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Unlimited Grace: The Heart Chemistry That Frees from Sin and Fuels the Christian Life

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Confusion about the nature of God's grace can easily lead to an unhealthy concern about the security of our salvation on the one hand or the belief that we don't need to strive for holiness on the other. Do we know the real meaning of grace as described in Scripture? In this gentle and compassionate book, pastor Bryan Chapell explains how grace not only frees us from sin, Confusion about the nature of God's grace can easily lead to an unhealthy concern about the security of our salvation on the one hand or the belief that we don't need to strive for holiness on the other. Do we know the real meaning of grace as described in Scripture? In this gentle and compassionate book, pastor Bryan Chapell explains how grace not only frees us from sin, but also serves as fuel for the Christian life. By explaining why grace is important and helping us to see evidence of God's grace in all of Scripture, Chapell shows us the transformation that occurs when God's grace produces gratitude within us, leading to heartfelt obedience.


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Confusion about the nature of God's grace can easily lead to an unhealthy concern about the security of our salvation on the one hand or the belief that we don't need to strive for holiness on the other. Do we know the real meaning of grace as described in Scripture? In this gentle and compassionate book, pastor Bryan Chapell explains how grace not only frees us from sin, Confusion about the nature of God's grace can easily lead to an unhealthy concern about the security of our salvation on the one hand or the belief that we don't need to strive for holiness on the other. Do we know the real meaning of grace as described in Scripture? In this gentle and compassionate book, pastor Bryan Chapell explains how grace not only frees us from sin, but also serves as fuel for the Christian life. By explaining why grace is important and helping us to see evidence of God's grace in all of Scripture, Chapell shows us the transformation that occurs when God's grace produces gratitude within us, leading to heartfelt obedience.

30 review for Unlimited Grace: The Heart Chemistry That Frees from Sin and Fuels the Christian Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ashley McKnight

