Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Books #7: The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

I mentioned earlier that the Lord really got a hold of my life during the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. That summer, I read two books that greatly impacted me. One was #18 on this list. The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges was the other one.

I would be surprised if you were to make a similar list as this one if some book by Jerry Bridges did not make your top ten list. If not, then that probably means you have not read much from him. He is one of the top Christian writers of our generation. And this book is one of those that is perfect to read with other people. The way that Bridges writes makes you think about your life as well as encourage you to keep going.

The reason why this book makes my top ten is that when I read it that summer, I was so impacted to stop my trivial playing the game of the Christian life and to get serious about pursuing holiness in everything that I did. I remember first reading these words: "God wants us to walk in obedience--not victory. Obedience is oriented toward God; victory is oriented toward self" (21). I realized that in my pursuits of holiness, I was doing it so that I could tell people that I was holy. I wasn't doing it so that I would please the Lord.

In reading this book, it was the first time that I really understood positional vs. practical holiness. I knew that in giving my life to the Lord I was looked at as holy or set apart. But there is a practical aspect to that each and every day. I needed to start living in light of my position. There are many days that I reflect back upon the foundations that were built in my life that summer. This book was one of the cornerstones of that foundation.

If you are looking for something to read with your small group, this is a GREAT BOOK! If you are looking for something to convict you as to living the Christian life, this is an excellent option. Or if you are just looking for a simple explanation why we should not continue to sin so that grace may increase, may I recommend to you The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges. It just might change the way you look at your life. 

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