Grace Abounding by John Bunyan

I first read this book a few months after I was saved in 2005 and recently revisited it listening to the audiobook version. To be honest, after the first three chapters, I found myself reliving some of the initial feelings and inner battles that waged inside of me after I was saved. As a matter of fact the first 7 chapters of this book are his personal diary of the inner wrestling that bunyan had undergone for several years.
Here are a few highlights that I thought were notable and profound:

– John Bunyan’s life before Christ.

– His battle with cursing.  

– Some of the reckless things that could have killed him (apart from God’s mercy). 

– His battle with atheistic and blasphemous thoughts. 

-The very real battle with Satan and his flesh.  

-The barrage of temptations to curse God, to give up hope, reject Christ, misapply scripture to accuse him.

He wrestled with the doctrine of election and select passages that made him question  whether or not he was saved. He thought for a long time that he had blasphemed against the Holy Spirit and the ramifications of that. So for the first 7 chapters you get to go through his inner dealings with all of these issues and I even began to ask some of the same questions of myself, while going through this book. By the time you get to chapter 8 he applies exegesis (proper study of the scriptures), so that he was able to give a proper definition of what they meant and how it did not apply to his situation (which relieves the reader as well).

It was also very interesting to see that while he was in prison he wrote this account. I think what I like about this book is that you can see his heart and his motive in all of his inner wranglings. It is very encouraging and a great bit of exhortation toward Christians that have the same types of struggles. I recommend this book wholeheartedly to any age.

One caveat would be to apply patience while you read these chapters because he does go into a lot of detail. I felt envious of him because he could recount everything in such detail, but then again he did have nothing but time on his hands. As a parting note I would just like to say that I’m so grateful for chapter 8. 🙂

I give this 5 out of 5 books

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