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The Pursuit of Holiness

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,689 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews
"Be holy, for I am holy," commands God to His people. But holiness is something that is often missed in the Christian’s daily life. According to 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 accept responsibility for ourselves. W ...more
Audiobook, 5 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by christianaudio (first published 1978)
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Oct 29, 2012 Alex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
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
Sarah Gutierrez

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
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
Dec 20, 2010 Josh Morgan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Daniel Ogweno
May 15, 2015 Daniel Ogweno rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 27, 2014 booklady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to booklady by: christianaudio
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
Timothy Stone
Feb 02, 2014 Timothy Stone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
John Gardner
Jun 19, 2011 John Gardner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 18, 2014 Debra rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jun 04, 2015 Becky Baylous rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 25, 2015 Annette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 07, 2010 Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 14, 2013 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 12, 2016 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite possibly my favorite book on the subject of holiness. As suggested in the title, holiness is about a constant pursuit. We never arrive at a place where we have become completely holy and Jerry Bridges reminds the reader of that. He also encourages and equips the reader with the insight and understanding to actively pursue God and, in effect, holiness.
Susan Henn
Jan 06, 2016 Susan Henn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
1/2016 Excellent explanation of God's holiness, God's command for us to be holy, and God's role in our pursuit of holiness. The author also discusses the stumbling blocks and how Satan attacks our pursuit of holiness while providing encouragement and practical help for our journey.
Dennis Henn
Dec 10, 2015 Dennis Henn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Christian classic. Bridges makes a strong case from Scripture that we are to pursue holiness. We are saved by grace, through faith. But it is irresponsible to neglect such a great salvation by refusing to do the work of pursuing righteousness and saying no to sin.
Jun 22, 2016 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think what sets this book apart from others I've read on holiness and Christian living is that it reads like a conversation with a wise, trusted, experienced mentor. Jerry Bridges clearly practiced what he preached throughout a lifetime of growth in personal holiness, and his experience disciplining himself and discipling others through the years clearly shows in his writing. He shares a balanced combination of scripture references and anecdotes to explain what role God plays and what responsi ...more
Sam Belsterling
Jul 29, 2015 Sam Belsterling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 26, 2011 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 12, 2011 Alexis Neal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, religion
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
Mar 23, 2013 Jenny Carr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nicole Rollins
I read Tranforming Grace first (I guess I should have started with Bridges' seminal work), which may have affected this read for me. The Pursuit of Holiness just wasn't as powerful for me. There were definitely chapters that spoke to me (and earned lots of highlights), but then there were other chapters that left me feeling a bit cynical. For example, with all the BIG sins in the world, I failed to relate to and take seriously Bridges' sin motif of overindulging our appetites with junkfood (Brid ...more
Sarah Vigers
Apr 29, 2013 Sarah Vigers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Daniel Moholia
Jun 26, 2016 Daniel Moholia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
This book, I believe, should be on the reading list of every believing Christian. It covers in detail the process of sanctification, a race we are each called to run every day of our lives after surrendering to Christ as Lord and Saviour. It will not only provide theological clarity on what this race means but also provide the assurance that this is a race we cannot and are not called to engaged in alone.

"Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God." (pp. 21-2)
"Only as we ac
Gary B
Dec 08, 2015 Gary B rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
A little ambivalent about this. Jerry does seem to wobble around the mechanics of holiness, and never seems to come to grips with the Holy Spirit's role in holiness. He makes some good, helpful observations.

I found the book jumped around somewhat - with the first half of the book somewhat distinct to the second half. It's almost if the first half is the theory and the second half is the practical, but it's not that clear-cut.

I know this book is popular, and it no-doubt appeals strongly to the re
Todd Benkert
Sep 03, 2015 Todd Benkert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 01, 2015 Stan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 18, 2014 Leona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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  • Holiness
  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
  • Future Grace
  • Chosen By God: Know God's Perfect Plan for His Glory and His Children
  • The Cross-Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing
  • The Mortification of Sin
  • Quest for Godliness
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
  • The Religious Affections
  • Basic Christianity
  • The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction
  • Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
  • Slave: The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ
  • The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
  • The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
JERRY BRIDGES was an author and conference speaker. His most popular book, The Pursuit of Holiness, has sold over one million copies. Jerry was been on the staff of The Navigators for over fifty years, and currently served in the Collegiate Mission where he was involved primarily in staff development, but also served as a speaker resource to the campus ministries.
More about Jerry Bridges...

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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.” 47 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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