In Chapter 8 (“Obedience—Not Victory”) of The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges discusses two ways of stripping sin of its vitality and strength. The first was conviction, and over the past two days we seen some quotes from Bridges on this point. The second ingredient Bridges advocates is commitment.
Jesus said, “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). We must honestly face the question, “Am I willing to give up a certain practice or habit that is keeping me from holiness?” It is at this point of commitment that most of us fail. We prefer to dally with sin, to try to play with it a little without getting too deeply involved.
We have the “just one more time” syndrome. We will take just one more lustful look, eat just one more rich dessert before starting our diet, watch just one more television program before sitting down to our Bible study. In all of this we are postponing the day of commitment, the day when we say to sin, “Enough!” (pp.91,92, 1996 edition)
Solomon tells us that the eyes of man are never satisfied (Proverbs 27:20). One more lustful look or one more piece of pie never satisfies. In fact, quite the opposite takes place. Every time we say yes to temptation, we make it harder to say no the next time. (p.92, 1996 edition)
Bridges’s caution about “dallying” with sin are particularly cutting to me. What about you? What has the relationship between commitment and holiness been like in your experience?
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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