Paul Tripp is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, a non-profit organization whose mission is “connecting the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life.” Tripp teaches, preaches, writes, and counsels/disciples/equips to bring about biblical change in believers and churches. This book of over 300 pages is deeply biblical and theological, yet extremely practical. I believe if we were to take the concepts of Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands to heart, it truly would grow us in our sanctification and help us to assist others in theirs. I highly recommend this work to all Christians, especially to those who truly want to be “an instrument in the Redeemer’s hands.”
When I first started reading Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, I was thinking the book would be especially useful to those of us who are involved in the lives of others as pastors, counselors, disciplers, mentors, and small group leaders. However, the more I read it and reflected upon it, the more I realized this book should actually be for all followers of Christ as we seek to help one another grow in grace.
In the preface, Tripp states his purpose: “This book’s goal is not just that people’s lives would be changed as they give help and receive it. The goal is to help change the church’s very culture.”
In addition to being in this format, the material has also been developed as a discipleship curriculum for local churches. The Instruments of Change curriculum contains twelve lessons with both leader’s guide and student manuals available. Each lesson has a threefold focus: concepts you need to know, how those apply to you personally, and how they set an agenda for your relationships and ministry.
In addition to my usual book review I am including several quotes that highlight key concepts. I hope reading them will motivate you to read, study, and put into practice this book. My prayer, and I’m sure Paul Tripp’s as well, is that it will bring about CHANGE in your life and in mine, as well as in the lives of those to whom we minister.
Quotes from Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands
- Three grand biblical themes: The three grand themes of the story of redemption are (1) God’s sovereignty, (2) His amazing grace, and (3) the reason for our existence, His glory. If we understand these three truths in a deep and experiential way, our lives will truly be transformed. … . “Our mission (as believers) is to teach, admonish, and encourage one another (1) to rest in his sovereignty rather than establishing our own, (2) to rely in his grace rather than performing on our own; (3) and to submit to his glory rather than our own.”
- How to have a personal ministry in the life of someone: “Four words represent four aspects of a personal ministry relationship, four ways to serve as an ambassador (of Christ) in someone’s life. The words are love, know, speak, and do.” (1) Love = we are to build a strong personal relationship with someone. (2) Know = we are to know about a person’s beliefs and goals, hopes and dreams, values and desires. (3) Speak = we must speak the truth in love to that person. (4) Do = we must help our friend do something with what he learns – to apply insights God has given to his daily life and relationships.
- Exegesis: “Biblical personal ministry thrives when good exegesis of Scripture leads to an accurate exegesis of the person’s life.”
- Helping others grow: “Through good questions, committed listening, and careful interpretation, I will enter their world with the understanding necessary to bring Christ’s help to where it is really needed.”
- Holding one another accountable: “Accountability is not about being a personal detective, trying to do the work of the Holy Spirit, being someone else’s conscience, forcing someone to obey, chasing someone who is running, or looking for someone who is hiding. Accountability provides loving structure, guidance, encouragement, and warning to someone who is fully committed to the change God is working in his life.” … “The person who makes accountability work is always the person being held accountable.”
- Biblical personal ministry is … “living in humble, honest, redemptive community with others, loving as Christ has loved, and going beyond casual to really know people. It is loving others enough to speak the truth to them, helping them to see themselves in the mirror of God’s Word. And it is standing with others, helping them to do what God has called them to do. It is basically just a call to biblical friendship!”