100+ Quotes from the Pages of “The Pursuit for Holiness — Jerry Bridges”
- 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. God has made it possible for us to walk in holiness. But He has given to us the responsibility of doing the walking; He does not do that for us.
- As we begin to conform to the will of God in one area of life, He reveals to us our need in another area.
Chapter 1 — Holiness Is for You
• Is it wise to proclaim in so bald, naked, and unqualified a way as many do, that the holiness of converted people is by faith only, and not at all by personal exertion? Is it according to the proportion of God’s Word? I doubt it. That faith in Christ is the root of all holiness …no well-instructed Christian will ever think of denying. But surely the Scriptures teach us that in following holiness the true Christian needs personal exertion and work as well as faith. (J. C. Ryle)
• We have a personal responsibility for our walk of holiness.
• It is compromise on the little issues that leads to greater downfalls.
• Are we willing to call sin “sin” not because it is big or little, but because God’s law forbids it? We cannot categorize sin if we are to live a life of holiness.
Chapter 2 — The Holiness of God
• God has not called us to be like those around us. He has called us to be like Himself
• Holiness is God’s crown. Imagine for a moment that God possessed omnipotence (infinite power), omniscience (perfect and complete knowledge), and omnipresence (everywhere present), but without perfect holiness. Such a one could no longer be described as God. Holiness is the perfection of all His other attributes: His power is holy power; His mercy is holy mercy; His wisdom is holy wisdom. It is His holiness more than any other attribute that makes Him worthy of our praise.
• Hatred is a legitimate emotion when it comes to sin.
• The more we ourselves grow in holiness, the more we hate sin.
• We must cultivate the attitude of Joseph, who said when he was tempted, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
• Granted, the love of God to us through Jesus Christ should be our primary motivation to holiness. But a motivation prompted by God’s hatred of sin and His consequent judgment on it is no less biblical.
Chapter 3 — Holiness Is Not an Option
• The best Christians can never in themselves merit salvation through their personal holiness.
• Our holiness before God depends entirely on the work of Jesus Christ for us, by God’s will.
• We are through Christ made holy in our standing before God, and called to be holy in our daily lives.
• When God saves us through Christ, He not only saves us from the penalty of sin, but also from its dominion.
• To continue to live in sin as a Christian is to go contrary to God’s very purpose for our salvation.
• God does not require a perfect, sinless life to have fellowship with Him, but He does require that we be serious about holiness, that we grieve over sin in our lives instead of justifying it, and that we earnestly pursue holiness as a way of life.
• Holiness and usefulness are linked together. We cannot bring our service to God in an unclean vessel.
• The only safe evidence that we are in Christ is a holy life.
Chapter 4 — The Holiness of Christ
• It is possible for us to do the right action from a wrong motive, but this does not please God.
• Our motives must be holy, that is, arising from a desire to do something simply because it is the will of God.
• Part of growing in holiness is the Holy Spirit’s making us aware of our need of holiness.
• The Holy Spirit makes us more aware of our lack of holiness to stimulate us to deeper yearning and striving for holiness.
• You, too, if you diligently pursue holiness, must often flee to the Rock of your salvation. You flee there, not to be saved again, but to confirm in your heart that you are saved through His righteousness alone.
• In all of our thoughts, all of our actions, in every part of our character, the ruling principle that motivates and guides us should be the desire to follow Christ in doing the will of the Father.
Chapter 5 — A Change of Kingdoms
• The experience of holiness is not a gift we receive like justification, but something which we are clearly exhorted to work at.
• Though God has delivered us from the reign of sin, our sinful natures still reside within us. Even though sin’s dominion and rule are broken, the remaining sin that dwells in believers exerts a tremendous power, constantly working toward evil.
• When we become Christians, we do not drop all [the habit of sin] overnight. In fact, we will spend the rest of our lives putting off these habits and putting on habits of holiness.
• Though sin no longer reigns in us, it will constantly try to get at us. Though we have been delivered from the kingdom of sin and its rule, we have not been delivered from its attacks.
• When we sin as Christians, we do not sin as slaves, but as individuals with the freedom of choice. We sin because we choose to sin.
• To confuse the potential for resisting (which God provided) with the responsibility for resisting (which is ours) is to court disaster in our pursuit of holiness.
Chapter 6 — The Battle for Holiness
• The next time you face one of your typical temptations, watch for the struggle between your desires and your reason. If you give in to temptation, it will be because desire has overcome reason in the struggle to influence your will.
• If we are to win this battle for holiness, we must recognize that the basic problem lies within us. It is our own evil desires that lead us into temptation.
• We may think we merely respond to outward temptations that are presented to us. But the truth is, our evil desires are constantly searching out temptations to satisfy their insatiable lusts.
• Just as fire burns any combustible material presented to it, so our own evil desires immediately respond to temptation.
• Denying sin must be chiefly directed on the affections. We must make sure our desires are directed toward glorifying God, … and not satisfying the lusts of our bodies (John Owen).
