Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life (Mom’s Bookshelf)

Because-He-Loves-Me

What is “the gospel”? Simply a set of facts to believe, or much more?

I recently finished reading Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It delves into the topic of how the gospel can – and should – permeate and affect every area of our life. It’s applicable to each and every situation we encounter.

Too many Christians seem to think that the gospel is simply a set of facts you must believe in order to be saved. Ms. Fitzpatrick sets out to shatter that misconception and show how gospel truth applies to our daily circumstances.

“Let me explain what I mean. If I asked you, ‘Where did the ongoing incarnation of Jesus Christ intersect with your life yesterday?’ would you have an answer? We all know that the crucifixion is important for our initial salvation, but what did it mean to you this morning? Does Calvary inform and warm your heart when you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or hearing bad news from your doctor? Does his sinless life comfort you when you realize that you’ve just sinned in that same way again? In other words, is he significantly relevant to you in your daily walk with him? ” (p. 18)

The book is divided into two sections. The first section of the book clearly lays out the “identity transformation” that we undergo and the inheritance that’s ours when we accept Christ. The second section shows how this reality plays out in every part of our lives – how the gospel is applicable to every situation.

First, Ms. Fitzpatrick lays the foundation. She contends that many Christians have “spiritual amnesia”, that “even though we believe the gospel, the occasions in which the gospel (the incarnation, sinless life, death, bodily resurrection, and ascension of the Son of God) actually intersect and powerfully affect our daily life are infrequent.” (p. 41).  Yet in Christ, we’ve been given a whole new identity – His! We stand justified and are no longer under condemnation. Our inheritance includes not only eternal life in His presence (Jn. 3:16), but everlasting happiness in Him (Ps. 16:11) and reconciliation and peace with Him (Col. 1: 21-22) right now.

In the second section, she exhorts us to “be who we are” in light of these truths, explaining that laying the proper foundation first is critical because “…your growth in holiness is firmly bound to your appreciation of the gospel and God’s love, for it is only an appreciation of his love that can motivate genuine obedience. Outward obedience can be and frequently is generated by other motives, such as the fear of failure or desire for approval, but this kind of obedience (which isn’t obedience at all) only results in pride, despair, or self-indulgence and, because it is done out of love for self, more sin.” (p. 109)
 

In Scripture, we see a beautiful balance between indicative statements (what has already been indicated or declared about us…who we are in Christ) and imperatives (commands or directions). For example, consider Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another (imperative), as God in Christ forgave you (indicative).” We see this pattern repeatedly…because such-and-such is true about you (indicative) you should (or should not) do such-and-such (imperative)…or even you should not do this but instead do that.

We tend to two extremes: emphasizing gospel-declarations (indicative statements) and downplaying gospel-obligations (imperatives) or vice-versa, but both are essential. They are unavoidably tied together and must never be severed. Our transformation into Christlikeness is simply the process of growing to be in practice what we’ve already been made in Christ.

Ms. Fitzpatrick develops this concept in detail throughout the rest of the book, discussing both our “positive” and “negative” gospel obligations (what we’re exhorted to do and not do) and the absolute necessity for our motivation to be grounded in gospel declarations…who we are in Christ.

I’m barely skimming the surface of the rich application contained here.

Each chapter ends with a section of questions for reflection or discussion, making the book perfect for personal use or a group.

I could continue at length but this short review will never do the book justice. I’ll just end by saying that I highly recommend it.

Get it. Read it. Apply it.

Thank you to Angie at Crossway for providing a review copy for me. I was not required to give a positive review and received no other compensation. 

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Comments

  1. Sounds like a good read. I read her book "Love to Eat, Hate to Eat" awhile back.Stopping by from the homeschool blog hop. Have a great day of school!!

  2. Hi! Seems like we think alike. I came over from the Hip Homeschool Hop. I am now following you. Blessings!

  3. I have heard good things about this book. I just added it to my "want to read" list – thanks for sharing it!Stopping by to say "Hi" from the Hip Homeschool Hop!I just wanted to introduce myself as the newest member of the HHM team – I'm looking forward to getting to know you!- Ashley Pichea@apicheaashleypichea.com

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