Book Review: “The Gospel for Real Life” by Jerry Bridges (2002)

Since reading this book several months ago, I have been utilizing its information, chapter by chapter, in my church’s basketball ministry which seeks to evangelize non-believers and edify believers. The Gospel, of course, is the only teaching necessary to bring lost sheep to the fold. But for a believer who has lost sight over time of what it means to find joy in his salvation, preaching the Gospel to himself is perhaps the healthiest of all spiritual activities, for it keeps the goodness of Christ’s work at the forefront of the mind. Each week I meet with the men on the bleachers of our gymnasium, I share with them a new angle of the Gospel to consider (from Bridges‘ book), and each week I come away refreshed, having mulled over the same truths myself.

So far, we have discussed together the unsearchable riches that we believers have found in Christ (and have hopefully brought to the forefront of the unbelievers’ minds), the purpose of the cross, the amazing joy Christ found in obedience, the justice of God, and the wrath of God. The issues Jerry has collected in this volume are worth every minute a Christian may spend reviewing them. Far too often, Christians get stuck in the following mindset, completely ignoring the work Christ did in their own lives: they view the Gospel as a door through which they entered in order to get into Christianity, and it is therefore something they need not bother with anymore. But, Friend, this is so not the case! Bridges makes the truth of Scripture clear that when I accepted Christ Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, I did not enter Christianity, but He entered my own heart and life!  Revelation 3:20 brings this truth light, and thankfully so. I can thus view the Gospel as something passed—one and done—and I can also view it as perpetually present, constantly cleansing me and keeping me in the right standing (I don’t deserve) before an eternally holy Father.

I have enjoyed tremendously the opportunity to share the lessons of this book with others. While I certainly need to “water down” a bit the writing style of Bridges to fit my crowd—he tends to write more to long-time believers than to new or non-believers—I gladly do so for the opportunity to emphasize the eternal blessings the Gospel perpetually offers. I thank God for another excellent work by Jerry Bridges, and I encourage anyone craving a return to the joy of his salvation to pick up a copy for himself.

©2011 E.T.

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6 Responses to Book Review: “The Gospel for Real Life” by Jerry Bridges (2002)

  1. Todd James says:

    Eliot,
    Was reading your blog and the part about a basketball ministry. I wrote a tract called Meet My Head Coach for my ministry. Today it’s in something like 17 languages. Coach John Wooden had his own version of it for AIA and they and the FCA have used it at the Final Four. If you would like me to send you it to see if you can use it, please email me at the address below. Often send it to people telling them that they are free to copy it or change it to fit their own needs. Hope it can be of some use to you and the Kingdom.

    won by One,
    Todd James
    Dublin, Ireland

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