Jerry Bridges, “What God has predestined for us, He commands us to pursue”

I started reading through The Transforming Power of the Gospel (Growing in Christ) by Jerry Bridges with a guy from my church. We’re only two chapters in and I’m digging the gospel simplicity. This is a book anyone could pick up and everyone should! Here’s a taste of the gospel goodness. Review to follow.

To be transformed into the image of God’s Son and to be holy as God is holy are essentially synonymous expressions. But what I want us to see through these similar expressions is that what God has predestined for us, He commands us to pursue. There is no conflict between God’s sovereign will, which He will certainly accomplish, and His moral will for us, which we are to pursue.

This transformation into the image of Jesus is much more than a change of outward conduct; rather, it is a deep penetrating work of the Holy Spirit in the very core of our being, what the Bible calls the heart — the center of our intellect, affections, and will. It is what is sometimes called “a change from the inside out.”

But though the transformation process is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit, it very much involves our earnest, active pursuit of that holiness without which no one will see the Lord (see Hebrews 12:14). So what is it that will engage our affections or desires to earnestly pursue transformation into the likeness of Jesus? What is it that will inspire us to want to do what we ought to do? This is a major question that we’ll seek to answer in chapter 6. Its answer is one of the key lessons I have learned in my own journey toward spiritual transformation.

Bridges, Jerry (2012-01-13). The Transforming Power of the Gospel (Growing in Christ) (Kindle Locations 151-161). Navpress. Kindle Edition.