The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
The Pharisee
in Luke 18:

 

One of the most difficult defilements of spirit to deal with is the critical spirit.  A critical spirit has its root in pride.  Because of the plank of pride in our own eye we are not capable of dealing with the speck of need in someone else.  

•Resolved, never to do anything that I would be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.  Jonathan Edwards

•Discipline: training that corrects, molds or perfects our mental faculties or moral character.

•Holiness begins in our minds and works out to our actions.  This being true, what we allow to enter our mind is critically important.

•One of the most difficult defilements of spirit to deal with is the critical spirit.  A critical spirit has its root in pride.  Because of the plank of pride in our own eye we are not capable of dealing with the speck of need in someone else.  We are often like the Pharisee who, completely unconscious of his own need, prayed, God, I thank you that I am not like other men (Luke 18:11).  We are quick to seeand to speak ofthe faults of others, but slow to see our own needs.  How sweetly we relish the opportunity to speak critically of someone elseeven when we are unsure of our facts.  We forget that a man who stirs up dissension among brothers by criticizing one to another is one of the six things which the Lord hates. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

•The more we sin the more we are inclined to sin.  Every sin we commit reinforces the habit of sinning and makes it easier to sin.

•Habits are the thought and emotional patterns engraved on our minds.

RETURN TO MAIN

•Hebrews 12:14: Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy, without holiness no one will see God.

•God has called every Christian to a holy life.  There are no exceptions to this call.

•Many Christians have what we might call a cultural holiness.  They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them.  As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy.  But God has not called us to be like those around us.  He has called us to be like himself.  Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God.

•Biblical evidence indicates that God may judge the sins of His saints more severely than those of the world.

•Does our salvation in the final analysis depend to some degree on our attaining some level of personal holiness?

•The only safe evidence that we are in Christ is a holy life.

•Introspection can easily become the tool of Satan, who is called the accuser.  One of his chief weapons is discouragement.  He knows that if he can make us discouraged and dispirited we will not fight the battle for holiness.

•Holiness is not a series of dos and donts but conformity to the character of Christ and obedience to the will of God.  Accepting with contentment whatever circumstances God allows for me is very much a part of a holy walk.

•Form the habit of continually realizing that we are dead to sin and alive to God.

•One of Satans most powerful weapons is making us spiritually blindunable to see our own sinful character.

•As we grow in the Christian life we face increasing danger of spiritual pride.  We know the correct doctrines, the right methods and proper dos and donts.  But we may not see the poverty of own spiritual character.  We may not see our critical and unforgiving spirit, our habit of backbiting, or our tendency to judge others.