- Hardcover: 135 pages
- Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing; Revised & Expanded edition (August 25, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 156769103X
- ISBN-13: 978-1567691030
- Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 0.6 x 6.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 105 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow, Revised & Expanded Revised & Expanded Edition
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About the Author
Dr. R.C. Sproul is the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, an international multimedia ministry based in Lake Mary, Florida, and can be heard teaching around the United States and overseas on his daily radio program Renewing Your Mind.
He is the author of more than sixty books, including The Holiness of God, Chosen by God, What is Reformed Theology?, The Invisible Hand, Faith Alone, and A Taste of Heaven. He also served as general editor of the Reformation Study Bible.
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Top customer reviews
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It's critical not to miss the point of this book and not to lapse into the trap of crying "legalism" before looking at what God calls His children to do. "We see what God redeemed His people from, but we must not miss what God redeemed them to. He called His people out of Egypt, out of slavery, not to become autonomous or to do whatever they please. He called them to serve Him." Thus, "The five practices we are exploring in this book are all means of grace. A means of grace is a tool or instrument ment that God uses to strengthen and nurture us so that we grow in conformity to Christ." In five short, well-developed, and Biblically rich chapters, he introduces, defines, and provides practical guidance for us in Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship.
For example, beginning with Bible study, he counsels: "Just as the Word of God is used in conversion, so it is a critical instrument in our spiritual growth. By immersing ourselves in the Word of God, we begin to gain the mind of Christ and learn what discipleship is...Deception through distortion of the truth of God is a major problem that confronts every generation and every Christian community. For this reason, the apostle [Paul], following after Jesus, was profoundly concerned that Christian people be solidly rooted and grounded in the truth, so that they might not be deceived and led astray by false teaching."
Similarly, "We should pray because prayer is a duty of every Christian; because prayer is a privilege; and because prayer is a powerful means of grace." Regarding worship, he strikingly points out one "grim episode in the history of ancient Israel [that] makes an unforgettable point: worship of the living God is serious business. It is not something to be trifled with or taken lightly. God is serious about how we worship Him, and we must be serious about it, too" because "every worship service we attend is an audience with the King of kings." The "motivation for Christian service is love for God. We serve not to earn salvation, but because Christ already has purchased chased salvation for us." Finally, discussing stewardship, Sproul reminds us that "we must always be aware that God has given us these and all things. Biblical giving, therefore, is done in the context text of stewardship, our management of the good things the Father showers upon us."
This is a terrific foundational book for the new believer as well as the long-time Christian in which to be reminded of the fundamentals of growing in our relationship with the Lord through the words of life He has given us.
One great example from the book -A practical help for Bible study: read the Bible with a red pen in hand. I suggest that you put a question mark in the margin beside every passage that you find unclear or hard to understand. Likewise, put an X beside every passage that offends you or makes you uncomfortable. Afterward, you can focus on the areas you struggle with, especially the texts marked with an X. This can be a guide to holiness, as the Xs show us quickly where our thinking is out of line with the mind of Christ. If I don’t like something I read in Scripture, perhaps I simply don’t understand it. If so, studying it again may help. If, in fact, I do understand the passage and still don’t like it, this is not an indication there is something wrong with the Bible. It’s an indication that something is wrong with me, something that needs to change. Often, before we can get something right, we need to first discover what we’re doing wrong.
▲ Bible Study: "The renewing of our minds is a lifelong process." "Begin with an overview of the Bible. Get the basic framework first." That piece of advice is the same given by the great teacher/philosopher, Mortimer Adler, in his magnum opus, "How to Read a Book." (But Dr. Adler didn't become a believer until he was in his 80's.)
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▲ Prayer: "It's a communication of love from the bride to the Bridegroom." Instead of spending your prayer time telling God all the things you need, "the focus of our prayer needs to be on the work of Christ and the work of the kingdom."
▲ Worship: "Worship of the Living God is serious business."
▲ Service: "We serve not to earn salvation, but because Christ already has purchased salvation for us."
▲ Stewardship: Stark reality: "96% of professing evangelical Christians are systematically robbing God." and "Let your donation sweat in your hand before you give it." That is, think carefully about where you give.
√ Well-written, succinct, inspiring--and a bit sobering. Recommend!