The first book I ever read by Jerry Bridges was Respectable Sins. I was a fairly new believer at the time, and you can be confident that it radically enhanced my view of my own sin before a holy God. This is partially because, during his life, Bridges possessed a tremendous gift: He wrote in a way that was especially accessible without watering down a passage of Scripture one bit. (One didn’t need a burgeoning lexicon of theological language to understand him.) I will always be grateful for how the Lord used Bridges to speak (sometimes hard) truth into my life, through the words his fingers typed. Without a doubt, the Lord used The Blessing of Humility to convict with the Word and encourage with the gospel. In short, this book is a treasure!
The Blessing of Humility, a mere 95 pages (excluding the discussion guide), is structured around the Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-12). In Bridges’ own words, “These expressions of Christian character are a description of humility in action” (p. xii). The general premise is that there are precepts (commands) to walk in humility and promises that are God’s grace towards those who do, indeed, walk in that humility. For each character trait (poverty of spirit, meekness, purity of heart, etc.) there is a chapter; in each chapter, Bridges uses stories from Scripture, personal anecdotes, occasional discussion of the original language, and even classic hymns of the church to paint a clear and vivid picture of the commands and promises in that beatitude. Each chapter is quite well-organized; not once did I feel disoriented. Bridges’ thought-flow is smooth and eloquent.
What I’ve always appreciated most about Bridges’ writing, is that he consistently points the reader to three things:
- the complete and perfect sovereignty of God;
- His abundant love for His children; and
- the gospel as the first and greatest hope in the life of a believer.
This happens again in The Blessing of Humility, in the chapters and in the discussion guide.
I think this volume will remain on our shelf as a classic, annual re-read for years to come. In my heart, I know that the bulk of wisdom I gleaned on this first pass is only the tip of the iceberg. Because of Jerry Bridges, I now have a clearer impression of what it looks like to walk in humility, through the power of the Spirit. I pray that this short exegetical work will soon land in your hands, so that you can have the blessing, not only of humility, but also of Jerry Bridges’ immense skillfulness with the written word.
Soli Deo Gloria,
*In exchange for my honest opinion, I received a complimentary advance review copy of this title from Tyndale House.