A small book helping people to identify and commit to a biblically-functioning local church. It has often been said that there is no perfect church. But there is also no perfect church member. As the old joke goes, if you find a perfect church you shouldn’t join it, because if you do it won’t be perfect anymore. Whenever sinners work together in close quarters, whether in churches or in families, conflict and disappointment will arise. Regardless of flaws, however, God designed us to need one another, and for the church to need us. But how do you find a good church? What are the qualities to look for? This mini-book gives sound wisdom that will guide you through this important decision.
Dr. Jim Newheiser explains, clearly and concisely, what God’s Word teaches about the dynamics that enable deep transformation of our desires and behavior. He shows how God’s grace in Christ ignites our response of love for God, and how the Spirit of God uses the gospel itself to motivate and empower us to resist habits and appetites that breed shame and defeat. He also demonstrates from the Scriptures the complementary truth that we need in our struggle against sin: that the grand indicatives of what Jesus has done for us and the assurance of the Father s invincible love toward us are intended not to make us passive, but to sustain our hope and to fire our resolve to fight sin and pursue Christlike holiness and love.
Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary
It’s easy to see areas that need changing in our lives and, as Christians, we long for change that will glorify God. But, how is change accomplished? In this helpful mini-book, Jim Newheiser reminds us that change begins and is sustained by the power of Christ through the gospel and that through that same gospel we are enabled to respond. I highly recommend it!
Author, Conference Speaker
A byproduct of years of careful thinking by a bright-minded and caring counselor, this little book is densely packed with biblical guidance for any who are interested in transformation for themselves and others. I rejoice in the attention that this book gives to God as the Author of change and to the role played by gospel indicatives and imperatives in nurturing and directing the process of change. Readers will find much hope and help here!
Author, The Gospel Primer