I’ve appreciated many of Jerry Bridges’ books because they are level-headed, full of Scripture themes and texts, centered on the gospel, and because they are not trendy or faddish like many Christian books today. I also like how Bridges always emphasized the fact that we have a “dependent responsibility” as Christians to follow the Lord Jesus: we are responsible to follow him, but dependent on his grace and Holy Spirit to do so. In his final book (posthumously published) The Blessing of Humility, Bridges echoes many of these same themes from his other books.
In around 100 pages, Bridges talks about Christian humility as displayed by the beatitudes (Mt. 5:3ff). After giving a brief summary of the Bible’s emphasis on humility, he gives examples of what that humility looks like by focusing on some of the phrases in the beatitudes. Bridges doesn’t talk about every phrase in the beatitudes; mostly he focuses on the first half of each beatitude and doesn’t really discuss the last half. To be honest, this was a slight disappointment for me, but it wasn’t his plan to give a commentary on the beatitudes. (As a side note, I’m not impressed with the publishing quality of this book. The book feels quite flimsy since the cover is thinner than a cheap paper plate!)
This book isn’t groundbreaking, but it is a simple, clear, and helpful series of lessons on Christian humility. Bridges nicely emphasized the gospel, that through faith in Christ we are justified – our sins are forgiven and we are credited with Christ’s perfect righteousness. Based on that, we should desire and seek to grow in holiness, which includes humility. He notes that through prayer, God’s Word, and the Spirit’s help, we grow in Christ-like humility and our pride will slowly die. In the final chapter, Bridges comes back to the gospel and explains how we are to grow in humility by focusing on the gospel: “He [Jesus] lived a life we could not live and died the death we deserved to die” (p. 86).
Most Christians will be able to read and understand this book. It includes some study questions at the end. I’m glad I own it; I’ll for sure look at it again later when I study the beatitudes or the topic of humility. If you’re interested in how the beatitudes show humility in action, and if you want to grow in humility, you should check out this book: The Blessing of Humility by Jerry Bridges.
[I was provided a complementary copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]
Covenant Presbyterian Church