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Holiness by Grace : Delighting in the Joy That Is Our Strength
"Be Holy, because I am holy." --1 Peter 1:16
How can God expect us to be as holy as he is? Isn't it unrealistic, given that he is infinitely pure and we are clearly imperfect? Such a standard seems either to ignore our frailty or to impose certain failure--until we understand how God views us. Then we are reminded that, thanks to what Christ accomplished on our behalf, our perfection is not the requirement for entering his kingdom. Yet that very grace still calls us to live righteously--for the sake of our well-being, yes, but most of all, because it glorifies God.
In this challenging yet heartwarming work, Bryan Chapell illustrates the principles of grace, the practices of faith, and the motives of love in living a life of holiness. You will journey through reassuring Scripture passages that show good works and obedience to be, not a means of establishing or maintaining salvation, but a grateful response to God's mercy. And in Bryan Chapell's encouraging words--drawn straight from the heart of God--you will understand that your holiness is not so much a matter of what you achieve as it is the grace that God provides. A grace so rich as to make the pursuit of his holiness your soul's deepest delight.
Although his purpose is "to explain the role of grace in sanctification," Chapell, president of Covenant Theological Seminary, not only explains fundamental theological concepts, but gives them passion and life through colorful, often poignant illustrations. Chapell argues very carefully that God's grace is the necessary foundation and source for all spiritual growth in the Christian life. He thoughtfully explores the deeply rooted human tendency to turn away from grace, seeking favor and blessing through our own efforts. But he also deals with tougher issues asking, for example, "Can the preaching of grace become an excuse for lawlessness?" He honestly confronts how church leaders are tempted to de-emphasize God's grace in order to prevent chaos. Chapell gives new meaning to the idea of repentance, offers practical and helpful teaching on temptation, shows the often-overlooked role of grace in spiritual warfare, explains the positive role of suffering and paints an inspiring picture of God's love and mercy. Questions at the end of the book will be helpful for group study. Grace is currently a "hot" topic for Christian books and presentations, but Chapell's treatment brings a new depth to the subject, not only in his careful, thorough reasoning but also in his comprehensive use of biblical texts. This depth may prove daunting to some readers, but mature Christians will likely consider Chapell's book a key component of their spiritual journey.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Crossway Books & Bibles
February 09, 2003
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