Posted by: austend | Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Pursuit of Holiness I

All of us believers struggle with holiness. It is one of those things that we will never quite get perfect. Our God is a holy and perfect God and calls us to His standard of perfection, but we will never reach it in this life. We are still commanded to pursue it, though, to glorify Him. A helpful resource in this struggle is The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges. A few good quotes from Chapter 1 are given below.


“No one can attain any degree of holiness without God working in his life, but just as surely no one will attain it without effort on his own part.” (14)

“The concept of holiness may seem a bit archaic to our current generation. To some minds the very word holiness brings images of bunned hair, long skirts, and black stockings…” (18)

Yet this is not holiness.

“The idea of exactly how to be holy has suffered from many false concepts. In some circles, holiness is equated with a series of specific prohibitions—usually in such areas as smoking, drinking, and dancing….When we follow this approach to holiness, we are in danger of becoming like the Pharisees with their endless trivial lists of do’s and don’ts, and their self-righteous attitude.” (19)

Yet this too is not holiness. What is holiness, then?


“To live a holy life, then, is to live a life in conformity to the moral precepts of the Bible and in contrast to the sinful world.” (20)

Why don’t we practice holiness better?

1) “Our attitude toward sin is more self-centered than God-centered.” We see succumbing to sin as a personal failure rather than a sickening affront to a perfect God. “Sin grieves the heart of God.” (20)

2) “We have misunderstood ‘living by faith’ to mean that no effort at holiness is required on our part.” (21)

3) “We do not take some sin seriously.” (22) We excuse some sin as not being as egregious as other sin (like lying compared to murder). All sin is opposition to God’s character, and, thus, all is equally wrong.

Source: Bridges, Jerry. The Pursuit of Holiness. Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1993. {Here}


  1. I have found the book ”The Pursuit of Holiness” to be so enriching. I am looking for bible study notes or notes in the same line.

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