U R What U Read #2

Book #2: The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

Personal holiness. Those words in the Christian circuit have come to mean many things in this day and age. "Holier than thou" to some who've been judged. "Overrated" by those who've become comfortable with compromise. Irregardless of the semantics, Bridges does and exemplary job of reminding us of God's stance on this issue: "Be holy because I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16).

I read this book with my Sunday School classmates my junior year in undergrad, and the lessons I learned still challenge me daily. Here are a few:
  • Personal holiness isn't an option for the Christian. God demands it. More importantly, He empowers us to accomplish it as well.
  • We are personally responsible for our walk of holiness.
  • 3 reasons we struggle with holiness are: 1) Our attitude towards sin is more self-centered than God-centered; and 2) we have misunderstood "living by faith" to mean no effort on our part is required; and 3) we don't take sin seriously enough.
  • God, Himself, is holy. Because of this, He HATES sin. No matter how "small" it may be, God HATES sin.
  • We are made holy by Christ's sacrifice, therefore we are called to be holy in our daily lives. Our holiness comes solely from Christ, not from our own efforts.
  • One of Satan's most effective tactics is to turn the righteous conviction of the Holy Spirit into doubts. For example: "If you were truly a Christian you wouldn't struggle with ________ (insert sinful habit here). Remember than the Holy Spirit brings convictions to spur us on towards righteousness. Satan brings accusations that are meant to demoralize our walk of holiness.
  • Because of Christ, we are dead to sin. It's finished in us. Instead, we are now alive to God, united with Him Who strengthens us. Remembering this helps us keep sin from reigning in our mortal bodies.
  • Holiness doesn't happen overnight. It's a lifelong journey.

Scripture make it clear we have a personal responsibilty to live a holy life (see 1Peter 1:15-16). What steps have you taken in this journey? What helps you live obediantly to God?