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The Pursuit of Holiness

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  12,399 ratings  ·  219 reviews
"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 ourselv ...more
ebook, 160 pages
Published February 27th 2014 by NavPress Publishing Group (first published 1978)
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In The Pursuit of Holiness, author Jerry Bridges urges us to live a life of obedience to God, striving for increasing victory over sin. The first few chapters define and argue the need for holiness. The rest of the book includes exhortation and practical tips for attaining greater holiness.

I listened to the audiobook version. Narration is as important as writing style when you’re listening to a book and while narration was competent I found it somewhat bland. I think this somewhat diminished my
The Chestertonian (Sarah G)

Jerry Bridges paints a fairly familiar picture in this book: new Christian enthusiastically expects his faith to carry him above sin, and quickly realizes the surprising truth that the Christian life doesn't actually work that way. He falls into despair because if he was really a Christian, he should be walking in victory, right? And then there are all those well-meaning people ready to assure that struggling Christian that there is no need to be concerned because "Christ has already done everyt
If you consider that the Number One attribute of God is Holiness and the first Commandment He gives us is to love Him, pursuing this virtue makes perfect sense. In fact, the author asks, why don't we hear more about this? Why are we so complacent about our own sanctity? Are we expecting Him to take care of it for us or do we think there's not much we can do?

Holiness is not a word most of us use in our everyday conversations and it does look a little like the author has been trying to be pun-ny
I recently had the opportunity to review The Pursuit of Holiness by Dr. Jerry Bridges. If you've read my reviews of several of his other books, you know that I really appreciate his writing. Dr. Bridges is able to communicate and practically apply biblical truth very effectively, with a humility and grace rarely seen. The Pursuit of Holiness is no exception. The book is definitely deserving of it's reputation as a "modern classic"!

While his book Transforming Grace emphasized God's grace in our C
Josh Morgan
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café (

I recently received a complimentary copy of Jerry Bridges' audiobook version of The Pursuit of Holiness in order to review it (without any expectation of a positive review, as will be obvious here :) ). I had several theological problems with this book that bleed over to the larger issues of some of holiness movements. Let's go through these by way of some of Bridges' central points:

Factual certainty i
Jun 18, 2014 Debra rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Christians
Excellent! This is a must-read for all Christians. It's challenging. It's encouraging. It's very readable. This has been a life-changing book for me, and one I will read again and again.

Book Description:
“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 sh
Becky Baylous
I highly recommend this book. I have learned so much. It brought many things to my attention that I wasn't aware of and has me on the right track to the pursuit of holiness.
Beth Peninger
3.5 stars
I worked for the Navigator's in the 1990's. Part of my time with them was with NavPress so Jerry Bridges is a familiar author/name to me. Despite that exposure to him, and other Navigator authors, it has taken me until now to read even one of his books - considered by some to be classics regarding the life of a believer in God.
In this book, first written and published in the late 1970's, Bridges tackles the mystery of living a holy life. Holiness is one of those spiritual disciplines t
Excellent book by a long-time Navigator that I worked with for two years and admired back in the early 1970s. It's been good to follow his writings. This was his first book, which I read soon after it came out in 1978. We just finished it, using the study guide, at our Wednesday night ladies' Bible study. The big emphasis of the book is that we don't understand the proper distinction between God's provision and our own responsibility for holiness. God has made the provision and empowers us throu ...more
John Gardner
I waited far too long to read this book... but better late than never!

Jerry Bridges' now-classic book on holiness has instantly vaulted up my list of must-read recommendations. It is the perfect blend of biblical exposition and practical application, which treads the delicate balance between God's sovereignty and man's responsibility.

Drawing on a metaphor from the world of farming (a tactic borrowed from Christ's earthly ministry), Bridges teaches that holiness is a joint venture between God and
I first read this book as a freshman in college, after hearing and responding to the gospel for the first time. I remember that this book had a big impact on me then, so it was with no small curiosity and anticipation that I went back to this book recently.

