“Take time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.” — 1 Tim. 4:7, J. B. Phillips Translation
As J. Oswald Sanders points out, true discipleship is more than intellectual assent to a belief in Christ; it involves the whole person and lifestyle.
True disciples pursue their Master. They know that God is watching over their faith, but they also take Scripture's command seriously: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you.” They take pains, by His power, to look more and more like Jesus.
This book will help you to be such a disciple. It examines Jesus' teaching on what it means to follow Him, helping you become the kind of Christian Jesus wants you to be—not one devised by man or even other Christians. You'll learn:
For anyone who wants to be not just a believer in Christ, but an imitator of Him, this book is a treasured resource.
Includes questions for reflection, ideal for both individual and group study.
Oswald Sanders writes in a similar vein as he did in “Spiritual Leadership”. Though this title is not as well-known as his leadership classic, it probes with the same depth into spiritual maturity. As the subtitle says, he brings out principles of spiritual growth for every believer. It is an outstanding book.
He has a Trinitarian breakdown in the three parts of this book. In part one he writes on the overruling providence of God, in part two on the supreme vision of Christ, and in part three he writes on the Holy Spirit as the breath of God. As the editors say in the preface, this title “is not just a ‘how-to’, but a ‘be’ volume”.
In part one, he first tackles Romans 8:28 and goes beyond the usual shallow interpretations we find for that verse. He does find the good. In the next chapter, we get an outstanding vision of our God and how it always led to “profound self-abasement”. I love this chapter. Next, he finds the persevering love in the Lord being called the God of Jacob. In another chapter, he reviews the purposes of God’s disciplines as well as the perfected strength He gives. In chapter 6, he probes the ugliness of pride. After that, he discusses faith, deliverance, and the compensations of faith.
In part two, he first uses Revelation 5:9 to look at the transcendent worthiness of Christ. Chapter 10 looks at intercession, which he calls the unfinished work of Christ. In chapter 11, he takes one of the Beatitudes and describes Christ’s ideal of character. We also get looks at discipleship on Christ’s terms in one chapter and another on seeing the message to the church at Ephesus as a personal letter from Christ. In chapter 14, he describes what he calls a “reigning life through Christ”.
In part three, he first describes what he means by the Spirit being the breath of God, followed by an explanation of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Later chapters consider the purging fire of the Spirit, the mighty dynamic of the Spirit, and the missionary passion of the Spirit. The remaining two chapters makes sense of the controversial subject of speaking with tongues.
I underlined many lines in every chapter. The beautiful part about this work is how he draws his conclusions from the biblical text itself. In addition to being such a helpful devotional book, this is a good example for preachers in communicating truth. Mark down this title as a real jewel.
This is a must read for every believer. J. Oswald Sanders always brings biblical understanding what it really means to follow Christ. In this short book, believers are exhorted to look at the scriptures and follow them. In chapter 13, Sanders looks at the disciple's prayer life. He says prayer is an amazing paradox. It is a blending of simplicity and profundity. He talks about that restful and trustful prayer has an important place in the Christian life. He covers in this chapter everything from praying with authority to praying with importunity. He looks at the prayer life of the Master, Jesus. At the end of each chapter, there are reflection questions to help the reader to reflect over what they read.
Sanders covers a range of different focuses of the believer's life. I highly recommend this book to all.