Dane Carr rated it really liked it Dec 28, Adams focuses on human responsibility, and so I appreciate the admonition toward discipline. You too need to be on the track. Also known as Jay Edward Adams. The notion of discipline is a lost mastery for many and yet any athlete success is based on just that. Sara rated it it was amazing Apr 15, Apr 20, Douglas Wilson rated it liked it Shelves: Helpful, insightful booklet on living and training yourself toward Godliness through Holy Spirit directed discipline. Godliness Through Discipline by Jay E.

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Dimensions: 7. Adams is best known for his many books on counseling and frequent appearances at conferences on Christian living and counseling issues. He is also Dean of the Institute for Nouthetic Studies and is known for his many books on counseling and his frequent appearances at conferences on Christian living and counseling issues. He served for many years on the faculties of Westminster Theological Seminary and Westminster Seminary in California, and he founded the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation.

Most helpful customer reviews 15 of 16 people found the following review helpful. Christians need to hear that! By Reformatio This is an excellent little book. People like to call Jay Adams a "behaviorist" in order to be able to escape the biblical challenges he puts in front of us. Christ taught us not only salvation but resulting from this salvation love and virtue. Does this mean that Christ was a moralist? Certainly not! Jay Adams reminds us that once a person is saved sanctification is a necessary part of the Christian life.

Does this make him a behaviorist? Not at all! II Timothy talks about the " constant and disciplined training in righteousness". Christians often mix up justification with sanctification. It was short and to the point. I believe that this would be a good book for those exploring the possiblity of Christianity, new Christians, or those who have been at it for a while. Everyone needs a little encouragement to stay on the right track without getting beat over the head about how wrong we are.

A big problem. Jay Adams, the Father of Nouthetic Counseling, begins this booklet by presenting an example of what he calls a typical Christian, who keeps trying to change but continues to fail. It seems presumptuous for him to assume that this is the reason the reader is discouraged in his pursuit of godliness.

This was not the reason I was discouraged. First Timothy is the key verse Adams uses to posit, "you must discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. He gives very lengthy examples of an athlete, a baseball player, a weight lifter, and how all of them had to work to become good at what they did. Throughout the book he gives further lengthy examples of buttoning a shirt, driving a car, brushing your teeth, ice skating, yo-yoing, playing the organ, and getting up in the morning.

These examples of developing habits take up at least half of the book. This works-sanctification thinking is what motivated Paul to rail against the Galatians, calling them "foolish. Faith alone was the initial path to salvation the justification aspect , and faith alone will continue that same salvation the sanctification aspect , according to Galatians The discipline, or training, needed is that of keeping our hearts and minds on Christ, i.

However, Adams vehemently defends his Christian behaviorism to his hypothetical reader who, like me, is apparently protesting an inability to accomplish godliness this way. He supports his view with negative examples, based on II Peter hearts are "trained in greed," the same word as in Timothy.

He is claiming that, the more a person does something fleshly and "natural," the more "natural" it becomes, then claiming that this is the same way that the life of the Spirit is accomplished. But is it our fleshly efforts that will make the powerful life of divine grace more "natural"?

Or is it faith? And then to give myself a list of rules from the Bible. He says that the way to godliness is through applying principles, guidelines extrapolated from the law. But the Scriptures clearly say again and again that the only thing that principles law can accomplish in us is to show us our inability.

So I say, "All right, I am going to exercise determination and perseverance and endurance to discipline myself to love. Oh, I failed again. But this is the very greatest law! I will despair! This is made clear from Rom The next passage, Romans 8, makes clear that the Christian life cannot be lived by trying to follow principles, but by walking in the Spirit. The law could not do it, because it was weak through the flesh.

The nation of Israel Rom could not attain to the righteousness God required. Why not? But the fact is that the Bible never says we are counted perfect because of Christ. The Bible says that we are counted righteous: Rom , , Therefore we really are righteous. God clearly did not count us so upon our justification. Adams says, ".

