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The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges (Ch. 11-14)

Reading the Christian classic from the Navigators and taking notes for a presentation...thought I would capture them here.

Chapter 11


True holiness includes control over our physical bodies and appetites. If we are to pursue holiness we must recognize that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that we are to glorify God with them.

Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges (page 85)

Are bodies were gifts from God, as are our five sense and our appetites and needs. However, in this fallen state, we have to decide if we use these as instruments of righteousness or instruments of wickedness. (Romans 6:12-13)

I beseech you therefore, my brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Romans 12:1 (notice this is dependence and obedience)

Greed is idolatry (Colossians 3:5)

Our bodies should be our servants, not our masters.

"...make no provision for the flesh , to fulfill its lusts." (Romans 13:14)

All of this physical holiness requires a combination of dependence on the Holy Spirit and the choice to walk in obedience.

I John 2:16: For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

I Corinthians 6:19-20


Chapter 12: Holiness in the Spirit

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out a reverence for God.

II Corinthians 7:1

God knows our thoughts and they are important to Him. If I could turn on a microphone in your brain and heart and broadcast your thoughts and feelings to everyone else, how would you sound?

I would sound angry and judgey and discontented a lot of the time. What a shame. I could be choosing joy and forgiveness and grace; but instead often choose bitter ruminating...just me?

Moses taught the command "Do not kill."; but Jesus added, "Do not hate." Moses taught, "Do not commit adultery." Jesus added, "Do not look and lust in your heart."

God cares about your thought life. A lot. He knows, knows, knows you. Check out Psalms 139 for details on just how well He knows you.

We've all met people who have their outwardly lives "right", but they are a toxic cesspool inwardly. I had a grandmother who was in church every time the doors were open. She served and she was good at obeying all of the rules, except love. She was mean as a snake on the inside- racist and cold-hearted to those she looked down on.

We want credit for the rules we go by; the ones that come easy for us. But the ones that beset us...we hope no one sees, so it won't count. But we're fooling ourselves, right? He hears. He sees. And He expects us to take our thoughts captive as well as our actions.

Don't worry, this part is mostly just for me, ya'll are just getting to ear what God had for me this season. It was a tough spring and summer for me, multiple health problems combined with ongoing, uncomfortable work issues. And you want to know what the worst part was? It was taking everything I had just to do life. I had nothing left to spend on holding up my mask. The shiny, happy Christian mask. At 52 years old, I slammed car doors. Yes, doors, plural. I had physical altercations with the windy oxygen tubing I had to wear all day. And even now, I am so quick to lose my temper and snap, including one embarrassing episode in a Zoom meeting with 12 of my co-workers where I lost my mind and berated a co-worker for several minutes. And I still have a surgery ahead of me in September and whatever else God has for me this season.

It's humbling to have to admit that all of that anger and childish hissy-fit-ness was always there. Just hidden. But not hidden to God. And He loves me too much to leave me carrying all of that anger and fear and hurt under the surface.

He loves you so much He died for you, so that you could come to Him just as you are. But He also loves you too much to leave that way. He expects you to grow and change by the power of the Holy Spirit that He died in order for you to have Him.

Matthew West- It's been a hard season

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is.

Philippians 4:8

Holiness begins in our minds and works out in our actions.

You have a lot of control what enters your mind through your eyes and ears. and control over what you let stay on your mind.

And not just hate, anger, greed...but also those you might give yourself a "pass" on because they don't seem as serious: pride, envy, bitterness, and unresolved, unforgiven relationship...

What if, in the story of the prodigal son, the older brother had been the first to come across the returning man? The brother clearly had unforgiveness in his heart. You can tell he had meditated on his brother during the absence. Would he have done the will of his father? Likely no. Is there a prodigal in your life that consumes your thoughts? Would you do the will of your Father if you saw that person today?

Our thought life matters.

Imagine if I hadn't spend hundreds of hours criticizing, ruminating, defending, assaulting the prodigals in my life; but instead had taken control over those thoughts and used that energy to be about my Father's business. How much more purpose would I have accomplished?

I want that for myself going forward. To be free of my wasted mental energy and the actions that do or don't don't flow from that.

Is there anybody out there who feels the same? Willing to commit to a thought life like the father- watching the skyline with hope and faith, not looking into my past with judgment and a critical spirit, like the older brother?

And finally, on this topic. These thoughts keep us from holiness. Communion with our Lord. Fulfillment of our purpose. These are sins. Watering them down to anything less than that and the enemy has locked you in a trap.

Pray for the humility and honest for God to search your heart for these deceptively destructive sins; and then prayerfully lean on the Holy Spirit to guide you out of the bondage to them that Christ already died for.

Chapter 13: Holiness and Our Wills

For it is God who works in you to will and to do according to His good purpose.

Philippians 2:13

"It is the will that ultimately makes each individual choice of whether we will sin or obey." (page 99)

Our will can be influenced by many things positive and negative- thoughts, emotions, suggestions, evil and good, conviction of the Holy Spirit, our own nature, our own reasoning or conscience, and pour desires.

Therefore, we have a duty to guard what influence we allow.

Watch over your heart. Proverbs 4:23. We wouldn't have been told to do unless we were able to.

And remember, ladies, our emotions were a gift from God. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Don't let people shame you for having emotions and using your emotions in your decision-making. Having said that, He also gave you a mind to reason. Emotions should never stand alone as your sole reason for doing something. It can feel right and not be right. It can feel true and not be true. Feelings are such a strong motivator. You must rule over them, so they serve you and don't make you their master.

Chapter 14: Habits of Holiness

We were slaves to sin. Habits of wickedness.

Now we develop habits of righteousness. Habits of holiness.

You cannot "white knuckle" it on your own. You are dependent on the Holy Spirit. Set your mind on things above (Colossians 3)

Draw near to the Lord and He will draw near to you. James 4

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