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is an easy to read, popular-level book on the necessity of grace in the life of the Christian. I appreciated Chappell's emphasises on changing the affections, how the heart must be stirred in order to motivate change in the life of the believer. It is not by imposing rules and to-do lists. I was glad he tackled some common misconceptions of how we view "heroes" of the bible, pointing out that there One Hero - Jesus. These stories are not there to tell us to pull ourselves up by our boot str This is an easy to read, popular-level book on the necessity of grace in the life of the Christian. I appreciated Chappell's emphasises on changing the affections, how the heart must be stirred in order to motivate change in the life of the believer. It is not by imposing rules and to-do lists. I was glad he tackled some common misconceptions of how we view "heroes" of the bible, pointing out that there One Hero - Jesus. These stories are not there to tell us to pull ourselves up by our boot straps but pointing to the One who would save us. He also spends some time giving some practical advice on reading the scriptures, how we do we approach them and see the grace of God in them, when they do not appear to speak of grace, and discussing the law and grace distinction. The material is accessible and engaging. It would be good for someone struggling with legalism or someone new to the faith. Personally, I would have preferred more depth but the book seems to be aimed at someone who may be engaging with some of these concepts for the first time, and for that, I think it is well written. It is short enough not to be off-putting, especially to those who are not readers, while long enough to deal with the topic.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Do Christians really need yet another book on grace? The answer is yes. Why? Because I think Christians struggle daily--whether they are aware of it or not--with living in the knowledge of the grace they profess. Another good reason, I think, is that everywhere--in and out of church, in and out of "Christian" circles--Christians hear mixed messages about grace. Accepting, understanding, embracing grace doesn't come naturally or easily to us. We're wired to act and live in such a way that opposes Do Christians really need yet another book on grace? The answer is yes. Why? Because I think Christians struggle daily--whether they are aware of it or not--with living in the knowledge of the grace they profess. Another good reason, I think, is that everywhere--in and out of church, in and out of "Christian" circles--Christians hear mixed messages about grace. Accepting, understanding, embracing grace doesn't come naturally or easily to us. We're wired to act and live in such a way that opposes notions of grace. We're wired to think that we earn God's approval, we merit heaven; that our standing with God is dependent on US and only us. Sad but true, that surface-only, "cultural" Christians actually think that they get into heaven because of good works. So essentially there are plenty of reasons as to why "yet another" book about grace needs to be published. This book has THREE parts. In the first part, "this book takes us on the journey to discover how grace not only frees us from the guilt and shame of sinful lives but also provides daily fuel for the joy that is the strength of Christian living." In the second part, this book "explains how preachers, teachers, counselors, mentors, parents, and all others who share God’s Word can find grace in every portion of Scripture. My hope is that everyone will be able to see that grace is not a sidebar in the Bible but the consistent theme that culminates in the ministry and message of Jesus." In the third part, this book "attempts to answer the common questions people ask about how to find grace, and how to keep from abusing its blessings." I loved, loved, loved this one. I found it to be a great read. I would definitely recommend this one to new believers especially. Though the older and rustier Christian could probably benefit greatly as well!! I'm just thinking I really wish someone had told me the great news of the good news when I was a new believer!!! Favorite quotes: You cannot claim as “Christian” any message denying that the grace of God is greater than all our sin and always available to cover it. New obedience and daily living in harmony with Christ’s standards may enable us to experience God’s forgiveness, but we never earn it. God is not waiting for us to get good enough to deserve his mercy and pardon. The most powerful human motivation is love. Guilt is not stronger. Fear is not stronger. Gain is not stronger. What drives a mother back into a burning building? Love for her children. Such love is stronger than self-protection, self-promotion, or self-preservation. Such love finds its highest satisfaction and greatest fulfillment in protecting, promoting, and preserving its object. A Christian for whom love of God is the highest priority is also the person most motivated and enabled to serve the purposes of God. Our love will be as strong as our realization of the guilt of sin and the hell of consequences from which we have been rescued. Our reception with God is a consequence of his grace, not of our works. Most Christians nod at this familiar truth, but fail to come to grips with its everyday implications. Sanctification is about being holy as a consequence of being justified. Justification echoes the language of a courtroom to help us understand how Jesus’s provision frees us from guilt. Sanctification echoes the language of the Old Testament temple to help us understand how Jesus’s provision makes us pure, or holy. Sanctification is about being made pure for a purpose: to further holiness in us and others. God makes us pure for his use in the world about us. Our identity determines what we do; what we do does not determine our identity. The message that Jesus loves us because we are good denies that the cross was either necessary or sufficient. The child who obeys Jesus to secure his love will be the adult who doubts Christ’s love when life’s temptations and challenges make it all too clear that we are not always his good little boys and girls. Through that union, I have the identity of Christ and cannot be loved more, because I am already loved as infinitely as he. And because of that union, I will not be loved less, because Christ’s life, not mine, is the basis of God’s love. Knowledge is power. We cannot do our Savior’s will if we do not know what he wants. Teaching grace in such a way that God’s people are left ignorant or insensitive to God’s standards actually denies God’s people their heart’s desire. While, it is true that our obedience to God’s law is not the basis of his love for us, that does not mean that God’s standards are bad, irrelevant, or to be ignored. Living in accord with God’s standards—no matter what else may challenge or tempt us—ultimately demonstrates that we believe that walking closely with our Savior is better than anything this world can offer. He is more lovely than anything else, and separating ourselves from anything that would distance or dishonor him brings us joy. We do not become or remain God’s children because of how good we are or how much we know. Knowing ourselves—our strengths, weaknesses, inclinations, susceptibilities—is also necessary to walk the path God has designed to bless our lives. The first thing we need to know about ourselves is that we are human. I know that seems obvious, but without facing the implications of being human, we will be unprepared for the challenges of staying on God’s path. The first implication of being human is that we are vulnerable to temptation. We may think that our character, background, training, or resolve would make us impervious to the assaults of Satan that others experience, but that would be a grave error. Because we are new creations, spiritual change is possible in our lives. Tomorrow doesn’t have to be like yesterday. If you do not believe that spiritual change is possible, you will not strive for it. Knowing we can change keeps our hearts engaged and our hopes alive. the answer to “Why do we sin?” is “Because we love it.” We sin because we love it. Consider this: if sin did not attract us, it would have absolutely no power over us. We yield to sin because we find it attractive, beneficial, pleasurable, or advantageous (John 3:19; James 1:13–14). So, if our love of a sin is what grants the sin power over us, how do we get rid of that love? The scriptural answer is plain: with a greater love. No motivation is stronger than love. Guilt is not stronger. Fear is not stronger. Personal gain is not stronger. While each of these can motivate people for both good and evil, none is stronger than love. Through grace we experience the love that ignites ours. Our disciplines do not make us acceptable to God because they are long enough, deep enough, or frequent enough. The love we show is the love we know. In expressing his love selflessly and sacrificially, we sense more of the reality and depth of his love for us and, consequently, love him more (Matt. 22:36–40; 1 John 3:14–19; 4:12). Our goal as faithful Bible readers is not to try to make Jesus magically appear in every text, but to see where every text fits in this redemptive epic. Grace emerges on the page whenever God provides for people who cannot provide for themselves. By simply asking, “What does this text teach about God and me, we will see something distinctive about his nature and ours—something that separates us unless he unites us to himself—something we require that he alone can provide. The provision may be specifically named in the text, or we may need to discern it by identifying the human need that requires God’s aid. The result will be the same: inevitably these lenses will help us see that God alone supplies the grace we need but cannot provide for ourselves. Even if there is no direct mention of Jesus—and most of the time there will not be—the text will lead us forward in our understanding of the grace that our Redeemer must supply (Acts 20:24; 1 Cor. 2:2; Gal. 3:24). Gospel glasses . Together these lenses (the two key questions) function as gospel glasses to help us see basic truths of unfolding grace (e.g., God is holy and we are not, God is sovereign and we are vulnerable, God is merciful and we require his mercy). Such reading glasses always make us aware of our need of God’s grace to compensate for our sin and inability. Christianity cannot be found on any spectrum of beliefs where our behavior is the basis of our relationship with God. Repentance does not cause forgiveness. If either God’s present love or his eternal forgiveness of us is determined by the presence or quality of our repentance, we are all in terrible danger. Because our hearts and understanding are yet imperfect, we remain blind to sins we will see only with further maturity—and perhaps not until eternity (Ps. 19:12).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    A recommander en particulier pour chaque personne qui enseigne (prédicateurs, responsables de GDJ, enseignants école du dimanche) - et pour chaque chrétien en général !