There are three references to the "old man" in the Scriptures: Rom , "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Why is this truth crucial to godliness? Because understanding it, believing it--rather than trying to develop habits--is what will change our lives. Then this passage goes on to emphasize the importance of focusing our eyes and hearts on things above, on Christ Himself.

Verse 7 says that we can "put off" the deeds of sin--cast them off like an old dirty robe--because we have "put off" the old man--a different Greek word meaning utterly trounced in battle. Colossians says clearly that we have already put off the old man and vs 10 we have already put on the new man. This is not about forming new habits. This is about believing truth, trusting Christ. Spiritually, all the dying that needed to be done took place on the cross. The believer died in Christ and was raised in Christ, according to the absolutely crucial passage Romans , which Adams fails to give even a mention.

What we need now is not more death, but faith in the death and Resurrection that have already taken place. In another misrepresentation of Scripture, Adams says that Jesus "represented the Christian life as a daily struggle to change.

I have no idea what Scripture he is referring to here. But Adams forges ahead, assuming that his reader will simply accept that assertion. Using the example of learning to ice skate, he says, "Perhaps you have been afraid to talk to someone about Christ. Maybe you tried it once or twice, and as far as you are concerned you went zip bang! Discipline brings liberty. The order is first, structured discipline, then freedom; there is no other.

Liberty comes through law, not apart from it. John , 36 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

John 14 tells us that He is the Truth. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord. It is through the beholding of the face of Jesus Christ that we are made truly, spiritually free from sin. Every other New Testament Scripture about freedom supports this concept. However, to be fair, in this booklet he does mention faith once, prayer twice, and the Holy Spirit a few times.

At one point he says, "The Holy Spirit has oriented you [at the beginning of your salvation] toward God and His holiness, putting a new focus on all of life.

He says, "Now the work of the Spirit is not mystical. He says in the Scriptures that He ordinarily works through the Scriptures. I also wonder what he means when he says that the work of the Spirit is "not mystical. It is a mysterious work of transformation in the life of a person that cannot be fully explained. Paul said that he prayed that the Ephesians would "know" experientially the love of Christ, which passeth "knowledge" intellectually.

This is mysticism in its truest sense--a spiritual truth that cannot be explained on an intellectual level. The Holy Spirit is in the business of doing this kind of work all the time. It is because through the power of the Holy Spirit they show us our inability and point us to Jesus Christ, in whom is all Power John Adams says, "Do you think that after going to all that trouble [of writing the Bible] He now zaps instant holiness into us apart from the Bible?

Whether or not you believe that the Holy Spirit ever "zaps instant holiness," you have to acknowledge that "after going to all the trouble of writing the Bible" he still zaps instant salvation into people. And though the Scriptures are hugely instrumental in understanding, and I thank God for them, it is still true that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone. He does not promise to strengthen us unless we do so; the power often comes in the doing. And the faith he describes is still a faith in self-effort.

From the context of the booklet, I know that the "doing" Adams is talking about above is a List which he must expect us to keep fairly short, lest we be overwhelmed with discouragement. But in the book of Hebrews, the "stepping out by faith" to do as God says were not List things. In fact, they were often pretty strange! By faith Abraham offered Isaac. By faith Rahab hid the spies.

By faith Noah built an ark. By faith the priests put their feet in the rushing river.



Two thousand years ago, the Creator of the universe died on a cross for our sins and rose from the dead. Today, He draws all people to Himself and gives eternal life to everyone who believes in Him. For those of us who have trusted in Him, the most amazing thing is that Jesus Christ now lives in our hearts. But what does it really mean that Jesus lives in our hearts? It means we have His life, His righteousness, and His holiness.


Godliness through Discipline by Jay Adams: a response

It is free only when it is confined if you will to the track. Trivia About Godliness Through I recommend that pastors and Biblical counselors use this work—as I have been using it recently with differnt memebers in our church. No trivia or quizzes yet. Dec 19, Jimmy rated it it was amazing. The Holy Spirit energizes each step, but we have to walk in faith, obeying His Word.

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