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The Pursuit of Holiness

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  21,563 ratings  ·  554 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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Average rating 4.32  · 
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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
Sep 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A quick read...but a great one!
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! ...more
Susy C. *MotherLambReads*
“Holiness is not a series of do’s and don’ts, but conformity to the character of God and obedience to the will of God.”

Why have I not picked up this book sooner? I always thought it was a legalistic view and a set of rules of do and don’t to be holy. But instead it was an encouraging and challenging look at God’s holiness. And because of His character and our disgust of sin this pushes us to seek holiness and separation from sin.

“In all of our thoughts, all of our actions, in every part of our
Carissa Carns
Mar 14, 2022 rated it it was amazing
My first time reading and I can't believe I waited so long. This is a great book. Very convicting, easy to read, and timelessly applicable.

"God wants us to walk in obedience—not victory. Obedience is oriented toward God; victory is oriented toward self."

“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 obedi
Daniel O.
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.
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 (http://jacobscafe.blogspot.com/2010/1...).

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
Brandon Miller
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun-theology
I guess after all they hype and the way people talk about this book I expected it to be totally revolutionary and life changing. But it wasn't? It had some really good points. It was solidly based in the bible. For the most part it was an interesting read. I guess it's a pretty solid four stars all things considered. Will probably swing back through it sometime in the years to come because it's full of good reminders. ...more
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
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
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challies-2022
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
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.
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.
ValeReads Kyriosity
I don't always agree with Bridges in the details, but he's sturdy when it comes to the basics. The big takeaway for me in this one was the reminder that hating my failures in fighting sin is not as important as hating to offend God's holiness.

Reader was fine.
Aug 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
great stuff
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
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
David Blynov
Oct 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This short book systematically explores what it means to be sanctified and to live a holy life. Recommend to anyone who is seeking "victory" in their Christian walk.


"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." (Pg. xi)

"To be holy is to be morally blameless. It is to be seperated from sin and, therefore, consecrated
Hunter Smith
Summary: “ In the process of holiness we have just as much responsibility in our pursuit with holiness. This is not a one way street and we are not off the hook to allow God to do all the work.”

I was going to wait to publish this one because I wanted to do a awesome review but needed to mention it before the new year. I was skeptical this wasn’t going to be good because he is with a parachurch ministry and thought it was going to be too general but there was a lot of good in this book. It got me
Pat Lane
Apr 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Pursuing holiness is not a choice. We are told often in scripture to do so and also told why; because He is holy. This book is not a how-to or a checklist but a needed reminder that we must pursue holiness if we are God’s children. Bridges says “We must correct, mold, and train our moral character“ just as an athlete trains. And God has given us everything we need to pursue holiness in His word. “It is hypocritical to pray for victory over our sins yet be careless in our intake of the Word of Go ...more
Emily Schoeffler
Mar 11, 2022 rated it really liked it
A great resource for the Christian pursuit of holiness! I learned a lot and was challenged in many ways, but I am thankful to have a solid understanding of the gospel before reading this. I wish the last chapter - The Joy of Holiness - came at the beginning of the book because I frequently had to check my heart seeing things as a checklist for my legalistic tendencies.

Overall a great book that led me to worship God through a renewed view of holiness.
John Uit de Flesch
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.
Zach Scheller
Apr 04, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2022-books
Simultaneously convicted and inspired. I know some have had issues with the emphasis of this book, and I don’t think it should be taken without a strong understanding of the gospel. But man; it felt life-changing.
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.
Morgan Hosch
Mar 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Wow…needed this book!!!
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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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18 likes · 3 comments
“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.”
“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.” 50 likes
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