This is a good book, with a solid, biblical call to holiness. Bridges' style is straightforward and engaging, and this book is short enough to be read in a handful of sittings. But the truths discussed in the book are deep, and reading a singl
Timothy Stone
The Pursuit of Holiness is one of those modern stalwarts read by many evangelicals the past quarter century or so since it's publication. The book is a short, but very thorough, book that deals with the subject (obviously, given the title) of holiness.

I decided to read the book after seeing a friend's review of it, and I must say that I was both surprised and convicted. I was surprised in how much about the subject of holiness I did not know about. How much, indeed, I would argue very few Christ
Daniel Ogweno
This is one of the books that I read shortly after I got saved. I can't remember the details of what I read but I can tell that I liked the book very much. I remember one thing though: That holiness is not optional.

I am looking forward to re-reading this book again. I will make detailed review when I do so.
Brings a balance to the current hyper-grace teaching by outlining that we have a responsibility to work out our salvation. A great read alongside my church's four week teaching on godliness.
Sam Belsterling
I most appreciated the blunt honesty of this book. Bridges doesn't pull any punches, but instead calls out those who would try and cop out of having any personal responsibility for holy living. This book is both challenging and encouraging (which believe me, in some of the chapters definitely needed). Reading this will remind you just how broken and fallen we are. But that's ok! There are some who want to try and hide the ugly side of the world, and pretend Christians are perfect. We're as messe ...more
Every person who claims to be a Christian or follower of Christ at some point in their life should read this book. This book is so important and fundamental that it will change your thinking about holiness forever. I wish I heard about this book seventeen years ago.
Alexis Neal
This book kicked my butt. Bridges is hard-hitting and insightful. His view of sin and holiness is uncompromising but not legalistic. I am extremely convicted, and plan to revisit this book many times in the future.
Jenny Carr
Excellent. Very thought provoking, readable, and down to earth. He draws from Puritan wisdom, and applies it to modern day living. Thoroughly recommend for all christians.
Sarah Vigers
A really worthwhile read. I recommend reading it slowly with a pot of coffee and a packet of tissues. Expect to be convicted, and then enjoy moving forward!
“Be holy, for I am holy” is a command given by God in Leviticus 11:44. Yet according to author Jerry Bridges, few believers understand what it looks like to live a holy life. In his book The Pursuit of Holiness, Bridges explains the fundamental responsibilities a believer has to live a holy life. He defines the holy life as one lived “in conformity to the moral precepts of the Bible and in contrast to the sinful ways of the world.” (16) Using Ephesians 4:22,24 as the foundation, Bridges further ...more
Todd Benkert
There's a reason this book is a modern classic in Christian growth literature. Jerry Bridges calls believers to recognize both God's command to be holy and his providing the means to be holy. This is a gospel-saturated book that neither softens the Scriptures call to holiness, nor reverts to a works theology. Rather, Bridges delivers an intensely practical guide to pursuing the holiness God requires through the power of the gospel. The book is easy to read and accessible to the average reader. H ...more
This is perhaps the best modern alternative to reading the Puritans on the topic of personal holiness and the mortification of sin. It is clearly written and easy to understand. The reader is left with a clear understanding of one’s personal responsibility to work with the Holy Spirit in the process of sanctification. This book should be must reading for all Christians. When used with the accompanying study guide, this would be ideal material to use in a closed small group (probably best when ge ...more
I’ve already read one of Mr. Bridges’ books, so I pretty much know things about him and what things are important to him. But by reading his preface I got a glimpse of what he wants his readers to take away from this book.

I honestly can’t wait to crack into these pages!

The LORD has truly blessed me with the words from this book. Jerry Bridges is really awesome. He’s knocked me off my pedestal again, simply with this statement:

“But holiness is not only expected; it is the promised birthright of
Source: self-purchase.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.
"As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'" 1 Peter 1:14-16, NIV.
God is holy. God expects His children to be holy. But how can this be accomplished. What does holiness look like? How is it lived out? Are we not human and thus sin?
Jerry Bridges states the theme of God's peo
The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges is a valuable book that, I think, would be helpful to any earnest Christian.

