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The Acceptable Sacrifice (Puritan Paperbacks) Paperback – March 1, 2004
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John Bunyan's words are delivered with compelling conviction as he passionately portrays the beauty of the only sacrifice that is acceptable to God. With carefully crafted words he describes the wonder and majesty of a heart broken before the Lord. The brokenhearted are not forsaken or ignored, for they are "His jewels, His beloved." --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
About the Author
John Bunyan was born in Elstow, Bedfordshire, England, in 1628. He learned to read and write at the village school and was prepared to follow his father's trade as a brazier when the English Civil War broke out in 1644 and he was drafted into the Parliamentary army.
His military service brought him into contact with Oliver Cromwell's Puritan troops. Beginning in 1648, Bunyan suffered a crisis in religious faith that lasted for several years. He turned to the Nonconformist church in Bedford to sustain him during this period. His first writings were attacks against the Quakers. Then Charles II was restored to the throne and Bunyan was arrested for conducting services not in accordance with the Church of England. He spent 12 years in jail. During this time, he wrote his autobiography, Grace Abounding, in which he described his spiritual struggle and growth. During his last years in prison, Bunyan began his most famous work, The Pilgrim's Progress, a two-part allegorical tale of the character Christian and his journey to salvation. Part I was published in 1678 and Part II in 1684. The second part deals with the spiritual journey of Christian's wife and sons, as they follow in his footsteps. With its elements of the folktale tradition, The Pilgrim's Progress became popular immediately. Well into the nineteenth century it was a book known to almost every reader in England and New England, second in importance only to the Bible. So great was the book's influence that it even plays a major role in Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott.
Such expressions as "the slough of despond" and "vanity fair" have become part of the English language. Bunyan's other works include The Life and Death of Mr. Badman and The Holy War. He also wrote A Book for Boys and Girls, verses on religious faith for children. Bunyan died in London on August 31, 1688.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have ever wondered why your suffering has ostracized you from the world system, then this book will enlighten and encourage you to know God is in control. Some may discount Bunyan's quote "The Lord kills before He makes alive, He wounds before His hands make whole" by claiming that a good God would not inflict tough heart wounds to His beloved. God however, knows how to shape a man and in His creation with free will given, knows indeed the pride and " issues of life" that prevent one from humbling themselves before Him. Chapter 3 will more extensively review the necessity of why the heart must be broken. He will bind up our wounds- but not until we come to Him with a contrite heart. Bunyan shares that the brokenhearted love to hear God speak and are of great esteem with God.
You will gain insight into just what a broken heart and contrite spirit is. The Word of God must be managed by the power of God to break the heart.
* A broken heart is a receptacle for the graces of His Spirit.
*A heart broken cries for the mercy of God and esteems Him.
* A broken heart is submissive.
The end of the book gives the life summary of John Bunyan, a truly broken man. The last part of his imprisonment saw the dross surface and pure gold remain in his greatest work, The Pilgrim's Progress.
The Acceptable Sacrifice is Bunyan's exceptional treatise on Repentance.He opens up for us Psalm 51:17, which gives us the heart of true Biblical repentance.-A heart which is broken and contrite before the Lord.David was guilty of adultery and murder and when he is finally brought to his senses;he cries out to God for mercy,he confesses his enormous transgressions before his God who sees and knows all,he acknowledges and groans over the depravity of his nature,he desires to have his sins cleansed(what can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus says the hymn writer),he no longer has any assurance of his right standing with God(and is fearful that he will forever be cast away from His presence).He has come to realize that what the Lord wants from him(even with all that has transpired)is a broken and contrite heart.Its interesting to note that while God highly esteems this sacrifice(a heart that is contrite-that bows before the Lord and trembles at His word)the world does not place any value on this at all.
To understand what something is,it is often helpful to look at its opposite or what it is not.The author gives us some idea of what a heart that is not contrite is like:it is obstinate against the Lord and His salvation,it is full of evil imaginations,it is a deceitful heart,it is an unbelieving heart,it is a proud and autonomous heart-as the prophet Jeremiah declares 'it is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked'.
That the Lord God highly esteems a broken and contrite heart is clearly revealed in His Word. 'For thus saith the high and lofty one that inhabits eternity,whose name is Holy,I dwell in the high and Holy place,with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit.' Isaiah 57:15.The Lord is so far above(in majesty,power holiness and greatness)any of His creatures,yet He delights to dwell with the broken and humble hearted.Mr.Bunyan gives us a number of reasons why the Almighty places places such high value on this particular sacrifice- 1.At its root it is Gods work(and He delights in His work which breaks the heart of stone and makes it pliable(this pliability makes the heart receptive to the work of the Holy Spirit).2.A broken heart bows before God and seeks His honor and glory in all things(it is the opposite of a heart and soul that is at enmity with God and would rather have its neck broken,than to bow in submission to the Lord).3.A broken heart is sensitive to the dangers of sin and appreciate of God's deliverance from sins wages.Thats why David could write, 'Bless the Lord,O my soul:and all that is within me,bless His Holy name.' Psalm 103:1,'...who redeemeth thy life from destruction'. Psalm 103:4a.
John Bunyan's 'The Acceptable Sacrifice' is without doubt one of the standard Christian books on Repentance.I hope its value is not overlooked by the Lord's people for many generations to come.