Friday, September 19, 2008

Whiter Than Snow: Paul David Tripp

This was my first Tripp book (I wanted to get it after reading parts of it on his blog during the writing process). I am reading several books on sin to get ready for an upcoming conference I'm doing in Apex, NC, in November with Erin and Kasey. Can't wait.
So - I got this book earlier in the week and finished it tonight. Tripp uses Ps 51 to shape this book on mercy and grace and sin and confession. Amazing, 2-5 little chapters, meditations as he calls them. He incorporates each verse of the Psalm, poetry, hymns (both old and new), to develop this thought and heart attitude within us that we are not good - we need Jesus.
"It is a willing heart that causes us to seek the grace that has been promised. When we turn from our own way and recognize our inabilities to live HIS way, we begin to seek the full range of resources that He has promised us in His Son. Grace is for the willing and we only become willing when we confess not only the gravity of our sin, but our inability to deliver ourselves from it." (24)
"God's grace is our only hope. Each one of us needs grace that's not only big enough to forgive our sin, but also powerful enough to free us from the self-atoning prison of our own righteousness. We're not only held captive by our sin, but also by the delusion of our righteousness. Resting in God's grace isn't just about confessing your sin, its about forsaking your righteousness as well." (29)
"Its only in the mirror of God's Word and with the sight-giving help of the Holy Spirit that we are able to see ourselves as we actually are. God, who loves us enough to sacrifice his Son for our redemption, works so that we should see ourselves clearly, so that we would not buy into the delusion of our own righteousness, and so that with a humble sense of personal need we would seek the resources of grace that can only be found in Him." (33)
"As sinners we all become way too comfortable with our sin. You see, we all have a perverse capacity to be comfortable with what God says is wrong." (34)
This was one of the most convicting paragraphs of the whole book: based on how I am disappointed and discouraged with where I stand in the whole scheme of life and what I think I should have:
"When people are blessed by the Lord they turn to him in humble, sacrificial worship. Its in those moments when I am cogently aware of God's forgiveness and gratefully aware of his undeserved blessing that I willingly offer to him what I would have once held to tightly. God delights in the sacrifices of his people, because when they are worshiping him in this way, they are doing the thing for which they were created. When I've quit looking for satisfaction in the created world and being to find my satisfaction in the Lord, then I am willing to hold loosely to the things that once held me. Its here that my delight is the Lord's delight - Ps 37.4." (56)
Tripp uses three words from Ps 51.1-2 to talk about sin: transgression (willful disobedience), iniquity (moral uncleanness) and sin (falling short of a standard). (86-87). I liked that.
My friend Kasey (who's church the conference is at) is also studying for this and has been concentrating on Prov 4.23. This is what I found in this book on that: "Its when the battle for the heart is lost that the battle of physical resistance to sin will be lost as well. When the heart becomes hard, the system of internal restraint that keeps one pure ceases to function as it was designed to function, and we say yes to that which God has called us to say no." (112)
I really did like this quick read. It was short chapters that could be read anywhere. There were 2 questions at the end of every section for further introspection - and would also be good for a small group. He also didn't quote a lot of other people in it. I like to read books that don't have a lot of long quotes from others (unlike this blog post). I also liked it because it was interesting from cover to cover - not just the first 2/3 of it then it fell short.
I think I'll be reading more of Paul David Tripp.

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