• Deceit of the mind is carried on by degrees, little by little. We are first drawn away from watchfulness, then from obedience.
• We are drawn away from watchfulness by overconfidence.
• We are often drawn away from obedience by the abuse of grace.
• We abuse grace when we think we can sin and then receive forgiveness by claiming 1 John 1:9. 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.
• We are drawn away from obedience when we begin to question what God says in His Word.
• Though sin no longer has dominion over us, it wages its guerrilla warfare against us. If left unchecked, it will defeat us. Our recourse against this warfare is to deal swiftly and firmly with the first motions of indwelling sin.
Chapter 7 — Help in the Daily Battle
• Christianity is not a do-it-yourself thing.
• Our reactions to circumstances are a part of our walk of holiness.
• 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.
• Accepting with contentment whatever circumstances God allows for me is very much a part of a holy walk.
• One of Satan’s most powerful weapons is making us spiritually blind — unable to see our sinful character.
• As we grow in the Christian life we face increasing danger of spiritual pride. We know the correct doctrines, the right methods and the proper do’s and don’ts. But we may not see the poverty of our own spiritual character. We may not see our critical and unforgiving spirit, our habit of backbiting, or our tendency to judge others. We may become like the Laodiceans of whom our Lord said, “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).
• The natural result of seeing God’s standard and our sinfulness is the awakening within us of a desire to be holy.
• When the Holy Spirit shows us our sinfulness, He does not do this to lead us to despair but to lead us to holiness. He does this by creating within us a hatred of our sins and a desire for holiness.
• Only one who has a strong desire to be holy will ever persevere in the painfully slow and difficult task of pursuing holiness. There are too many failures. The habits of our old nature and the attacks of Satan are too strong for us to persevere unless the Holy Spirit is at work in us to create a desire for holiness.
• No one overcomes the corruptions of his heart except by the enabling strength of the Spirit of God.
• If we truly desire to live in the realm of the Spirit we must continually feed our minds with His truth. It is hypocritical to pray for victory over our sins yet be careless in our intake of the Word of God.
• We are dependent upon the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to attain any degree of holiness. Then, as we look to Him, we will see Him working in us — revealing our sin, creating a desire for holiness, and giving us the strength to respond to Him in obedience.
Chapter 8 — Obedience — Not Victory
• He [God] makes provision for our holiness, but He gives us the responsibility of using those provisions.
• If we sin, it is because we choose to sin, not because we lack the ability to say no to temptation. 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!
Chapter 9 — Putting Sin to Death
• Convictions are developed through exposure to the Word of God.
• 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.
• One of the most effective ways of influencing our minds is through memorizing Scripture.
• The goal of memorization is application of the Scripture to one’s daily life. It is through the application of Scripture to specific life situations that we develop the kind of conviction to see us through the temptations that trip us up so easily.
• 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.
• Many issues of life are clearly addressed in the Bible, and we would do well to memorize verses that speak to those issues.
• It may not be the activity itself that determines whether something is sinful for us, but rather our response to that activity
• Every time we say yes to temptation, we make it harder to say no the next time.
• There is no point in praying for victory over temptation if we are not willing to make a commitment to say no to it.
• Our old desires and our sinful habits are not easily dislodged. To break them requires persistence, often in the face of little success. But this is the path we must tread, painful though it may be.
Chapter 10 — The Place of Personal Discipline
• The way to obtain godliness is through Christian discipline
• Discipline toward holiness begins with the Word of God.
• We must all arrange our schedules to provide for this daily intake of the Word of God.
• Reading the Scripture gives us the overall perspective of divine truth, while study of a passage or topic enables us to dig more deeply into a particular truth. Memorization helps us retain important truths so we can apply them in our lives.
• If we are to pursue holiness with discipline, we must do more than hear, read, study, or memorize Scripture. We must meditate on it.
• The objective of our meditation is application — obedience to the Scriptures.
• Our patterns of disobedience to God have been developed over a number of years and are not broken easily or without discipline.
• Any training — physical, mental, or spiritual — is characterized at first by failure. We fail more often than we succeed. But if we persevere, we gradually see progress till we are succeeding more often than failing.
• Follow-through is required to make any change in our lives, and follow-through requires perseverance.
• The person who is disciplining himself toward holiness falls many times, but he doesn’t quit.
• The truth is, the more we see the holiness of God and His law revealed to us in the Scripture, the more we recognize how far short we fall.
• If we would succeed in our pursuit of holiness we must persevere in spite of failure.
Chapter 11 — Holiness in Body
• If we cannot say no to an indulgent appetite, we will be hard pressed to say no to lustful thoughts.
• As we become soft and lazy in our bodies, we tend to become soft and lazy spiritually.
• When the body is pampered and indulged, the instincts and passions of the body tend to get the upper hand and dominate our thoughts and actions. We tend to do not what we should do, but what we want to do, as we follow the cravings of our sinful nature.
