Grace Works! (And Ways We Think It Doesn’t)

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Book Reviews, Christian Living

Grace Works! (And Ways We Think It Doesn’t)

index Grace Works! (And Ways We Think It Doesnt) In recent years, few issues have caused as much ink to be spilled as the conversation on the gospel. Whether it has occurred in books, blogs or at conferences, much of the conversation has tended to lean towards only answering the question, “What is the gospel?” Thankfully recent days have seen a refocusing of efforts on understanding the relationship between justification and sanctification. This conversation on the nature of sanctification has left many confused on the topic and many more up in arms. It has even caused some in the Church to have serious disagreement to the point where they no longer work together because they differ over the topic. Seeking to bring clarity to a confused topic Douglas Bond wrote Grace Works! And Ways We Think It Doesn’t).

Doug’s book is not your typical book on the gospel. First, Doug isn’t a pastor but he is an elder. Doug isn’t a professor but he is a teacher who speaks at conferences and leads history tours. He is perhaps most well-known for his excellent biographies. Doug’s approach in Grace Works! is to bring his considerable knowledge of church history to bear on a topic where many are confused. As he does so, he opens the Scriptures to help God’s people understand not only what the Bible teaches but what the Church has taught on the gospel.

There are two ditches to avoid when talking about sanctification. The first ditch to avoid is overemphasizing our effort to the exclusion of grounding that effort in the finished work of the gospel. When this happens people hear messages that are moralistic—that, is do all you can do by your own effort. This isn’t the gospel. The second ditch is legalism. We demand that people do things a certain ways. From my experience in Reformed churches the second ditch is the one that is most prevalent, because while doctrine is rightly emphasized, love for one another is neglected. The Bible teaches the indicative (what Christ has done) and the imperative (what we are to do) in tension for a reason. The indicative is to inform how we obey the Lord (the imperative). When we emphasize instead the doing part of the gospel divorced from what Christ has done we are preaching not just half a gospel but a different gospel entirely. This is why we need books like Grace Works! to remind us of not just what the gospel is but the power and authority of the gospel.

Grace Works! has seven parts to it. In part one, the author considers how the gospel can be undermined. In part two the author considers how the gospel is distorted and how we should understand the grace of God. In part three the author looks at law and gospel. In part four the author considers how to understand grace and works. Part five helps readers understand how to interpret the Bible and how we often misinterpret the central message of the Bible. Part six contributes to the goal of the book by helping readers understand the importance of confessions to the life of the Church. The book concludes with a call to embrace the gospel in every facet of the Christian life and the ministry of the local church.

Grace Works! is a very important book for two reasons. First, this book clears the air on not only what the Bible teaches about the gospel and what it demands but also what the Church has taught on this topic. Finally, this book is written in such a way that every Christian can understand what it’s saying. Whether you are a lay person new to the gospel-centered conversation or a long-time participant, Grace Works! has something for you. This book will orient you to the conversation through it’s able handling of the Word of God and emphasis on what the Church has taught. I highly recommend this book and pray the Lord will use it powerfully to awaken God’s people to the truth of His Word on what the gospel is and what it demands.

Title:  Grace Works! (And Ways We Think It Doesn’t)

Author Douglas Bond

Publisher: P&R

I received this book for free from P&R for this review. 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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Weekly Roundup 8/25/2014-8/30/2014

Posted by on Aug 31, 2014 in Resources

Weekly Roundup 8/25/2014-8/30/2014

This is our weekly roundup of posts for 8/25/2014-8/30/2014. If you have any feedback on how we can serve you our readers better, I would appreciate it.  Thank you for reading and allowing us to minister to you throughout this past week through these posts.

Monday 8/25/2014-

Book Review– The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther (Long Line of Godly Men Profiles) reviewed by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/book-review-the-heroic-boldness-of-martin-luther-long-line-of-godly-men-profiles/

Dear Seminarian: Pursue Purity by Mathew Sims http://servantsofgrace.org/dear-seminarian-pursue-purity/

5 Ways the Holy Spirit Helps Us by Chris Poblete http://servantsofgrace.org/5-ways-the-holy-spirit-helps-us/

Wisdom Is A “Who” More Than A “What” by Jeff Medders http://servantsofgrace.org/wisdom-is-a-who-more-than-a-what/

Tuesday 8/26/2014-

Book Review – Taking God Seriously: Major Lessons from the Minor Prophets reviewed by Mike Boling http://servantsofgrace.org/book-review-taking-god-seriously-major-lessons-from-the-minor-prophets/

Dealing with pain by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/dealing-pain/

Dear Seminarian Attending Bible College or Seminary Online by Mike Boling http://servantsofgrace.org/dear-seminarian-attending-bible-college-or-seminary-online/

Doubt: A Sexy Virtue by Mike Leake http://servantsofgrace.org/doubt-sexy-virtue/

Wed 8/27/2014-

Book Review – Christian Answers To Hard Questions: The Pagan Heart of Today’s Culture by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/book-review-christian-answers-to-hard-questions-the-pagan-heart-of-todays-culture/

Dear Seminarian: Advice to Married Seminary Students by Craig Hurst  http://servantsofgrace.org/dear-seminarian-advice-to-marriage-seminary-students/

Working and the Image of God by Mathew Sims http://servantsofgrace.org/working-image-god/