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chrys Jones

    Unlimited Grace by Bryan Chapell is an excellent book written to discuss the working of God’s unlimited grace in the life of Christians. This book is a breath of fresh air in a day in which many evangelicals either live under the crushing weight of legalism or false freedom of licentiousness. Upon reading the title, one might write this book off as a book which seeks to do away with holiness for the embrace of licentiousness and liberalism. However, what Chapell presents is true freedom in Chris Unlimited Grace by Bryan Chapell is an excellent book written to discuss the working of God’s unlimited grace in the life of Christians. This book is a breath of fresh air in a day in which many evangelicals either live under the crushing weight of legalism or false freedom of licentiousness. Upon reading the title, one might write this book off as a book which seeks to do away with holiness for the embrace of licentiousness and liberalism. However, what Chapell presents is true freedom in Christ through the unlimited grace offered to those who have faith in Christ. Heart chemistry is a term Chapell uses to discuss the internal nature of God’s work in the lives of His children. Chapell states that heart chemistry "ignites devotion that is more compelling and enabling than any mental math endlessly computing personal risk/reward formulas.” The first section of the book (which covers nearly half of it’s pages) explains what this heart chemistry is all about and why it is vital for true Christlikeness. For Christians, it is essential that God changes our heart chemistry. Otherwise, we will never have the power required to live God-honoring, Christ-exalting, holy lives. The gospel—through the work of the Holy Spirit—brings about heart change, and Chapell presents readers with a pursuit of holiness and righteousness that can only be lived in light of this heart change. In this first section, Chapell discusses some important concerns regarding grace and sanctification, false security, union with Christ, the impact of love on our behavior, and the only power source for our obedience to God’s commands. This first section is worth the price of the entire book alone! The second section focuses on finding grace throughout the whole of scripture. This section is a two-chapter lesson on gospel-centered bible study which seek to find Christ in all of scripture without abusing it in the process. Chapell says: “Our goal as faithful Bible readers is not to try to make Jesus magically appear in every text, but to see where every text fits in this redemptive epic. Jesus is the culmination and climax of the whole story. So the stage is set for him; all that transpires on the stage relates to him; and we do not fully understand anything on the stage until we have identified its relation to him.” Grace is found in every book of the Bible as God saves His people, heals the sick, clothes the poor, forgives the sinful, keeps His promises, etc., and Chapell presents readers with a framework for how to find these aspects of the gospel as we read the scriptures. These two chapters are vital for daily bible reading, bible study, teaching, preaching, and counseling. Without “gospel glasses”, we will miss the treasures of the gospel found through all of scripture. The final section of the book drives home the application of the gospel principles taught in the previous two section to our lives. He walks through how to apply the gospel in view of God’s commands, the relationship between law and grace, and our motivations for obedience to God’s Word and commands. Based on the two greatest commandments, Chapell states, "If we ignore the grace, we unplug the ultimate power of obedience: a supreme love for Christ.” He emphasizes that love for God, love for others, and love for self (in the sense that we care about the temporal and eternal outcomes of our actions) form the primary motivations for obedience. He finishes by discussing that love is not the only motivation, and that fear of God, the threat of hell, and the impact of sin on our relationships with God should also motivate us to pursue holiness—though none of these other motivations will ever be enough without genuine love for God. If you’ve ever struggled with legalism or licentiousness, Unlimited Grace will be a great resource to help you focus on the true essence of God’s grace. As God’s people, we must deepen our love for Christ, and fight to rest in His grace as we pursue the holiness without which we cannot see God. I highly recommend this book for all saints, but especially bible teachers, pastors, and counselors as it addresses some very important struggles found in our churches.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bill Pence

