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Jerry Bridges Died Yesterday

• Daniel Baker

Posted in Gospel, Grace

Jerry Bridges went to be with the Lord yesterday (March 16, 2016). Born to cotton farmers six weeks after the Stock Market Crash of 1929, he was saved in college and eventually went into vocational ministry with the Navigators. Most of us who know him, though, know him as an author and teacher who took gospel truth and made it accessible. If the name is new to you, Justin Taylor has written an excellent piece to honor him and survey his life.

Jerry Bridges is a man who saw that the Bible was meant to be understood and applied. He kept the main thing the main thing throughout his ministry and never lost his gift for speaking profound truth in simple ways—simple, not at all simplistic.

He recently published a memoir where he recounted various spiritual lessons that he learned throughout his life.

  1. The Bible is meant to be applied to specific life situations. That is, we apply specific texts to specific situations in our lives.
  2. All who trust in Christ as Savior are united to Him in a loving way just as the branches are united to the vine.
  3. The pursuit of holiness and godly character is neither by self-effort nor simply letting Christ “live His life through you.” These are the two sides of the cliff we need to avoid.
  4. The sudden understanding of the doctrine of election was a watershed event for me that significantly affected my entire Christian life.
    • He resisted this emphatically at first but was eventually persuaded and grew to love this doctrine of God's saving grace toward undeserving sinners.
  5. The representative union of Christ and the believer means that all that Christ did in both His perfect obedience and His death for our sins is credited to us.
  6. The gospel is not just for unbelievers in their coming to Christ. We are to preach the gospel to ourselves daily!
  7. We are dependent on the Holy Spirit to apply the life of Christ to our lives.
    • The further he went in life the more he realized he was absolutely dependent on the Holy Spirit.

We praise God for voices like these who have testified faithfully to God's saving grace and lived a life of integrity to match it. We also praise God for giving to Jerry Bridges the great desire of his heart, to live forever with the Lord.


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