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A Bible Study on: The Pursuit of Holiness Paperback – 1 Jan 1978

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A Bible Study on: The Pursuit of Holiness

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147 of 148 people found the following review helpful
A Modern Classic 8 Feb. 2006
By Tim Challies - Published on
Format: Paperback
It took me twenty five years to read Jerry Bridge's book The Pursuit of Holiness. A short while ago I received the "25th Anniversary Edition" and devoted much of this weekend to reading and absorbing the book. This book has become something of a modern day classic. Having read it, I know why! It is a deeply challenging book and one I'm sure I will read again before another twenty five years have elapsed.

The premise of Bridge's book is that holiness, like almost everything else in life, is something that we must strive for. Holiness is a gift of God and is something that can never be accomplished apart from the work of the Spirit. Yet it is our responsibility to strive for it and to work towards this goal. Bridges illustrates this by writing of a farmer.

A farmer plows his field, sows the seed, and fertilizes and cultivates - all the while knowing that in the final analysis he is utterly dependent on forces outside himself. He knows he cannot cause the seed to germinate, nor can he produce the rain and sunshine for growing and harvesting the crop. For a successful harvest, he is dependent on these things from God.

Yet the farmer knows that unless he diligently pursues his responsibilities to plow, plant, fertilize, and cultivate, he cannot expect a harvest at the end of the season. In a sense he is in a partnership with God, and he will reap its benefits only when he has fulfilled his responsibilities.

Just as farming is a joint venture between man and God, in which man cannot do what God must do and God will not do what the farmer should do, so too is the pursuit of holiness. God will not bestow a life of holiness upon us the day we are saved. He requires that we pursue holiness with the confidence that He will work with us and empower us to achieve the desire of our hearts. He gives us the power to do what he requires and expects of us.

The rest of the book is, then, an exhortation to holiness and practical advice on how to attain the holiness God requires of us. On one hand we face an impossible task, for we shall never be perfectly holy in his life. Yet on the other hand we face a task that brings great benefit, for God rewards those who diligently seek after Him. Holiness brings great joy.

There were a couple of areas in which this book challenged me in a way that was unexpected. First, I came to see that much of my pursuit of holiness has been on a macro level. I have looked at my life and seen progress on a grand scale. I have seen areas where I have made much progress and have seen certain sinful habits and desires fall away. For this I am very thankful and acknowledge the Spirit's work. But the book helped me understand the importance of examining my life on the micro level. While I have certainly made great strides in some big areas, I continue to be amazed at my propensity for sin in small areas. There were several times that I was led to stare my sin directly in the face and react with amazement at just how polluted my heart has become. Perhaps one of my greatest sins, and the greatest sins of all humans, is to trivialize sin. But, and this has been on my heart many times in the past months, I have come to see that to trivialize sin is to trivialize the love of God. For several months I have had a slip of paper on my desk on which I wrote, "When we make light of sin, we make light of the love that saved us. The greater our appreciation of our sin, the greater our appreciation of God's love." The Pursuit of Holiness helped me understand just how true this is. When I examine the Scripture and understand what God demands of me, I also understand how far I fall short and how great a Savior was required to save a sinner like me.

The second area this book challenged me was in understanding the relationship of desire and reason. I know from my experience in life that, while God works primarily through reason, Satan focuses his attacks primarily through my desires. I can think of hundreds of times where my desires have been opposed to what I knew was right. There have been countless times when I have fallen into sin because I allowed my desires to have their way over reason. Truly Satan has a powerful weapon at his disposal! Yet how often has my reason had to overcome my desires? How often do I have to interrupt a truly sweet time of fellowship with the Lord because I know I have work that must be done. Certainly not nearly as often as the times I have decided to forsake my time with the Lord because I have desired to do something (anything!) else. While I have always known this to be true, this book has helped me understand the necessity of realigning and training my desires so that I desire what is good. When my heart truly desires obedience I will remove a sword from Satan's hand.