    Bryan Chapell, was the President of Covenant Theological Seminary for most the time I attended the school. He served there for three decades in teaching and administration. He is now the Senior Pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois. Unlimited Grace is his latest book and it’s a gem, perhaps my top book of the year, right up there with The Whole Christ by Sinclair Ferguson. Chapell writes of how he has been on a journey together with the people of Grace Presbyterian Church to di Bryan Chapell, was the President of Covenant Theological Seminary for most the time I attended the school. He served there for three decades in teaching and administration. He is now the Senior Pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois. Unlimited Grace is his latest book and it’s a gem, perhaps my top book of the year, right up there with The Whole Christ by Sinclair Ferguson. Chapell writes of how he has been on a journey together with the people of Grace Presbyterian Church to discern how the grace of the gospel can transform a church by freeing people from sin and fueling their lives with new hope and joy. He states that this book is an effort both to reflect what they have learned together and to teach the values that he hopes will guide those who join on this gospel endeavor. The book is divided into three parts. The first part takes the reader on a journey to discover how grace not only frees us from the guilt and shame of sinful lives but also provides daily fuel for the joy that is the strength of Christian living. The second part explains how preachers, teachers, counselors, mentors, parents, and all others who share God’s Word can find grace in every portion of Scripture. And the final part attempts to answer the common questions people ask about how to find grace, and how to keep from abusing its blessings. The author states that the aim of the book is to identify not only how these truths of grace affect our understanding of God’s acceptance at the end of our lives, but also how they empower our efforts to honor God every day of our lives. Dr. Chapell states that the essence of grace is that God provides for us what we could not provide for ourselves. In this book he addresses many helpful concepts such as legalism, our identity, performance, behavior, holiness and motivation towards obedience, God’s acceptance of us, sin and repentance, the distinction between justification and sanctification, biblical fear of God and His judgement. It took me longer than usual to read this book because of the number of passages I highlighted. I highly recommend this book. Read it and share the wonderful message of God’s grace with others.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Isaac Butterworth

    Bryan Chapell's book, Unlimited Grace, is a treasure. I trust God's sovereignty in meeting my needs in His own time, but there is a part of me that wishes that this book had been available to me years ago. How easy it is to believe in grace and yet exempt myself from it because I attribute its effectiveness to some condition I have to meet! This is a grand irony. Bryan Chapell helps his readers to gain a clearer view of grace, which God does not withhold because we do not deserve it. (Otherwise, Bryan Chapell's book, Unlimited Grace, is a treasure. I trust God's sovereignty in meeting my needs in His own time, but there is a part of me that wishes that this book had been available to me years ago. How easy it is to believe in grace and yet exempt myself from it because I attribute its effectiveness to some condition I have to meet! This is a grand irony. Bryan Chapell helps his readers to gain a clearer view of grace, which God does not withhold because we do not deserve it. (Otherwise, it would not be grace!) We may wonder then about obedience. If God is extravagant in His grace, how are we to be motivated to live righteous lives. One of the author's key concepts is "heart chemistry," and he applies it to this issue with great skill. Asking why we sin, he concludes that we sin because we love sin. What is needed if we are ever to abandon sin is a greater love for God. And it is when we grasp the fullness of His grace that our love for Him displaces our love for sin. I encourage you to read this book. You will enjoy Bryan Chapell's ability to "turn a phrase" -- and he is very good at it! -- but even more you will benefit from his treatment of grace.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    This short little book has encouraged and grown my understanding of God’s grace that fuels the Christian life. The author continues to repeat, rephrase, and explain his premise: we do not obey God to earn His love; we obey God because He has graciously poured out His love on us already. This is a theme that I need to hear again and again and again. About 3/4 the way through, the author spends several chapters hashing out how one teaches these principles to others. While the application of those This short little book has encouraged and grown my understanding of God’s grace that fuels the Christian life. The author continues to repeat, rephrase, and explain his premise: we do not obey God to earn His love; we obey God because He has graciously poured out His love on us already. This is a theme that I need to hear again and again and again. About 3/4 the way through, the author spends several chapters hashing out how one teaches these principles to others. While the application of those chapters are especially helpful for those who teach and preach the Bible regularly, non-teacher readers will need to persevere through this section. The effort is well worth it to get to the final (and some of the best) chapters in the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Drew Bennett

