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You Can Change

You Can Change

God's transforming power for our sinful behaviour and negative emotions

from 6 reviews

This book is about hope in Jesus; hope for forgiveness, hope for true and lasting change.

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'Many books are written by experts. This isn't one of them,' admits Tim Chester. 'It was born out of my own struggle to change. My long battle with particular issues set me searching the Bible as well as writings from the past. This book shares the amazing truths I discovered.'

'For years I wondered if I'd ever overcome certain sins. And while I can't claim to have conquered sin - for no-one ever can do - here are discoveries that have led to change in my life and the lives of others.

You may be:

  • a new Christian, struggling to change former habits
  • an older Christian who has plateaued: you grew quickly when you first believed but now your Christian life is much of a muchness
  • a Christian who's fallen into sin in a big way, wondering how you'll ever get back on track

This book is about hope in Jesus, hope for forgiveness, hope for true and lasting change. God promises liberating grace and transforming power to his people.

Product details


  • Introduction

  • 1. What would you like to change?
    2. Why would you like to change?
    3. How are you going to change?
    4. When do you struggle?
    5. What truths do you need to turn to?
    6. What desires do you need to turn from?
    7. What stops you changing?
    8. What strategies will reinforce your faith and repentance?
    9. How can we support one another in changing?
    10 Are you ready for a lifetime of daily change?

  • Further reading


Contributors Tim Chester
ISBN 9781844743032
Format Paperback
First published June 2008
Dimensions 137mm x 216mm x 16mm
Weight 0.28 kg
Print size 9.0pt
Language English
Pages 202
Publisher IVP

Timothy Keller

The late Founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and Chairman of Redeemer City to City.

A book about Christian growth that is neither quitistic nor moralistic is rare. A book that is truly practical is even rarer. This volume falls into both catergories.

Paul David Tripp

Author and Conference Speaker

Shockingly honest, carefully theolgical and gloriously hopeful.

Stephen Gaukroger

A wonderful book for those who are serious about personal change.

Independent reviews

You Can Change

Kara Martin, Sydney Anglicans, 15 Mar 2012

Tim Chester explains that everything we need to change is before us, there are no excuses, and that we simply need to reach out to the hand God offers us, and cling to it, trusting that he knows best what we truly need.... continue reading

Customer reviews

28 Apr 2016

“Equip yourself to fight the good fight!”

A group of us got together to work through the book. I think it has the potential to work better in a group setting rather than on one's own.

The book questions our assumptions, motivations and self-reliance as the author holds out solutions that look to the heart of what we believe and hold true. It is both biblical and practical with very helpful reflections at the end of each chapter.

Recommended for anyone who wishes to experience growth in their personal walk with Christ.

23 Jun 2010

“Fantastic. Full of grace and focussed on Christ.”

Totally brilliant book. Has challenged me on my lack of confidence in the Word of God to change me and others. It encouraged me to be more serious in my battle with sin whilst not slipping in to works or a solution that does not deal with the heart of the problem.

27 Jun 2009

“Practical, Gospel-centered, & Life-changing”

The book You Can Change, by Tim Chester, promotes a gospel-centered approach to sanctification by asking ten major questions. The real fruit of the book comes through the required Personal Change Project, an endeavor reminiscent of the Personal Counseling Project required by David Powlison’s Dynamics of Biblical Change (and quotes CCEF authors throughout).

The Trinity and Change

Chester gives a little more attention to the role of the Trinity in producing personal change than most books on this topic. The Trinity gives us a new identity: 1) children of the Father 2) bride of the Son and 3) the home of the Spirit. He emphasizes the role of the Spirit in giving us the desire to do what is right, believe what is true, and cherish what is good. The simple emphasis on surrender to our inclination to do what is right and believe what is true was a refreshing reminder that the Spirit is already at work in us and that, very often, we simply need to yield to him. The Spirit opposes sinful desires and promotes God-honoring desires. The challenge is to “sow to the Spirit” by “saying yes to whatever strengthens our Spirit-inspired desires.” When we fail to yield to the Spirit, Scripture calls us to repentance and faith. The way we begin and continue in the Christian life is the same—repentance and faith in Christ.

Who is God?

Ten questions guide the reader through categories similar to Dynamics (heat, thorns, root, fruit, etc). In order to get to “the root”, Chester says that we must find “the lie behind every sin” and then identify one of four truths we are refusing to believe: 1) God is not great 2) God is not glorious 3) God is not good 4) God is not gracious. While a little simplistic, this typology is helpful and moves towards Christ being the expression of God’s greatness, glory, goodness, and grace.

Pride and Preciousness of Christ

The chapter on what stops change was personally transforming. Chester claims that pride isn’t just a sin; it’s part of the definition of sin. In sin we lift ourselves up over God, but in the gospel grace flows down to us. We need to give up on ourselves, to repent of self-reliance in sanctification and receive God’s grace for change. As one prone to self-reliance and pride, this was a word of grace. Jesus not only shows me humility but humbles me through the cross. The god of self-reliance (or self) is not merciful. When I let it down, it does not forgive. Instead, self-reliance beats me when I am down saying: “You could have done better. You need to work harder. You can do it.” But the gospel tells me the truth: “You can’t do it, but God in Christ through the Spirit can do all things through you.” When I let Christ down, he does not beat me; he dies for me. When I rely on him, not on myself, I discover that he not only dies for me but also lives for me, changing me into his very own image. This is a humbling, transforming, gospel-driven way to live and I am grateful for it!

17 Jun 2009

“Absolutely Brilliant!”

This is SUCH a fantastic book, which is clear and honest. It gives very practical help, in a real and Biblical way. It's great to read with someone else, and the reflections at the end of each chapter are so helpful in applying it to real life. Everyone should read this book, it's brilliant!

8 Dec 2008

“Simply brilliant”

Profound yet simple to read and immensely practical, this book is deeply rooted in Scripture and the wisdom of the puritans, making it a must for anyone who wants to fight sin -which should be all of us!

19 Oct 2008

“An excellent introduction to true godliness”

A penetrating yet accessible discussion of holy living. Chester argues that the key is loving God more than the sin that tempts us. I have found it an extremely helpful book.

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You Can Change | Tim Chester |
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