28 Oct 2010
In a short interview conducted by Steven Curry, Pastor of Bethany Baptist, Bridges shared with warmth and candour about his Christian background, books which have inspired him, and Christians who have had a strong influence on him. John Owen and George Smeaton were referenced as major influences on his writing ministry and, touchingly, it was a neighbour who first shared the Doctrines of Grace with him as a young man who was cited as being the greatest influence on his Christian life.
The message was an exposition of Matthew 6:9-13, and was characterised by fidelity to the passage, pathos for his hearers, simplicity of presentation and warm pastoral application. Unconventionally Bridges began his exposition with the second half of the Lord's Prayer, noting that these are the needs which most readily and often occupy us when we come to pray. The first half of the prayer was then expanded on in depth, showing the deep need for seeking God's glory and the extension of His kingdom in our prayers. The effect of this structural reversal served to lend emphasis to the primacy of God's glory and kingdom in our prayers, leaving the abiding sense that these are the issues which ought most to preoccupy us. The full sermon can be listened to or downloaded from the website of Bethany Baptist here.
On occasion the experience of listening to a well known preacher or author can be a disappointment. Sometimes the mutual pressure on speaker and hearer can serve to make the message too complex, and the hearers too keen in their expectations. The beauty of listening to Jerry Bridges preach last night was his commitment to simplicity of expression and reality of application. I doubt that a single individual present went home without much food for thought and for prayer in the light of what they heard.