    Bryan Chapell touches on something in this book that I’ve often wrestled with. If salvation is by grace, that is, if God does not love us because we are good, then why be good? If our good works don’t affect our relationship with God, then what motivates our obedience? Chapell’s (profound) answer is, the relationship itself - loving God and enjoying communion with him and wanting to please him. There is no greater motivation for obedience than love. The only way to obey God is to come to love Hi Bryan Chapell touches on something in this book that I’ve often wrestled with. If salvation is by grace, that is, if God does not love us because we are good, then why be good? If our good works don’t affect our relationship with God, then what motivates our obedience? Chapell’s (profound) answer is, the relationship itself - loving God and enjoying communion with him and wanting to please him. There is no greater motivation for obedience than love. The only way to obey God is to come to love Him. It is the message of the gospel, not the demands of the law, that create the “heart chemistry” for obedience. A great explanation of the impetus in my own ministry.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lee Gerrietts

    Disclaimer: Bryan Chapell is the pastor at my church. I think this is a good book to really understand the nature and extent of the Grace of God. Especially for Christians who grew up in the faith, particularly nominal Christians from a liberal perspective. Or for people who have found their identity in their 'performance' and success. The point is really driven home throughout the book. So much so that personally, I found the book to be a little repetitive by the end so I skimmed the last couple Disclaimer: Bryan Chapell is the pastor at my church. I think this is a good book to really understand the nature and extent of the Grace of God. Especially for Christians who grew up in the faith, particularly nominal Christians from a liberal perspective. Or for people who have found their identity in their 'performance' and success. The point is really driven home throughout the book. So much so that personally, I found the book to be a little repetitive by the end so I skimmed the last couple chapters.

  10. 5 out of 5

    PD

    Content is 5 stars but editorial choices disappointed me. At times, it seemed rushed to print. The content is a distillation of Dr. Chappell's teaching, preaching, and writing career. In many places it is a distillation of his preaching textbook and his preaching lectures. This book would be great for a young believer or a believer wrestling with the relationship between God's grace and God's commands. Content is 5 stars but editorial choices disappointed me. At times, it seemed rushed to print. The content is a distillation of Dr. Chappell's teaching, preaching, and writing career. In many places it is a distillation of his preaching textbook and his preaching lectures. This book would be great for a young believer or a believer wrestling with the relationship between God's grace and God's commands.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Danny Burr

    Very clear on its intent to explain the need for grace, but seemed to only stay on the surface. A lot of times it seemed that he would dive a little deeper into this or that point, but would suddenly move on to another point that seemed to say the same thing as the last but with slightly different wording. Some good nuggets in there, but would have liked to have seen more explanation of practical means of living out the grace we have access to through Jesus.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lauri Hogle

    Couldn't put it down This book has given me clear understanding of God's grace in a practical and powerful way. My heart was stirred to create notes with Scriptures and prayer journal outlines, based on ideas in this book. I am utterly grateful to have read this book as it has already enriched my relationship with our Father. Thank you, Bryan Chapell! Couldn't put it down This book has given me clear understanding of God's grace in a practical and powerful way. My heart was stirred to create notes with Scriptures and prayer journal outlines, based on ideas in this book. I am utterly grateful to have read this book as it has already enriched my relationship with our Father. Thank you, Bryan Chapell!

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Holl

    To live a grace filled life sounds so easy and yet if we're honest with ourselves, it is the greatest challenge we face. Bryan Chapell does an excellent job in showing us how it is our greatest need and how, by God's grace we can accomplish this. "We are ultimately controlled by what we love the most." To live a grace filled life sounds so easy and yet if we're honest with ourselves, it is the greatest challenge we face. Bryan Chapell does an excellent job in showing us how it is our greatest need and how, by God's grace we can accomplish this. "We are ultimately controlled by what we love the most."

