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(Review) The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

This is a re-read. I first read and reviewed The Pursuit of Holiness in 2010. Link for review:
The Pursuit of Holiness. 

Publication Date: 2006.
Publisher: Navpress
Genre: Nonfiction, holiness.
Pages: 160.
Source: self-purchase.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.


"As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'" 1 Peter 1:14-16, NIV. 
God is holy. God expects His children to be holy. But how can this be accomplished. What does holiness look like? How is it lived out? Are we not human and thus sin?
Jerry Bridges states the theme of God's people are to be holy. He explains what the Scripture states about holiness, our attitude and motives towards holiness, God's holiness, the Holy Spirit's work in holiness, changing our minds through God's Word, and reshaping our will to God's will through obedience.

My Thoughts:
The hardest part to overcome in being a holy child of God is removing "self" from the equation.
So much of what I think, say, and do revolve around me.
  • How will holy make me look?
  • How can I accomplish this work?
  • What's in it for me?
  • What if I make a mistake?
  • What if people, mainly my family and friends, make fun of me? 
  • Can I take a vacation break from all this holiness? Just for a few hours or days?  
In chapter one, Bridges examines three dilemmas in thinking holy. 
  1. "...our attitude toward sin is more self-centered than God-centered. We are more concerned abut our own 'victory' over sin than we are about the fact that our sins grieve the heart of God."
  2. "...we have misunderstood 'living by faith (Galatians 2:20) to mean that no effort at holiness is required on our part. In fact, sometimes we have even suggested that any effort on our part is 'of the flesh.'"
  3. "...we do not take sin seriously. We have mentally categorized sins into that which is unacceptable and that which may be tolerated a bit." 
My favorite three chapters are:
  1. Chapter Four: "The holiness of Christ." A strong point in this chapter is on our motive. Is our motive God's will?
  2. Chapter Nine: "Putting Sin to Death." "Only through God's Word are our minds remolded and our values renewed." (I will never understand why Christians do not read the Bible. They probably think about reading the Bible. They may feel guilty for not reading the Bible. But they are not persuaded to begin a daily life of reading God's Word.) "Obedience is the pathway to holiness, but it is only as we have His commands that we can obey them. God's Word must be so strongly fixed in our minds that it becomes the dominant influence in our thoughts, our attitudes, and our actions." 
  3. Chapter Twelve: "Holiness in Spirit." "The Bible indicates that our thought lives ultimately determine our character. Solomon said, 'For as he thinks within himself, so he is' (Proverbs 23:7). 
My mother loved this quote and she wrote it on several pieces of paper that I've find in her scrapbooks. The quote is also in The Pursuit of Holiness. 
"Sow a thought, reap an act;
Sow an act, reap a habit;
Sow a habit, reap a character."  

The Pursuit of Holiness has been a perfect book to accompany the previous book I read, Truly Free by Robert Morris. 
In Truly Free, Robert Morris explains how strongholds and oppression can happen because of anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, fear, past emotional and spiritual wounds that never healed, and addictions.
The Pursuit of Holiness takes a deeper look at reading God's Word, memorizing God's Word, and obedience to God's Word. Holiness is not an "act" we do ourselves. It is a work of the Holy Spirit, and it is in obedience to God. Our bent (perse) is to do God's Will and allow Him full reign in our life.
Another kind of stronghold for people is when they never "see" their need to change, they never see they have a problem, they believe it's everyone else and they are just fine. My daddy called this problem a learning disability.
Scripture links courtesy of Bible Gateway.