As we prepare for The Gathering 2016, I re-read this essential volume on holiness. The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges should be required reading for Christians.
“Be holy, for I am holy,” commands God. But holiness is something that is often missed in the Christian’s daily life. According to Navigator author Jerry Bridges, that’s because we’re not exactly sure what our part in holiness is. In The Pursuit of Holiness, he helps us see clearly just what we should rely on God to do―and what we should take responsibility for ourselves. As you deepen your relationship with God, learn more about His character, and understand the Holy Spirit’s role in holiness, your spiritual growth will mature.
- God wants us to walk in obedience – not victory. Obedience is oriented toward God; victory is oriented toward self (21).
- But God has not called us to be like those around us. He has called us to be like Himself. Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God (26).
- Scripture speaks of both a holiness which we have in Christ before God, and a holiness which we are to strive after (37).
- His moral purity serves to magnify our impurity (47).
- We can now stand up to sin and say no to it. Before we had no choice; now we have one (60).
- If you give in to temptation, it will be because desire has overcome reason in the struggle to influence your will (66).
- Holiness is not a series of do’s and don’ts, but conformity to the character of God and obedience to the will of God (72).
- It is time for us Christians to face up to our responsibility for holiness. Too often we say we are “defeated” by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated; we are simply disobedient (84)!
- This is the way we develop conviction – by bringing God’s Word to bear on specific situations that arise in our lives and determining God’s will in that situation from the Word (90).
- The way to obtain godliness is through Christian discipline (99).
- The place to start controlling the cravings of our physical appetites is to reduce our exposure to temptation (114).
- The Bible indicates that our thought lives ultimately determine our character (118).
- Not only must we guard our minds, we must also guard our emotions. To do this, it is helpful first to realize that while God most often appeals to our wills through our reason, sin and Satan usually appeal to us through our desires (128).
- The more we sin, the more we are inclined to sin (133).
- Faith and holiness are inextricably linked. Obeying the commands of God usually involves believing the promises of God (145).
- Instead of withdrawing from context with the world, we must strive to resist its influence (148).
- Surely He has not commanded us to be holy without providing the means to be holy. The privilege of being holy is yours, and the decision and responsibility to be holy is yours. If you make that decision, you will experience the fullness of joy which Christ has promised to those who walk in obedience to Him (158).
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.