  14. 5 out of 5

    J. J.

    Very helpful, as always. Chapell has been my sage and guide as I’ve tried to learn how to preach over these past twelve years in full time vocational ministry. Grateful for all his help through both his books and his lectures.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karl Kranich

    "The gospel is not a balance between law and grace. It is the good news of grace that results in grateful lives of godliness." This book is a wonderful exploration of the ways that grace motivates and empowers the Christian life! "The gospel is not a balance between law and grace. It is the good news of grace that results in grateful lives of godliness." This book is a wonderful exploration of the ways that grace motivates and empowers the Christian life!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Addo

    Grace Explosion In this book, grace explodes in all its ramification. Saving grace, securing grace, sanctifying grace! My heart is stirred with the knowledge of God’s love for me, which empowers me to love Him and all those He loves. Great book!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melisa Chong

    Very helpful on meditating on God's grace and how it affects our whole life in thought, emotions and deeds. Very helpful on meditating on God's grace and how it affects our whole life in thought, emotions and deeds.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andy Littleton

    I think this book should be read by all those who want to see people come to know or follow Jesus. It is a simple though deep explanation of grace, and how it works in the heart.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I received Unlimited Grace for review via Crossway's blog review program, and I must begin by stating that I absolutely loved it!  I devoured it, actually.  In an age when all sorts of false gospels and false Jesuses are proclaimed, this book is important.   The overall theme of the book is to walk readers through a detailed, but easy-to-read-and-comprehend, understanding of biblical grace.  Many are tempted to believe that the experience of God’s grace gives license to sin freely without remorse I received Unlimited Grace for review via Crossway's blog review program, and I must begin by stating that I absolutely loved it!  I devoured it, actually.  In an age when all sorts of false gospels and false Jesuses are proclaimed, this book is important.   The overall theme of the book is to walk readers through a detailed, but easy-to-read-and-comprehend, understanding of biblical grace.  Many are tempted to believe that the experience of God’s grace gives license to sin freely without remorse.  But that is not the view of biblical grace, but one of cheap grace.  Instead, when a sinner experiences God’s amazing grace, s/he can’t help but love the people and things God loves, and therefore, live a life that pleases and honors Almighty God. Dr. Chapell taught and reminded his readers that we cannot earn God's grace, but that He extends it to us because of His loving character.  This grace -- both common and special grace -- is what ought to drive people to the presence of God.  I was inspired, challenged, and blessed by 20 of the book’s 21 chapters.  But I have to admit, I had to re-read chapter 20 two additional times.  It covered the ever challenging topic of hell.  Because I agreed with Dr. Chapell’s theology through the majority of the book, I admit I may have misinterpreted his intent.  Hence, the re-reads.   Questions I Pondered in Chapter 20: He wrote at location 1984 of 3036 (because I read the Kindle version):      “If escaping God’s judgment is all that motivates, then most are unlikely to love him as he requires.  Most peoples’ initial love for Christ stems from his rescue from the present “hell” of their earthly existence: loneliness, emptiness, guilt, shame, depression, slavery to addiction, relational trauma, and so on.  That is why Jesus was being true to the human experience as well as his spiritual task when he said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).  He understood that the pains of this life could be as compelling as the threats of the next.”    My concern is with the second sentence in the paragraph just quoted.  Here's why: Did Jesus come to save us from bad relationships, addictions, debt, and any other "despairs of this life"?  Or did he come to save sinners from God’s wrath, paying the penalty for our sins, and thus, making us holy and in right standing before God?  I lament that far too many people “come to Jesus" because they hope a "genie-in-a-bottle Jesus" will fix their ailing circumstances.  On the heels of this passage, Dr. Chapell wrote at location 1994 of 3036:     “Early in their Christian experience most people have no concept of what they have done that would deserve eternity in hell.  Even if they echo thoughts they have heard from a pulpit, or feel deep and profound guilt, few could identify why they would deserve an eternal hell of suffering for their sin.”    Again, I may be misunderstanding Dr. Chapell here, for it appears that he suggests that a sinner can be truly converted apart from seeing the penalty their (our) sins deserve?  Is the kind of turning to Jesus for financial or marital healing the same as turning to – and trusting – Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, and to be made right with God?  Is “profound guilt” the same as Holy Spirit conviction that brings about true repentance and conversion?  Are those who "have no concept" of their sins’ due penalty truly converted?  The whole of Scripture teaches that true conversion occurs when a sinner recognizes his/her sin, is convinced s/he needs a savior, and trusts that Savior to be Jesus only, and that the sinner recognizes his/her need to repent of sin.  I would prefer to ask Dr. Chapell these questions personally, but alas.  Nevertheless, I truly appreciate this book. Rating: Other than the chapter written above, I truly liked the book.  Overall, I think this would be an excellent read for new and growing believers alike. I give Unlimited Grace 4.5 out of 5 stars. Disclaimer: I received this ebook free of charge from Crossway Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review of it.  All opinions are mine, and were not forced upon me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Basing our identity on what we do is not the the gospel. The good news that Jesus came to share with us that our identity is determined not by how well we follow God's imperatives but by the relationship his grace provides. To echo the gospel principles that I believe and want others to believe, we have to change our words to say. For example, in sharing the gospel with our children , we would say, Don't do that your are my son/Daughter and I love you. I want their actions to be based on their i Basing our identity on what we do is not the the gospel. The good news that Jesus came to share with us that our identity is determined not by how well we follow God's imperatives but by the relationship his grace provides. To echo the gospel principles that I believe and want others to believe, we have to change our words to say. For example, in sharing the gospel with our children , we would say, Don't do that your are my son/Daughter and I love you. I want their actions to be based on their identity, ( the son/daughter I love) not for their identity to be based on their actions. Their actions would vary, their family identity would not. They would always be my son or daughter. It is that reality you want to conform their heart to follow the father's ways. You don't want what they did to determine who they are, you want who he/she is to determine what he/she they did. That is grace in action. Grace is one those things we cannot completely grasp because of sin. It is like jello in our hands may times. We either go from one extreme to the other. A license to sin or it can lead to despair knowing that nothing that we can do is enough. A biblical grace comes to our rescue. It is the misunderstanding of justification and sanctification- the "who/do order". What is our responsibility and what is Gods. Is in this misunderstanding that many deal with guilt, resentment and insecurity. Do you struggle with confidence in what God has done and who He is? We can struggle with the works ethics without even realizing it. It is in experiencing the grace of God that it is never about us but about who God is. The struggle is to look what I have done and not what Christ has done. Not by my merit but because of God's mercy. The study walks you through the stumbling blocks of grace and how you apply the gospel. If you are in despair, it may be because you are not applying the gospel. Grace always leads us down the path of humility. Maybe one the stumbling blocks of grace is How? We know what to do, we know who God is, but how do we get there. What keeps us away from utilizing Grace in our walk? I would have to say that the how is not a "How to" but more of what keeps us from grace. From our motivation to understanding of the gospel and how it is applied. Love that is displayed thru gratitude. Grace is more of a response and not a ideology of Christianity. It is a response of our relationship with the creator and savior. It is replacing passions, desires for something that is lasts for eternity. It is always good to read a study on grace. This is one that re-adjust our stinkin thinking for hope and love. That we forget ourselves and remember the goodness of God. A Special Thank you to Crossway Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Hunt

