Gentle and Lowly Discussion Guide: Ch. 7-12

Questions for chapters 1-6 of Dane Ortlund’s Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers can be found here. Additionally, you can download a PDF of the questions for all here.

Chapter 7: What our Sins Evoke

Key Verse: My heart recoils within me. Hosea 11.8

You will never make yourself feel like you are a sinner. . .We are all on very good terms with ourselves, and we can always put up a good case for ourselves. Even if we try to make ourselves feel that we are all sinners, we will never do it. There is only one way to know we are sinners, and that is to have some dim, glimmering conception of God.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones pp. 67-68

When do you most feel the weight of your sin? How does your knowledge of God’s holiness add weight to your understanding of that sin?

And just as we can hardly fathom the divine ferocity awaiting those out of Christ, it is equally true that we can hardly fathom the divine tenderness already resting now on those in Christ.

p. 68

How does the holiness of Christ move Him to pity the sin of those who are in Christ?

Consider the Prodigal Son (or is it the Prodigal Father?). How does Jesus’ story give us insight into His love in the midst of our sin?

The sins of those who belong to God open the floodgates of his heart of compassion for us. The dam breaks. It is not our loveliness that wins His love. It is our unloveliness.

p. 75

How does God’s full responsibility for our salvation bring Him full glory?

Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son

Chapter 8: To the Uttermost

Key Verse: He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25.

What is intercession?

In general terms it means that a third party comes between two others and makes a case to one on behalf of the other. . . Christ’s present heavenly intercession on our behalf is a reflection of the fullness and victory and completeness of his earthly work, not a reflection of anything lacking in his heavenly work.


What adjectives and adverbs does Dane use in this chapter to describe Jesus’ intercession for us? How do these words describe the fullness of Jesus heart? (see page 80).

Think about those sins in your life that you have difficulty believing God truly has forgiven. How does Hebrews 7:25 describe Christ loving us more in those “crevices”?

Take some time to read through Romans 8. How could the intercession of Christ impact our own time of prayer to our God?

Our sinning goes to the uttermost. But his saving goes to the uttermost. And his saving always outpaces and overwhelms our sinning, because he always lives to intercede for us.

p. 85

Chapter 9: An Advocate

Key Verse: “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. 1 John 2:1

What is the difference between “advocate” and “intercessor”?

We need not only exhortation but liberation. We need not only Christ as king but Christ as friend. Not only over us but next to us.

p. 88

Discuss the first paragraph on p. 91. What does Dane mean by “sometimes we sin big sins”?

Jesus is both Judge and Advocate. How can this truth cause us to depend on him with greater trust?

Chapter 10: The Beauty of the Heart of Christ

Key verse: “Whoever loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:17

What did Jonathan Edwards believe about a child’s capacity for understanding the Gospel?

How does beauty pull us toward the love of Christ and why?

How have you been startled by the beauty of Jesus’ welcoming heart?

Let the heart of Jesus be something that is not only gentle toward you but lovely to you. If I may put it this way: romance the heart of Jesus. . .Why not build in to your life unhurried quiet, where, among other disciplines, you consider the radiance of who he actually is, what animates him, what his deepest delight is? Why not give your soul room to be reenchanted with Christ time and time again?

p. 99

Chapter 11: The Emotional Life of Christ

Key verse: John 11:33 “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.”

When was the last time that you judged yourself or someone else to be “emotional”? How did sin play into those emotions (or that judgement)?

Emotions are not themselves a result of the fall. Jesus experienced the full range of emotions that we do (Heb 2:17; 4:15) As Calvin put it, “The Son of God having clothed himself with our flesh, of his own accord clothed himself also with human feelings, so that he did not differ at all from his brethren, sin only excepted.”

p. 104

When you think of Jesus’ emotions, what story from His life comes most readily to mind?

“Jesus felt. Perfect unfiltered compassion. What must that have been like? Rising up within him? What would perfect pity look like, mediated not through a prophetic oracle as in the Old Testament but through an actual, real human. And what if that human were still a human, though now in heaven, and looked at each of us spiritual lepers with unfiltered compassion, an outflowing affection not limited by the sinful self -absorption that restricts our own compassion.

p. 107

BB Warfield said of Jesus that “compassion and indignation rise together in his soul.” When have you seen that your “righteous” indignation is tainted by your sin? How are Jesus’ emotions different than yours?

Read through the second paragraph of the Warfield quote on page 111. How does Jesus’ righteous wrath bring you confidence of his compassion?

Chapter 12: A Tender Friend

Key Verse: Matthew 11:19 “. . .a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”

What are some of the first things that come to mind when you think about human friendship?

Matthew and Luke both recorded Jesus as He quoted the religious leaders calling Him a “friend of tax collectors and sinners.” How do these Apostles’ backgrounds add to your understanding of this phrase?

He is come down from heaven and has taken upon him the human nature in purpose, that he might be near to you and might be, as it were, your companion.

Jonathan Edwards p. 118

How do you read the words, “sheer companionship” on page 118? What does the companionship of Christ look like? What does his friendship look like on your journey?

Spend some time thanking Jesus for His consistent, perfect friendship.

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