I just finished reading The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges (2006 edition).

I would highly recommend people to read this book. Especially in today’s fast paced world, where sin practically comes to our doorsteps on a daily basis, we all need to learn how to best combat our deformed nature. The most beneficial section of The Pursuit of Holiness is by far chapters 5 – 7; in fact these chapters are an excellent companion to Romans 6 – 8.

In chapter five, Bridges rightly comments: “In a similar manner, Christians tend to sin out of habit. It is our habit to look for ourselves instead of others, to retaliate when injured in some way, and to indulge the appetites of our bodies. It is our habit to live for ourselves and not for God. When we become Christians, we do not drop all of this overnight. In fact, we will spend the rest of our lives putting off these habits and putting on habits of holiness” (p 51). In this chapter he really focuses in on the fact that as Christians when we sin it is because we choose to.

Chapter six I must state is the best chapter out of the entire book; the chapter centers on Romans 7:21, “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.” Three fantastic points are brought out:

  1. The seat of indwelling sin is the heart (pp 54-56).
  2. Indwelling sin works largely through our desires (pp 56-57).
  3. It tends to deceive our understanding or reasoning (pp 57-58).

Bridges explains that our evil desires are always looking to satisfy our lusts, which when engaged in a battle against sin our evil desires lead us to amuse ourselves with said sin. Our deformed nature tends to lead us into a misplaced confidence in our own will (i.e. pride). Therefore our desires must continuously be directed toward God. Last, he correctly warns “We abuse grace when, after sinning, we dwell on the compassion and mercy of God to the exclusion of His holiness and hatred of sin” (p 58).

Then in chapter seven, the consistent intake of scripture with the refocused fact that we are filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore dead to sin closes off a true gem of a study.

The remainder of the book focuses on solidifying holiness in our lives and the responsibility a Christian has to live a proper life of holiness. In closing, I once again recommend reading The Pursuit of Holiness; for Jerry Bridges covers this wonderful aspect of God in a way that is accessible to all Christians at all stages of growth.

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