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The Pursuit of Holiness

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  16,487 ratings  ·  367 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 ab
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 (Gutierrez) Myers

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
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
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.
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
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
SO THIS WAS GREAT. Not nearly as eye-opening as Respectable Sins, but still a fantastic read! I honestly just love Jerry Bridge's style so much. He writes in a way that's smooth and easy to read/understand. He doesn't try and use flowery language or big words to try and impress readers- he's straightforward, honest, and down-to-earth.

I also really like how he can walk fine lines and deal with issues in sensitive, heartfelt ways. He uses examples from his own life, which is something I LOOOVE in
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.
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
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.
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 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
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.
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
Peter N.
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
Ty Lukasiewicz
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jerry bridges writes a good one here. I enjoyed the pursuit of holiness. It reminded me of the mortification of sin by John Owen except this ones a little easier to read due to his more modern English writing style.

Jerry bridges encourages Christians to pursue Godliness and holiness. He talks about habits and how to stop them or keep them if they are good ones. Writes about how Christians should act by giving us examples of how Christ acted.

Good one recommend!
Good, quick read on how we really need to take seriously the pursuit of holiness. Is our goal to not sin much, or to not sin at all? I like how he gives examples of people who lived faithful lives and recommends studying them to continue to be encouraged to pursue a holy life. Nothing wowing, but a good, encouraging listen.
Emily Perrine
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bridges speaks of the synergism in practical Christian holiness. He writes of the command of holiness in regard to every area of our lives. The most practical book I’ve read in how we are to be conformed to the image of Christ.
Rachel Yoder
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A work written both from theology and the heart. It's in my top three favorite books. I definitely recommend every Believer read it for the exhortation and teaching and freedom that it reminds us that we have found in Christ.
Kelly Burtrand
highly recommend
Mary Rose Relente
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
If you're looking for a book to understand more about the Holy Spirit and its gracious work in a Christian's life, this book is for you. Helped me a lot.
Jess Waters
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such a great book! Definitely one to read more than once as is jam-packed with key truths and wisdom for pursuing biblical holiness. Highly recommend! 👌
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"
Steven Colborne
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jerry Bridges is an American author who has written many books about the Christian walk with God. This particular title has sold more than 1,500,000 copies worldwide, and it’s easy to see why. The book is very appealing to the committed Christian due to it’s heavy reliance on scriptural references and the simple and engaging writing style of the author.

Throughout the book there are often scriptural references that are paraphrased with the Bible citation in brackets. I found it helpful to see the
Beth Peninger
Feb 03, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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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 Mortification of Sin
  • A 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 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.
“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.” 48 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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