it through the indwelling Holy Spirit. In Rom. 8 Paul's statement that the righteous requirement of the Law is fulfilled in us does not mean we are still under some aspect of the Law. Again, Paul's point is the very opposite. Rather he is driving home the fact that under Grace we do not need to go back to the Law because what God accomplishes through the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit on behalf of the believer more than fulfills anything that the Law demanded--and that infinitely and eternally.

In closing, the author should have answered any accusation of antinomianism the same way Paul answered it in Romans 6, not by placing the believers under an emasculated Law but by pushing them ahead into a fortified Grace. They were to recognize all that God had freely, gratuitously, made them to be in Christ. God had identified them with Christ completely. They died with Him and were buried with Him and now live with Him on resurrection ground. How could they possibly go back to sin??
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on November 3, 1998
Ive been a growing christian for about 10 years and considered myself well read in classic christian literature. I looked down somewhat on all these new theme books. But this book literally changed my life. He teaches grace by breaking it down and going deeper. A must.
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on October 24, 2001
As a Christian for many years, it was not until I read this book along with God opening my eyes/heart upto scripture that I realized the power and FREEDOM that come from grace. With a proper understanding of grace (propitiation, justification, sanctification), living for God no longer became a burden but a natural JOY that didnt require me TRYING to do it w. my own strength. It helped me receive thru the Holy Spirit what God has already given me. It helped me to obey out of LOVE not out of obligation. Oh the wonders and riches of knowing the cross! This book has changed my life.
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on October 10, 2008
A pastor friend of mine once said, "We love grace, just not free grace". In this book Jerry Bridges displays the beauty of free grace. His fundamental cry in this book is summed up nicely on the back cover: "Funny how the exceeding riches of God's grace seem to run out the moment we're saved. From then on, we tend to base our relationship with Him on our performance rather than on His grace." Throughout this book the reader is consistently brought back to the sufficiency of unadulterated grace.

Practical and theological. Simple yet profound. This book would cause the greatest scholar to pause and grounds up the meat in such a way that even the newest of babes could feast on it. Grace shines in this work by Jerry Bridges.

Since reading this book I have quoted it more than any other book. It is highly readable and its principles are not difficult to remember. This book is one of those rare jewels that stick with you. At least in my life it has been something the Lord has used to consistently remind me to "preach the gospel to myself".

A great mark of a Christian book is that it causes a deeper love for God and throughout reading it you break out into praise and awe. One of Bridge's goals seems to have been to overwhelm us with the greatness of God and the freeness of His grace. He succeeds.

Should You Buy It?

You would be absolutely foolish not to buy this book. Buy it, read it, give it away and then buy another. Whether you consider yourself a scholar or a simpleton you should buy this book. This book is for every type of person because God's grace is for every type of person. If you do not buy this book you will be in dire need for grace! (Well, even if you do buy it you still need grace, but the point stands--buy the book!).
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As a believer in Christ for many years, I thought I had a fair grasp on the biblical concept of God's grace. Then I read this book and realized just how little I know. Jerry Bridges does an excellent job, born of many years of ruminating on the subject, of helping beleaguered Christians wrap their minds around this frequently misunderstood teaching. He strikes a delicate but scripturally sound balance between law and liberty, license and legalism, dependence and discipline.

We are at the same time commanded to work out our own salvation and to depend utterly on God's grace to do it for us. Whatever good we are commanded to do, we are able to do only because God is working in us both to desire and to be able to do what is pleasing to Him. The Bible teaches both our personal responsibility to pursue holiness, and our utter dependence on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to make it happen. Jerry Bridges does a great job of reconciling the biblical tension between these two seemingly inconsistent doctrines.

Also of great value are the latter chapters on how to appropriate the grace of God to effect change in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Bridges shows how we must move beyond "grace" as merely a religious buzzword, and actually do the things to lay hold of grace in our daily lives and difficult struggles. Finally, the book concludes with a chapter on the "garments of grace", that is, those aspects of Christian character that should be increasingly evident in our lives as we avail ourselves of God's grace. These including things like gratitude, humility, forbearance and forgiveness, all of which will characterize a person who regularly approaches God's throne of grace with boldness.

Thanks to Jerry Bridges for this insightful and helpful work. I commend it to the reading of all believers for their edification, and ultimately for their ability to revel in God's transforming, empowering grace.
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on January 2, 2013
Very much liked this book. It reminded me of the Chronicles of Narnia and Edmond and how he experinced grace. If you remember Edmond treated others that he was deserving. He was angry, jealous, bitter and resentful. All traits of someone who does not live in grace. You might think living thru WWII and being taken from his family might be excuse for that thinking and that might be but if you want to be free, those are the chains that keep you there. Edmond was attracted to the white witch for the empty promises she gave. You have the right. However, he soon found out and was broken. When we are broken and know our brokeness it is then we can know the grace of our salvation and live in the grace of who God is. Just like Edmond, we have to know God by the scripture. That is why we have the scriptures and that is why they have remain so that we can know the I AM and not a god that is made in our image. Edmond knew the grace of Aslan and was transformed. He was changed and that is what happens to us as we begin to know the God of the scriptures, we are changed. Grace is so misunderstood by us because it is so against our nature. This is probably one of the best books I have read of grace and I encourage to read it be transformed by God's grace that you will be able to live a grace-filled life. When trials, suffering comes, it is because of grace we can endure and and know the heart of God.
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on July 27, 1998
This book was just what I needed. I had forgotten that we are not only saved by grace... we can LIVE by grace. In fact, if we are living any other way, we are outside the will of God and we cannot have the true love and devotion for Christ to which we are called. A great wake up call to the church... and to me personally. Well worth the time to read. It could change your life!!!
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