Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change (Resources for Changing Lives)

ISBN: 0875526071
ISBN 13: 9780875526072
By: Paul David Tripp

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About this book

We might be relieved if God placed our sanctification only in the hands of trained professionals, but that is not his plan. Instead, through the ministry of every part of the body, the whole church will mature in Christ. Paul David Tripp helps us discover where change is needed in our own lives and the lives of others. Following the example of Jesus, Tripp reveals how to get to know people, and how to lovingly speak truth to them.

Reader's Thoughts

Jill English Johnston

"We are not what people need. Our job is to connect them to a living, active, redeeming Christ. He gives them what they needs so they can do what they have been called to do amid the difficulties in life."Do you see hurting people? Do you want to help but feel at loss as how to do so?Drawing insight and wisdom from Scripture, Tripp reveals the secret that real change does not come through a set of steps but rather from lives lived out in compassionate, committed love for others. And the change is great for both the one seeking to help and the one needing help.

Jared Mcnabb

If you want the book on what Christ-centered Biblical counseling is all about, this is the one. This book along with How People Change can transform the focus of what ministry is all about.


This is the only book that I have ever read on counseling, that was highly recommended by a friend. He starts every chapter off with a story that is from his past experiences as a counselor. He approaches counseling with a good biblical world view. It reminded me how everyone counsels people we just do not realize it. How often do we give our input to people and how it can affect them.In general I really liked this book and it made me feel intimidated by how little I know. I would suggest this book to almost everyone.

Ian Thompson

It's an interesting book. It is also a book that probably deserves a re-read. However the reader needs to keep in mind that the contents are very useful if you are talking "believer" to "believer" level and I also think it would be a necessity for who ever is acting as the principle to really be sure they know the subject well or at least have their confidence so that they will speak openly and not hold anything back. I don't believe this book would work for a "believer" to someone outside the church and it would be an absolute disaster , in my view, to apply a lot of what is written here to someone to whom you had medium to zero background information. It is a book worth reading...but be careful in applying


In this book Paul Tripp gives a layman's version of his philosophy of counseling. At the center of his philosophy is the wonderful, difficult, biblical truth: we need change at the level of our hearts. That is, our desires and objects of worship must change if we are to have any hope of faithful behavior and healthy relationships. Tripp gives many—almost too many—lists of the steps he takes in listening to a counselee, evaluating the help that they need, then communicating biblical advice to them.My only problem with this book is probably just a problem with me. Tripp uses the word "counselee" throughout, which is understandable in his profession, but this undermines the subtitle (and goal) of his book a bit. I think it is much easier to apply his advice to someone in a formal counseling position than it is to an average layman in church wanting to help a friend. I don't mean to emphasize this too much, because there is a lot in this book that is valuable to anyone, but as an example, almost all of the appendices (which are quite good) focus on homework. I just can't see homework assignments happening too much outside of a formal counseling or discipling relationship.All that being said, this is a great book. It is one that I anticipate re-reading.


I learned that each of us play a roll in carrying the Gospel to others (whether we realize it or not), and some of us carelessly give advice or act in ways that don't bring Glory to God. We must be careful in all we do, because we either draw people to Jesus or push them away. I also learned that sin is so deceitful that it fools each and everyone of us into thinking that our version of reality is right and true, when in actuality, God created us to need community with each other so we can help each other identify where sin has strongholds in our lives. Awesome book!

John Yelverton

An incredible read which has such deep and pithy observations on life that it will often cut you to the quick. A great source for those seeking advice and needing to give advice.


Tremendous book which I go back to again and again for its wisdom.

Amy Kannel

This textbook for my counseling class was so packed with rich truth that I will need to revisit it. My only complaint was that it was long on examples from the author's formal counseling experience and short on examples to help the average churchgoer (like me) minister to others in informal settings. Still, lots of practical advice about applying the gospel to people's struggles.

Steve Hemmeke

Outstanding and helpful.Tripp is comprehensive and Christ-centered in discussing counseling.Comprehensive - he covers everything from our radical broken-ness, the heart as the root of behavior, Jesus the one we follow, love as the motive and first step in counseling, understanding people by asking questions, speaking needed rebuke from a Gospel, following through with actions and accountability.The strength of this book is that it applies equally to those in formal positions of counseling and to every believer with a friend in need. Great illustrations and examples included.Get this book to make your thoughts and conversations more Christ- and Gospel-shaped.

Thomas Freeman

“Instruments In The Redeemer’s Hands” by Paul TrippI am so thankful to have walked into my office one day only to find this book sitting on my desk. I had this book highly recommended to me and I can honestly say that I pass that same high recommendation on to others. Thank you, Jim.The subtitle, “People needing change helping people who need change” is an excellent summary. This book really focuses on a new way of looking at life in the context of the body of Christ. Paul does a great job of humbly showing us how people who, if honest, recognize their weaknesses but still have a responsibility before Christ to minister to one another.Paul uses the term, “Personal Ministry”, which for me personally had come to leave a bad taste in my mouth. I have seen this term refer to a legalistic feeling that everyone of us should always point out the problems in everyone else’s lives. Even to the point where its acronym became a verb, “She pm’ed her good friend.” But Paul, without knowing my concerns, has pulled this term out of my garbage heap, cleaned it off and helped me to see the Love of God when He incarnates Christ through the personal ministry of each member of the Body of Christ.This is very practical. The stories are excellent, interesting and really helped me grasp the concepts presented. Paul builds a case for true personal ministry and then gives us practical steps and tips that are biblically based. The basic method is explained using the words: Know, Love, Speak, Do. Paul takes each of these and develops it showing how Christ’s view of the individual and love for the body is the central focus throughout.We as a body are each gifted, skilled, and talented in very unique ways. We each add another facet to the beauty of this body. But in the same way that we are unique in our positive values, we are also unique in our struggles and each of us are blinded in some way. We need each other to lovingly minister the incarnated, resurrected life of Christ. I believe that this book is a great tool to help us become committed to personal ministry with confidence that it is biblical and godly.MUST READ for anyone in leadership, counseling or ministry.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone in the body of Christ.

Erika Schanzenbach

The five star rating is because of the practical nature and Bible-centered approach that Tripp has on the messy subject of personal relationships. He draws heavily on Scripture throughout, and focuses not only on how the reader can help others to change for the better, but also, and perhaps more importantly, on how the reader can consider in what ways he needs to change himself. The style and composition is rather textbookish and some of the examples sound a bit contrived. However, I still recommend it as a highly useful, and eye-opening book, mostly because it incessantly points back the The Book, and that is where all the answers lie anyway.

Brent Ward

His use of the term incarnate is bothersome. I know what he was getting at, but still. There are few other things but for the most part I enjoyed reading this with a group of men at the church. It provoked some really good and beneficial conversations.


This is a very accessible read. Tripp helps the reader to understand how pervasive the trinity is in our lives, and explicates the ways sin holds us back from being instruments of God. This book gave me a better understanding of the Holy Spirit at work in my life, and I found it to be encouraging. For all you English/linguistic nerds: This book also reveals how language can be life giving or life taking, according to how the speaker is led or self-motivated, respectively.


Best quotes:"This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished but it is going on; this is not the end but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified." -Martin Luther"God sends unfinished people to unfinished people with the message of his grace so that he can reclaim every heart for his glory."

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