Bridge of Grace
Teaching of Virtue
Bridge of Grace
Imagine a wide valley with endless cliffs on either side; you on one side, eternal union with God on the other. The infinite depth of the valley is eternal darkness. It is impossible to cross this valley on your own. No amount of good deeds ever make it so. One with the best behavior and one with the worst behavior get no closer, both falling equally short of the glory of God. It is only by faith that the bridge of grace is extended to you. Yet, you must cooperate with this grace and willfully walk across it.
Faith is the key that extends the bridge of grace. Faithfulness is the journey across it. Understanding, it is impossible to walk in faithfulness alone—it is only made possible by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
To pursue the will of God is to open your soul to the grace of the Holy Spirit to walk within you (faithfulness). To pursue the will of self is to turn your back on grace and walk away (pridefulness).
It is said, “Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace…The grace of God is unearned and unearnable, but if we ever expect to grow in grace, we must pay the price of a consciously chosen course of action” (Jerry Bridges)—to make God’s will your will, seeking to glorify God in all you do by pursuing a virtuous life. For it’s in this quest, that the grace of the Holy Spirit increasingly flows within you and through you.
Scroll down for the related scriptures, quotes, and lesson plan associated with this teaching.
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“Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them. Those who do not love me do not obey my teaching. And the teaching you have heard is not mine, but comes from the Father, who sent me. “I have told you this while I am still with you. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.” — John 14:23-26 (GNTD)
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” — Galatians 5:16 (ESV)
“As Scripture says, “He who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the spirit reap eternal life.” — Galatians 6:8 (ESV)
“And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” — 1 Corinthians 2:13 (ESV)
“So then, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you...” — James 4:7-8 (GNTD)
"What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." — Philippians 4:9 (ESV)
“For the grace of God our Savior has appeared to all men, instructing us to reject impiety and worldly desires, so that we may live soberly and justly and piously in this age, looking forward to the blessed hope and the advent of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ. He gave himself for our sake, so that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse for himself an acceptable people, pursuers of good works. Speak and exhort and argue these things with all authority. Let no one despise you.” — Titus 2:11-15 (CPDV)
“Without the Spirit of God, we can do nothing. We are as ships without wind. We are useless.” — Charles Spurgeon
“You have a God who hears you, the power of love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, and all of heaven ahead of you. If you have the Shepherd, you have grace for every sin, direction for every turn, a candle for every corner and an anchor for every storm. You have everything you need.” — Max Lucado
“Let grace and goodness be the principal loadstone of thy affections. For love which hath ends, will have an end; whereas that which is founded on true virtue, will always continue.” — John Dryden
“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.” — St. Augustine
“Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in us whereby our inner being is progressively changed, freeing us more and more from sinful traits and developing within us over time the virtues of Christlike character.” — Jerry Bridges
“We are 100 percent responsible for the pursuit of holiness, but at the same time we are 100 percent dependent upon the Holy Spirit to enable us in that pursuit. The pursuit of holiness is not a pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps approach to the Christian life.” — Jerry Bridges
“The Holy Spirit's main ministry is not to give thrills but to create in us Christlike character.” — J. I. Packer
“Every divine action begins from the Father, proceeds through the Son, and is completed in the Holy Spirit.” — St. Basil
“The Holy Spirit illuminates the minds of people, makes us yearn for God, and takes spiritual truth and makes it understandable to us.” — Billy Graham
“The human spirit fails, except when the Holy Spirit fills.” — Corrie Ten Boom
“Just as the right relationship with Christ generates a Christian, so the proper relationship with the Holy Spirit breeds a spiritual man.” — Watchman Nee
“Christ prays in me, Christ works in me, Christ thinks in me, Christ looks through my eyes, Christ speaks through my words, Christ works with my hands, Christ walks with my feet, Christ loves with my heart. As St Paul's prayer was: I belong to Christ and nothing will separate me from the love of Christ. It was that oneness, oneness with God in the Holy Spirit.” — St. Mother Teresa
“Our nation will prosper or decline in direct proportion to our selection of leaders who are guided by the Holy Spirit. If we fail to select Godly leaders our destiny will surely be as that of the Roman Empire.” — Ronald Reagan
“Every truth without exception—and whoever may utter it—is from the Holy Spirit.” — St. Thomas Aquinas
“Don’t ever be pleased with yourself because of some goodness that you might discover in yourself, because it all comes to you from God, and to Him must you give the honor and glory.” — St. Padre Pio
For your family, small group, or personal reflection.
STEP 1: Introduction
Example: "I'm going to play a short video on the topic of the bridge of grace. After the video, I have some questions to gather your thoughts and get the discussion started. We’ll then wrap up with a closing prayer."
STEP 2: Watch Video (or listen)
Watch (or listen to) the video of the teaching (cast to your TV via YouTube). If time allows, also read the teaching, related Scriptures, and related quotes.
STEP 3: Discussion / Reflection
- As covered in the teaching, "To pursue the will of God is to open your soul to the grace of the Holy Spirit to walk within you (faithfulness). To pursue the will of self is to turn your back on grace and walk away (pridefulness)." What things come to mind, you can do (or stop doing) in your life, to open your soul to the grace of the Holy Spirit to walk within you?
- In your own words, what is the difference between faith and faithfulness?
- In what ways can you help others cooperate with God’s grace and welcome the Holy Spirit into their lives?
- Did any of the related Scriptures or quotes stand out to you (please elaborate)?
- Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
STEP 4: Wrap Up & Closing Prayer
Summarize and wrap up the discussion. Then, conclude with a sincere and humble prayer from the heart.