It has such a practical format that it's not only easy to read, but easy to reference when you need a refresher on such topics as the holiness of God, putting sin to death, habits of holiness and the joy of holiness (among many others). The style of this book reminds of me of Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy in this regard. The chapters are very managable and while the book itse
Matt Harmless
Whether you simply have a vague understanding of "holiness," or you are a Bible scholar that has spent a significant amount of time studying this word's origin, usage, and possible meanings, you know that holiness seems to be an unattainable attribute of men. Yet there it is in the Bible, the command, "Be Holy, for I am Holy." How are we to attain this holiness? How are we to strive for this holiness? What is meant by this command? To what degree are we to be holy?

These are the questions that I
Finished reading through/studying Pursuit of Holiness today for the third or fourth time. This time through I read and copied off all of the Scripture references from the ESV Bible. I think the newer translation made me look at some of bridges comments a little differently. This study should be worked at by all believers. We all are too easily satisfied with our relationship and condition before Christ. We are self deceiving, telling our selves we don't really need to work on our purity. He conf ...more
The beauty of this book is its simplicity with how the author Jerry Bridges communicate the truth of the Christian need to pursue holiness. While the writing is simple that does not mean that the book is superficial. Far from it: the author truly understands our human nature and what we as sinners are really like. The biggest profit I got from the book was Bridges concern that today too many Christians are confused concerning God’s responsibility and man’s responsibility in the area of sanctific ...more
Bendick Ong
Okie it’s the book cover again. Only that, as in most cases, there’s always much more.

The pursuit of holiness is jerry bridges’ best-selling book and navpress’ in 2006 has one of the best covers i’ve ever seen: with a nice frame, beautiful fonts and an apt quote from 1 Cor 9:24 superimposed on a picture of wooden steps across ruins of wild grass, leading toward a misty background of trees and shrubs. Plus the colour tone gives this rustic feel that is even erhm nice to the touch. Plus it smells
Jerry Bridges writes a piercing, challenging, and practical charge for Christians to give their lives to be holy as God commands. In The Pursuit of Holiness (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2006), readers will find practical helps, biblical conviction, and realistically high expectations.

What I Liked

Bridges clearly points Christians toward a higher level of following Christ. Far too many believers fail to live a holy life because they have compromised their understanding of what it means to be hol
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  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
  • Humility: True Greatness
  • Holiness
  • Future Grace
  • Quest for Godliness
  • Ashamed Of The Gospel: When The Church Becomes Like The World
  • Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
  • Basic Christianity
  • The Holiness of God
  • What Is the Gospel?
  • The Enemy Within: Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin
  • The Religious Affections
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
  • The Attributes of God
  • The Master Plan of Evangelism
  • The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
JERRY BRIDGES is an author and conference speaker. His most popular book, The Pursuit of Holiness, has sold over one million copies. Jerry has been on the staff of The Navigators for over fifty years, and currently serves in the Collegiate Mission where he is involved primarily in staff development, but also serves as a speaker resource to the campus ministries.
More about Jerry Bridges...
The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts The Practice of Godliness Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God's Unfailing Love

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“In the deceitfulness of our hearts, we sometimes play with temptation by entertaining the thought that we can always confess and later ask forgiveness. Such thinking is exceedingly dangerous. God’s judgement is without partiality. He never overlooks our sin. He never decides not to bother, since the sin is only a small one. No, God hates sin intensely whenever and wherever He finds it.” 41 likes
“Too often, we say we are defeated by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated. We are simply disobedient. It might be good if we stop using the terms victory and defeat to describe our progress in holiness. Rather, we should use the terms obedience and disobedience. When I say I am defeated by some sin, I am unconsciously slipping out from under my responsibility. I am saying something outside of me has defeated me. But when I say I am disobedient, that places the responsibility for my sin squarely on me. We may in fact be defeated, but the reason we are defeated is because we have chosen to disobey.

We need to brace ourselves up and to realize that we are responsible for thoughts, attitudes, and actions. We need to reckon on the fact that we died to sin's reign, that it no longer has any dominion over us, that God has united us with the risen Christ in all His power and has given us the Holy Spirit to work in us. Only as we accept our responsibility and appropriate God's provisions will we make any progress in our pursuit of holiness.”
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