This is going down as a very engaging, life-changing book. It is that good. I’ve always loved the grace impetus that Elyse Fitzpatrick has in her writing – and this one is no different.
Here are my thoughts on the last two chapters.
One of the most hope-full sentences in the entire book is found in chapter 9 – “No matter how you’ve sinned or been sinned against – your identity is that of a beloved, pure bride.” Often in this world, we are categorized by our sin. Think of all the “self-help programs” or even in our churches when people know you have committed a sin – that’s what our minds shift to when we see that person in the hall or in Sunday School. Not so. This should not be. We should look at other Blood-bought Christians as Christ would – through His blood.
“We are truly alive. We are free and no longer enslaved to sin or the law.” (183) If this is true in our standing in front of a holy God – can it ever be true in the local church? How can we love each other even though we see their sin – they see our sin – how do we display Christ to ourselves and others?
“What would your life look like if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were loved and that there was nothing you could do to spoil that reality?” Oh what glorious truth! How can we again live this out in the local church – in our small groups, in our play dates with other mommies, or in our ministry teams?
“I am free to serve my neighbor because I don’t need to demand to be loved – I have already been fully loved in Christ. I am free to serve my neighbor because I don’t need to be respected – Jesus knows exactly who I am.” – How much of our lives are lived in front of others, so others will see us, so that we can look good and climb ladders or get pats on the backs? This is not how the Christian life should be lived. We are who we are in Christ. Let us live there – in that reality – not keeping score or a list of things we have done. Good book on this topic: When People are Big and God is Small – by Ed Welch.
“Idolatry is crushed beneath true worship.” Oh how true. If we are focused on the gospel, sin will grow so faint (idolatry is sin).