And so I commend this book to you. You will not have to look far to find testimonies of the power of The Pursuit of Holiness. It has endorsed by, among others, John MacArthur, John Piper, J.I. Packer and R.C. Sproul. And perhaps more importantly, it has been endorsed by hundreds of thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ who have been challenged by it to live lives of holiness. This book is a classic and, to echo John MacArthur, is well deserving of the honor.
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Pursuing what Christians have nearly forgotten 26 Mar. 2006
By M. Brinkley - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Holiness: The nearly forgotten word of Christianity. If it was happiness, joy, love, grace, or mercy the modern church would be very familiar with it, but holiness is a word foreign to many professing Christians. Jerry Bridges has done an outstanding job in awakening Christians to the fact that God has a responsiblity in sanctifying us, and we as the children of God have a major role in our own pursuit of holiness. Jerry Bridges shows you as plain as day from the Word of God that Christ saves people from not only the penalty of sin (hell) but also from the power of sin. So many Christians sit in the church pew thinking how wonderful it will be to go to Heaven, yet their daily life is full of bondage to things that Christ has given them the power to overcome. The Christian life is not just victory over hell through Christ, but also over the sinful habits, addictions, and attitudes that we were enslaved to us sinners. Let Jerry Bridges turn your attention to what God's Word already states plainly. We have God's mercy to forgive us of sin, but we also have God's grace to empower us to live like Jesus did.
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Title on Personal Holiness 28 Dec. 2005
By Michael Taylor - Published on
Format: Paperback
Bridges has written a gem of a book that every Christian can benefit from, whether young or old, mature or young in the faith. The book purpose is to challenge the reader to become more like Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit combined with human effort.

Among the important points covered include:

1. God calls us to be like Him and not like others.

2. Holiness is necessary for effective service.

3. 3 aspects of sin's nature and tactics.

4. We must discipline our bodies and treat them as temples of God.

5. 3 principles to practice to train ourselves in godliness.

6. Faith is necessary to living a life pleasing to God.

7. Instead of withdrawing from the world, we must resist its influence. Our holiness will be a strong living rebuke to others.

8. We must be concerned with not only our own personal holiness, but also the eternal destiny of others.

9. 2 ways to express dependence on the Holy Spirit for living a holy life.

10. While God provides the opportunity to be released from sin's bondage, we have the responsibility to act.

In summary, this is a small but powerful book to inspire the reader to allow God, through His Holy Spirit, to live His holiness through us.

Read and enjoy, highly recommended!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent training for any Christian 17 Mar. 1998
By Count Chocula - Published on
Format: Paperback
This biblically founded book is one of the greatest motivating books I have ever read. Jerry Bridges, through illumination from God, reveals what holiness is... and what that means to a Christian life. The book opposes legalism, and simply guides the reader on how to pursue God's Will in their lives. The book has helped me become more fearful, and yet, thankful towards God, but most of all loving Him for saving us and giving us the stregth and desire to please Him by leading a holy life. I plan on buying another book by Jerry Bridges entitled the Practice of Godliness. I have heard it is as motivating, life -affirming, and Sprirt-driven as this one.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This is a great one... 18 Jan. 2006
By Chad Oberholtzer - Published on
Format: Paperback
We live in a church culture where holiness is rarely mentioned. When holiness is mentioned, it is often very generic or totally legalistic. Jerry Bridges does an outstanding job of walking a fine line. He is very specific in presenting the biblical basis for our obligation to pursue holiness if we call ourselves followers of Christ. Nonetheless, he presents the case in such a way that does not lead toward a legalistic mindset.

One of my greatest complaints about the church (myself included) is that we all too often look exactly like the world which does not know Christ. Our behaviors, our attitudes, and our choices reflect our culture, not the one who wants to cultivate us as His disciples. Anyone who feels the slightest disconnect from where you are and where you think God wants you to be ought to give this book a try. I would suggest that pursuing holiness will undoubtedly have a significant positive impact on your life. It has on mine, and I look forward to rereading this modern classic!!
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