Deeper by Dane Ortlund
Only Christians living under a rock for the last year haven’t heard at least one person rave about the book Gentle and Lowly from Dane Ortlund. The book, tapping into the scholarship of the puritans, boldly proclaims the truth of Christ’s heart toward sinners and sufferers. As I told my small group it is a soul-warming book.
Where Gentle and Lowly gives us the basis of salvation and fuel for life, you might be looking to continue on, from Christ’s heart to how that helps you grow, how you become sanctified after being awakened to this love.
Ortlund has another volume that is a keen help in answering just those questions. Deeper, Real Change for Real Sinners is a short but wonderful book that suggests to grow we just go deeper into the truth of Christ’s heart and our union with him by faith.
I found this one a breeze to read. Broken into nine chapters beginning with Jesus and ending with the Spirit, Ortlund works through how the depths of the gospel work transformation in us as followers of Christ.
I commend this volume to you as you ponder how Jesus would bring change about in your heart and trust you will be encouraged throughout. Here are some of my highlights:
“One common reason we fail to leave sin behind is that we have a domesticated view of Jesus.”
“As we consider our growth in Christ, do we have an impoverished view of the length to which God had to go in Christ to deliver us?”
“If he is the friend of sinners, and if you know yourself to be a sinner, then let him befriend you more deeply than you ever have. Open up to him as you do to no other earthly friend. Let him love you as the friend of failures, the invincible ally of the weak.”
“We strain forward, but it is a straining that is at the same time relaxed, because it has been settled in our hearts that we cannot sin our way out of the grip of Jesus.”
“We will not grow, not deeply anyway, except by going through the painful death of being honest about our own spiritual bankruptcy. We must see and feel our utter emptiness and innate rebellion and resistance in the presence of a God whose infinitude of beauty and perfection exposes such sinfulness.”
“Every atom in the universe is managed by Christ so as to be most to the advantage of the Christian, every particle of air or every ray of the sun; so that he in the other world, when he comes to see it, shall sit and enjoy all this vast inheritance with surprising, amazing joy.”
“The love of God is what we feed on our whole lives long, wading ever more deeply into this endless ocean. And that feeding, that wading, is itself what fosters growth. We grow in Christ no further than we enjoy his embrace of us. His tender, mighty, irreversible embrace into his own divine heart.”
“True sanctification, true growth in holiness, is internal. It will manifest itself on the outside; “The tree is known by its fruit” (Matt. 12:33). But the tree creates the fruit; the fruit does not create the tree. ”
“Be so radically Spirit-led that you are therefore radically Christ-centered. Christ and Spirit, the incarnate Son and the indwelling Spirit—this is your double gift.”