    How does one grow in their Christian faith? Is it by our efforts, God’s work, or a myriad of influences that impact our lives? Bryan Chapell presents a compelling case to see our Christian growth both founded in God’s grace and empowered by God’s grace. In other words, even in our sanctification, we do not use our good works as a means of earning God’s favor. God, through the sending of his Son, has given us the acceptance that we need through the Son’s finished work. Chapell returns again and a How does one grow in their Christian faith? Is it by our efforts, God’s work, or a myriad of influences that impact our lives? Bryan Chapell presents a compelling case to see our Christian growth both founded in God’s grace and empowered by God’s grace. In other words, even in our sanctification, we do not use our good works as a means of earning God’s favor. God, through the sending of his Son, has given us the acceptance that we need through the Son’s finished work. Chapell returns again and again to the Gospel message for the motivation for obedience. Throughout the entirety of the work, he calls believers to pursue obedience out of love for the Lord. Only grace can make a heart of stone love that which it previously hated. Chapell calls this “heart chemistry,” citing John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” While I am incredibly thankful for the resurgence of “Gospel-centered” material, pastors and authors are sometimes afraid to call people to true, biblical obedience. In this regard, Chapell does not follow suite, rather, he blazes a “gracious path” (ch. 15) whereby the believer is commanded to believe in the identity of the Gospel. Rather than seeing grace as the replacement of law, Bryan beautifully gives a holistic picture of Christian discipleship, one that includes rest and work. Honestly, this emphasis was refreshing as the Bible often does command us to pursue good works and love the law of our Lord. Chapell does many wonderful things in this work as he challenges readers to grow in the Gospel biblically, contextually, Spiritually, and dependently. He has particularly helpful chapters on finding grace within each page of Scripture (ch. 13), legalism (ch. 14), the reality of hell (ch. 20), and our experience and status as believers when we sin (ch. 21). In many ways, this book has grounded in my hope in the Gospel, pulling me again to the foot of the Cross. Practically, this book is readable and easily digestible. The chapters are short and concise, the language is biblically saturated, and the tone is gracious and inviting. This book could be of help to both a new believer and a seasoned saint since Chapell leads us back to the finished work of Christ time and time again. In a lot of ways, there is nothing “new” or “special” about this work, because the message of the Gospel and how we change has not changed. At the same time, Chapell’s work is insightful into the problems that we face today, grounding his words in the wisdom of Scripture. I received this copy from Crossway in partnership with their Blog Review program. I was not required to write a positive review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    E