• The place to start controlling the cravings of our physical appetites is to reduce our exposure to temptation.
• Some temptations can best be overcome by fleeing.
• We are to flee temptation and take positive steps to avoid it, and we are to avoid thinking how to gratify our sinful desires.
Chapter 12 — Holiness in Spirit
• Holiness begins in our minds and works out to our actions.
• The music we listen to often carries the message of the world, and the world uses the medium of music to squeeze us into its mold. And a Christian cannot help being gradually influenced if he continually listens to the world’s music.
• We must be careful that we are not the source of temptation to others. For this reason, modesty of dress and actions is required among both men and women.
• Regardless of our station in life or place in the Body, there is always the temptation to envy someone else.
• The cure for the sin of envy and jealousy is to find our contentment in God.
• This is the way to cleanse ourselves from the defiling spirit of retaliation: to entrust ourselves to Him who judges justly.
• A critical spirit has its root in pride.
• Often we are not even aware our attitudes are sinful. We cloak these defiling thoughts under the guise of justice and righteous indignation.
• We need to pray daily for humility and honesty to see these sinful attitudes for what they really are, and then for grace and discipline to root them out of our minds and replace them with thoughts pleasing to God.
Chapter 13 — Holiness and Our Wills
• Our wills … determine our moral destiny, whether we will be holy or unholy in our character and conduct.
• We must learn how to bring our wills into submission and obedience to the will of God on a practical, daily, hour-by-hour basis.
• Reason [leads] the way in understanding the will of God, the will [consents] to God’s will, [then] the emotions [delights] in doing it.
• If we diligently guard our minds and emotions, we will see the Holy Spirit working in us to conform our wills to His own.
• The Bible speaks to us primarily through our reason, and this is why it is so vitally important for our minds to be constantly brought under its influence.
• There is absolutely no shortcut to holiness that bypasses or gives little priority to a consistent intake of the Bible.
• The protective influence of the Word of God comes as a result of diligent, prayerful, and purposeful intake of Scripture. To guard our minds, we must give priority to the Bible in our lives — not just for the spiritual information it gives but also for the daily application of it in our workaday lives.
• God most often appeals to our wills through our reason, sin and Satan usually appeal to us through our desires.
• Knowing that Satan attacks primarily through our desires, we should watch over them diligently and bring the Word of God to bear on them constantly.
• Each of us should seek to be aware of how sin attacks us through our desires and take preventive actions.
• We are to set our desires on spiritual things and delight ourselves in the law and will of God.
Chapter 14 — Habits of Holiness
• The more we sin, the more we are inclined to sin.
• Every sin we commit reinforces the habit of sinning and makes it easier to sin.
• Breaking sinful habits must be done in cooperation with the Holy Spirit and in dependence upon Him.
• The more we say no to sin, the more we are inclined to say no.
• There is a vast difference between failing and becoming a failure. We become a failure when we give up — when we stop trying. But as long as we are working on those sinful habits, regardless of how often we fail, we have not become a failure, and we can expect to see progress.
• It is vain to guard our minds and emotions against that which comes from without if we do not at the same time deal with habits of sin which are within. The battle for holiness must be fought on two fronts — without and within. Only then will we see progress toward holiness.
Chapter 15 — Holiness and Faith
• Holiness is obedience to the will of God in whatever God directs.
• It [holiness] calls us to obey God even when that obedience is costly, when it requires deliberate sacrifice and even exposure to danger.
• Faith enables us to obey when obedience is costly or seems unreasonable to the natural mind.
• If we do not have conviction in the necessity of obeying the revealed will of God as well as confidence in the promises of God, we will never persevere in this difficult pursuit [of holiness].
• We must be confident that the pursuit of holiness results in God’s approval and blessing, even when circumstances make it appear otherwise.
• If we would pursue holiness we must have faith to obey the will of God revealed in the Scripture and faith to believe that the promises of God will then be ours.
Chapter 16 — Holiness in an Unholy World
• Instead of withdrawing from contact with the world, we must strive to resist its influence.
• The convictions we develop about God’s will for a holy life must be rock-ribbed enough to withstand the ridicule of the ungodly and the pressures they put on us to conform to their unholy ways.
• Open identification with Christ helps to spare us from the temptation of adapting to our sinful environment.
• The Bible is our best defense against this pollution (of the world).
• Bible will cleanse our minds of the defilement of the world if we meditate on its teachings.
• God alone knows how far more corrupt it would be without the restraining example, life, and prayers of the saints.
• A Christian who witnesses in a spirit of genuine concern for another person is not likely to be corrupted by that person’s immorality.
Chapter 17 — The Joy of Holiness
• Only those who are obedient — who are pursuing holiness as a way of life — will know the joy that comes from God.
• True joy comes only from God, and He shares this joy with those who walk in fellowship with Him
- One of the “talents” God has given to every Christian is the possibility of walking in holiness, being free from the dominion of sin.
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