Biblically Salty Speech by Jeff Medders http://servantsofgrace.org/biblically-salty-speech/

Thursday 8/28/2014-

Book Review – Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Wagging Tongue reviewed by Mike Boling http://servantsofgrace.org/book-review-resisting-gossip-winning-the-war-of-the-wagging-tongue/

Dear Seminarian: A Little Advice by Jason Helopoulos http://servantsofgrace.org/dear-seminarian-advice-to-marriage-seminary-students/

Jason Helopoulos
Jason Helopoulos

God’s Wisdom & Discipline by Matthew Fretwell http://servantsofgrace.org/gods-wisdom-discipline/

Real Christian Leadership by Grant Castleberry http://servantsofgrace.org/real-christian-leadership/

Friday 8/29/2014

Book Review – Healed at Last: Separating Biblical Truth From Myth reviewed by Mike Boling http://servantsofgrace.org/book-review-healed-at-last-separating-biblical-truth-from-myth/

Dear Seminarian Series Recap by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/dear-seminarian-series-recap/

Hope for Those Captive to Lust by Jeff Medders http://servantsofgrace.org/hope-captive-lust/

Saturday 8/30/2014

Distorted Narrative Syndrome by Mathew Sims http://servantsofgrace.org/distorted-narrative-syndrome/

Sermon:The Blessing of Abiding in Jesus from 1 John 2:28-3:3 by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/8-the-blessing-of-abiding-in-jesussermon/

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#8: The Blessing of Abiding in Jesus[Sermon]

Posted by on Aug 30, 2014 in 1 John

1john #8: The Blessing of Abiding in Jesus[Sermon]This is sermon #8 in the 1 John series. In this sermon on 1 John 2:28-3:3 I preach on the already/not yet, living in light of the Second coming of Christ, abiding in Jesus, assurance and spiritual maturity.

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Dear Seminarian Series Recap

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Dear Seminarian

Dear Seminarian Series Recap

Over the month of August, we have posted many articles here at Servants of Grace as part of a series titled “Dear Seminarian.” The goal of this series has been those who are interested in going to, already in or who have graduated Bible College or seminary. Our purpose was to help Bible College and seminary students to grow in the grace of God as they prepare for, while they are attending and after they graduate from seminary.

Bible College and seminary is a unique time in life. As has been pointed out numerous times—get plugged into a local church. Don’t forsake your first love Jesus as you study. Spend regular time studying the Word so that you may love Christ, His people and His Church.

The writers in this series have aimed to help you as Bible College and seminary students think through not only why you are in seminary but also how to grow in the grace of God while in seminary. At the end of the day all of the time you are spending studying the Word of God should lead to increase love and likeness to Jesus.

I hope this series has encouraged you, exalted in King Jesus, and has helped you grow in the grace of God.

Here are the articles in order:

1) Five Suggestions For Future Seminarians by C. Walter

2) Grow in the Grace of God by Matthew Fretwell

3) Cultivating Humility by Dave Jenkins

4)  A Call to Ministry by Griffin Fulledge

5)  Know Your Bible by Dr. Brian Cosby

6) So You Want To Go To Seminary? by Zach Kendrick

7-10) Advice To Seminary Students P.1, P.2, P. 3 and P.4.

11) After Seminary is over by Joey Cochran

12) Love God’s People, and His Church by Dave Jenkins

13) Grow In Passion For God’s Word by Dave Jenkins

14) Pursue Purity by Mathew Sims

15) Attending Bible College or Seminary Online by Mike Boling

16) Advice To Married Seminary Students by Craig Hurst

17) A Little Advice by Jason Helopoulos

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Book Review – Christian Answers To Hard Questions: The Pagan Heart of Today’s Culture

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Apologetics, Book Reviews

Pagan Heart of Todays Culture 194x300 Book Review   Christian Answers To Hard Questions: The Pagan Heart of Today’s Culture Today’s Christian is confronted by challenges on nearly every side with the rising tide of relativism, secularism, paganism and many other “ism’s” that vie for the attention and affections of Christians. Following his excellent book One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference and many others, Dr. Peter Jones, the director of TruthXchange has written a helpful book distilling his excellent teaching on understanding our culture. Dr. Jones book looks at postmodernism, polytheism and Gnosticism showing how they are part of an ancient religious worldview that seeks to impose its view upon Western culture.

Having read other works by Dr. Peter Jones what I appreciate about his writing is he aims to help readers understand not only what is going on in our culture but also how we can reach the culture with the gospel. In a culture that is rapidly changing, we need writers and speakers like Dr. Jones to help God’s people to understand the times that we live in and to help us to speak the timeless message of the gospel to an ever-changing culture. This what Dr. Jones book The Pagan Heart of Today’s Culture does well. This booklet doesn’t contain everything that Dr. Jones has said about these matters. Think of this booklet as a primer to wet your appetite. To read more, I encourage you to read One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference by Dr. Jones. Nevertheless, reading The Pagan Heart of Today’s Culture will help readers to gain some insight from a leading thinker/writer on cultural issues. I highly recommend this booklet to understand cultural issues through a biblical worldview.

Title:  Christian Answers To Hard Questions The Pagan Heart of Today’s culture

Author Peter Jones

Publisher: P&R

I received this book for free from P&R for this review. 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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