    This is a popular-level treatment of themes Bryan Chapell has been teaching and stressing for years. It is very basic, yet rich. Chapell's main point is that grace (which he defines as God's providing that which humans need but cannot provide for themselves) fuels and empowers the Christian life. Why is this? We can understand grace only if we understand the one who provides it, God, and his disposition toward his beloved ones. Doing so will fan into flames our love for him, which is the only th This is a popular-level treatment of themes Bryan Chapell has been teaching and stressing for years. It is very basic, yet rich. Chapell's main point is that grace (which he defines as God's providing that which humans need but cannot provide for themselves) fuels and empowers the Christian life. Why is this? We can understand grace only if we understand the one who provides it, God, and his disposition toward his beloved ones. Doing so will fan into flames our love for him, which is the only thing powerful enough to drive out our love of the pleasure sins bring (what Chalmers called the "expulsive power of a new affection"). Chapell takes time to answer his critics. He is not an antinomian. He strongly defends the need for believers to obey the law, but he understand that we cannot get there except on the road of grace (read the NT epistles and you'll realize the apostles agree). He understands the motivations of fear, hell, etc., but puts them in their proper place as hindrances to the desired relationship between God and man. There is a lot more here. Chapell is great at explaining how the indicatives of the gospel empower the imperatives of the Christian life, and in a sense that is the theme of the entire book. Chapell comes at it from several different angles, but at the end of the day, is goal has been reached: exalting the grace of God in Christ and demonstrating how it must have real and profound effects on believers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leonardo Alfonseca

    I think the book was a good read. Great concepts and good biblical support. I believe the book is a needed and evenhanded treatment on the topic of sanctification and Christian motivation. The reason I did not give it a higher score is because I thought I could use a little bit more depth in some questions and answers towards the end. But, if you are looking for a good introduction to the topic of sanctification, grace, and some passages or concepts that seem to contradict each other this is a g I think the book was a good read. Great concepts and good biblical support. I believe the book is a needed and evenhanded treatment on the topic of sanctification and Christian motivation. The reason I did not give it a higher score is because I thought I could use a little bit more depth in some questions and answers towards the end. But, if you are looking for a good introduction to the topic of sanctification, grace, and some passages or concepts that seem to contradict each other this is a good start. After you are done with this book then you should buy Bryan Chapell's other book, Holiness by Grace, that book seems like is more helpful in offering more in depth explanations.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Blake Western

    An easy to understand book explaining the relation of grace and works. The author shows clearly that works are the fruit of grace and not the cause of it. The theme of the book is found in the following words: "God's grace motivates our behavior; our behavior does not manufacture his grace." Hopefully this book will find a wide use among believers in Christ. It could be used in a class study but would also be effective for an individual's reading. An easy to understand book explaining the relation of grace and works. The author shows clearly that works are the fruit of grace and not the cause of it. The theme of the book is found in the following words: "God's grace motivates our behavior; our behavior does not manufacture his grace." Hopefully this book will find a wide use among believers in Christ. It could be used in a class study but would also be effective for an individual's reading.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Davis Parker

    UG is a great read for folks who want the joy and fulfillment that comes with learning more about the Gospel but appreciate a bit more theological depth. I found myself highlighting many of Chapell's insights into reading the scriptures and the appropriate understanding of God's grace. At one point, it was less than $5 on kindle, so it's definitely worth a read. UG is a great read for folks who want the joy and fulfillment that comes with learning more about the Gospel but appreciate a bit more theological depth. I found myself highlighting many of Chapell's insights into reading the scriptures and the appropriate understanding of God's grace. At one point, it was less than $5 on kindle, so it's definitely worth a read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt Figura

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Couvrette

  28. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Watkins

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