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The Pursuit of Holiness

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  18,951 ratings  ·  460 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 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 accept responsibility for ourse ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by NavPress (first published 1978)
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Natalie Vellacott
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
"The pursuit of holiness is a joint venture between God and the Christian. 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."

I love Jerry Bridges books. They are simple, down to earth and practical, yet they also convict and challenge. A book like this is the solid alternative to books like Desiring God by John Piper. Instead of focusing on how to manipulate our affections to feel certain things
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 Myers
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it

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
Elsa K
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow is about all I can say. I have read this book before, but this time I was so slow going through it. My stage of life is so different and I find it hard to read 'theologically deep' books with the little ones running around and feeling exhausted at the end of the day. I could only seem to read it when I was at a coffee shop away and I could actually think through what I was reading. This is the type of book I could probably read a hundred times and continue to get something from. It isn't a h ...more
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Chapters are short which makes it very readable. I'm encouraged, convicted, and refreshed in my personal pursuit of holiness. I perfer JC Ryles Holiness but this is a great book!
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was originally written in 1978, about a year before I became a Christian. I'm kind of sad that I didn't know about Jerry Bridges at that time - before I developed bad habits that have been difficult to overcome. Coming from basically a non-Christian home, I can't help wondering whether I would be a more faithful person now if I'd had his helpful, practical advice at that time. He's right up there with Elisabeth Elliot for telling it like it is. At one point, he suggests that in additio ...more
Josh Morgan
Dec 20, 2010 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
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
Ellen Trautner
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can't believe I've never read this before! What kind of Navigator am I? Of course I loved it. It's practical, it's convicting, it's uplifting, and it's something to read again and again. I loved his point about it takes just as much faith to be obedient as it does to claim promises. Sometimes I want to skip straight to the "victory" over something, sin, etc, and I forget that it's more about the daily steps of obedience.

I've read several books by Jerry Bridges, and I've heard him speak in per
Daniel Ogweno
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sarah Marie
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars. This book really pushed me and forced me to evaluate my relationship with God. For that reason alone, this book is worth all the stars. Review to come.
Rachel Svendsen
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lovely and encouraging book about the steps and effort on our part that it takes to pursue holiness. There were parts of it that I found very convicting. And his biblical guidance on fighting the sins that hold the most power over us was very useful.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Joshua Rodriguez
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Great book that clearly explains how to live out a holy life in a practical daily way. The book clears up a lot of myths about sanctification and shows how we have personal responsibility in our holiness. Discipline is key, and having a plan to obey God and sticking to that plan will help the Christian to grow in personal holiness. God rewards obedience and discipline and He will enable and empower us to overcome sin and disobedience.
Rick Davis
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bible-theology
A good, solid book on holiness. It may have been slightly imbalanced. There was plenty of " out your own salvation with fear and trembling..." but maybe not enough of "...for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" if that makes sense.
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Welp, anyone need a tv? So convicting. Going to take my being disciplined to stop watching romantic comedies and listening to radio edited versions of songs from my pre-conversion days. As for me, those things lead to a struggle to be content in my singleness, to maintain faith in God's will/plan/timing, and maintain purity in my heart. I become tempted to seek my own means to end my singleness and it never works out well to even toy with that. The pursuit of holiness requires my commitment to o ...more
John Uit
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best ground level books on sanctification out there. This book is life changing. It helped to reconcile some of the “what is up to God” and “what is up to me” controversy in my mind. Highly recommend!
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. Very thought-provoking with clear steps for immediate application in one's life. I'll return to this one for years to come.

Side note: This book is a nice companion read to John Owen's "Temptations" as they essential deal with the same topic.
Jessie Moon
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Bridges writing style. He is able to be biblically solid, clear and concise for Christians of all stages/ages, and practical. Overall, it was very convicting but also encouraging.
C.H. Cobb
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have read this book many, many times. It is one of those timeless classics believers frequently turn to. Excellent book.
Feb 02, 2014 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 rated it it was amazing
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 an
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
Started going through this in discipleship in January of 2017, and finished in December of 2017! 12 amazing easy to chapters about walking in holiness. Jerry Bridges is a great author and always came back to Scripture to support all of his statements. This book covered all about walking in holiness, walking in the world, growing closer to God, how we are to become holy, and so much more. So thankful I was able to go through this book with Mrs. Clark and Penny! <3 ...more
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is so wonderful! I’ve read it three times, and every time it’s so enlightening. If you are looking to grow spiritually, I highly recommend this book!
Becky Baylous
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and thoroughly supported by heaps of Scripture. Slow is the way to go with this book.

"A book by Jerry Bridges"
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
What I valued about this book was its practicality. Bridges not only defines holiness but offers methods to actually develop it. It's a solid tool both for new believers and for those who, like me, have been walking a long time and have gotten burnt out on the narrow road.

From a readability aspect, the book could benefit from some editing and the use of choice headers to break up the text. I also wish that the final chapter—the one that touches on joy—were nearer the beginning. The goal in explo
Ryan Hawkins
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An overall solid, enjoyable, clear, convicting, encouraging book on holiness. Each chapter is succinct and clear. It isn’t the deepest nor most creative book, but that’s totally okay. He accomplishes what he sets out to do exceptionally well—which is why I think it’s become a classic. There’s no book or teaching on holiness I would give someone interested in the subject. It’s so well organized and biblically supported. No fluff, but also very readable and applicable.

I read it in college and two
Peter Jones
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book on Christian holiness. Avoids both being too general to be any good and being so specific that it becomes legalism. Bridges book is quite the contrast to much current teaching on sanctification. He is clear and plain and therefore he hits the target, unlike many today whose teaching is like a soft nerf bullet. He does not qualify things to death constantly saying things like, "Well I don't mean that." He says simply we must be holy. We must lead righteous lives. He does not talk ...more
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JERRY BRIDGES was an author and conference speaker. His most popular book, The Pursuit of Holiness, has sold over one million copies. Jerry was 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.

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November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
43 likes · 11 comments
“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.” 52 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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