Gospel Meditation: Jerry Bridges

The recent passing of Jerry Bridges provides a meaningful juncture to reflect of some of his most profound works. Bridges, an author, speaker, and staff member with The Navigators was used by God to influence the lives of thousands. His books were filled with theologically rich and practical, insightful wisdom for living the Christian life. Perhaps his most memorable work, The Discipline of Grace, describes God’s role in sanctification—one in which God is the chief agent, initiator, and sustainer of the process. Bridges cautions believers against the temptation to base their view of God or of themselves of their performance. He writes, “The point of this good-day-bad-day comparison is this: Regardless of our performance, we are always dependent on God’s grace, His undeserved favor to those who deserve His wrath. Some days we may be more acutely conscious of our sinfulness and hence more aware of our need of His grace, but there is never a day when we can stand before Him on our own two feet of performance, when we are worthy enough to deserve His blessing.” 

Bridges then continues,

“I’ve asked people why they think God would probably not use them to share the gospel with someone on a “bad” day. A typical reply is, “I wouldn’t be worthy,” or “I wouldn’t be good enough.” Such a reply reveals an all-too-common misconception of the Christian life: the thinking that, although we are saved by grace, we earn or forfeit God’s blessings in our daily lives by our performance.” 

And, finally he concludes,

“Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.” 

Praise God that my salvation and my sanctification are secure because of God’s grace. May this truth not render us passive, but propel holiness as we seek to become in practice what we are by virtue of grace.