Chapter 8 Jerry Bridges’s The Pursuit of Holiness is entitled “Obedience—Not Victory.” It is short, but good. The quote here is longer than the ones I usually post, but I think it is worth it.
It is time for us Christians to face up to our responsibility for holiness. Too often we say we are “defeated” by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated; we are simply disobedient! It might be well if we stopped 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 have chosen to entertain lustful thoughts, or to harbor resentment, or to shade the truth a little. (pp. 80, 81, 1996 edition)
Do you think this distinction in terminology makes a difference? Do you agree with Bridges about the implications involved in using the terms “defeat” and “victory”? Please share!
I don’t know how regular this feature will be, but I thought I’d share some quotes from the books I’m reading. I present these with the understanding that I do not necessarily endorse all of an author’s positions in this particular book or in his/her writing in general. These are quotes which I found interesting, provocative, well-written, or worthy of sharing in some other way.
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