51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 1997
I meant to read this book for several years before I actually got around to it. I can't believe I waited--it's one of the best Christian books I have read. Many Christian books encourage us to be godly, but they don't tell us how. Most of us know we should be joyful, for instance, but we don't know how to develop joy. We can try to act joyful on the outside, but unless it's from the heart, it is empty. This book takes a practical approach to developing godliness in our lives.
Jerry Bridges defines godliness as "devotion to God which results in a life that is pleasing to him." The first several chapters deal with the devotion. Bridges emphasizes the necessity of a proper motivation, and what's more, he explains some ways in which we can develop that motivation. To me, it was a completely new way of looking at things. In the remainder of the book, Bridges focuses each chapter on one or two godly traits, such as humility, joy, thanksgiving, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, self-control, and love. Bridges uses scripture to explore the traits and how we can develop them. I have read much about these traits in the past--what amazed me about this book was the practical guidance for developing them. For instance, Bridges includes many scripture passages we can meditate on and pray through to help us understand certain godly traits and grow in those areas. He also discusses our responsibility vs. God's responsibility for the development of godliness in our lives.
This book gave me a lot to think about and a new perspective on some incredibly important things. I think this book should be recommended reading for every Christian. A very good study guide is also available to supplement the book.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 1999
This book is the follow-up to The Pursuit of Holiness, which deals with putting of the old-self. Here, in The Practice of Godliness, the reader sees what Godly virtues a Christian must live and exemplify and how to incorporate them into practical daily living. Upon completion of both books, I was completely broken down and made anew through God. God used Jerry Bridges as the instrument to mold me towards the Christian I must strive to be.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2000
So says the first words of the back cover. And indeed, this book will do everything but force you to become godly. This part is going to be left up to you. The Bible says that the fruit of the spirit are obvious, and so it ought to be. Yet sometimes, in the American society at least, it has become most difficult to keep a Christian witness and remain devoted to God. And so often the joy of Christian living is lost as we enmesh ourselves in the everyday routines of our everyday wrolds. It need not be, and Bridges does a wonderful job covering some of the virtues of the victorious Chrstian life. My suggestion is to get the workbook, get together with several other Christians, and treat this as a Bible study. It makes for wonderful discussions, as I can attest as a Sunday School teacher of adults. This is a book well worth the read.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2000
I don't often give five stars, but Jerry Bridges deserves each one. His writing is simple, straightforward, biblical, and practical. I have been using "The Practice of Godliness" in my mentoring ministry for years. One thing I appreciate about this book is that it really is a Bible study. He uses his writing to illustrate, but the focus is digging into God's word. Whether you are studying by yourself or working with someone else, this is an excellent book!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 1998
What is godliness? This is an excellent discussion of the character of God and how we can learn to display those characteristics. It begins with a discussion of devotion -- developing God-centeredness. Then it delves into the action of character building, with chapters on humility, contentment, thankfulness, joy, holiness, self-control, faithfulness, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness & goodness, and love. It also has a great workbook, which can be adapted for a Bible Study group.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2005
I was encouraged to find a book on spiritual growth that gets it right! Mr. Bridges' concepts rely very strongly on the work of the Holy Spirit to bring about success. He also encourages the reader to look up passages in Scripture that he refers to in the book by often only providing book, chapter and verse referances (without providing every passage word-for-word in his book).
I'm currently reading his earlier book titled "The Pursuit of Holiness". So far, it isn't quite as good as this one. Some of it comes off as a little legalistic, but there are a lot of good points in it as well. Mr. Bridges obviously matured between his writing of "Pursuit..." and "The Practice of Godliness". If you desire to live your life in a way that is pleasing to God, and want some outstanding pointers, read this book!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2007
I purchased this study guide for our young couples Bible study at my church. I was apprehensive because a lot of study guides don't have good discussion questions. I was pleasantly surprised. The study guide has excellent questions for personal growth and also for group discussion. It also ties in very nicely with the corresponding book.
This is the best study guide I have ever used.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2010
In this follow up book to The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges speaks to the area of sanctification in the life of the believer. While sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit, the believer needs to develop particular practices in their pursuit of Christ likeness and it is their responsibility to do so, it is never forced by God.
Many Christians today have at best a shallow understanding of living the Christian life. Too often salvation is a `decision' made at a point in time past and that is about the extent of their `spiritual understanding' and there is little or no growth. The genuine believer, however, will grow and develop certain characteristics. It is to this area of life that Jerry Bridges writes about.
After discussing our motivation, the remainder of the books looks at some of the characteristics the believer will have in their practice of godliness: humility, joy, thanksgiving, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, self-control, and love. Using Galatians 5:22, 23 and other passages, The Practice of Godliness brings together the role of God and the role of the believer in a great and understandable way.
This book was challenging and convicting, and I would definitely recommend this book to those who have a desire to develop these qualities in their life. Not only that, it is a book that I will re-read many times.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2007
This book I think God (Holy Spirit) pointed to me in the used book store. It describes the different characteristics of being like God , and how to emulate Him. It takes no short cuts or easy routes, and lays down the difficulties that we (as sinners) all have in measuring up, but only through prayer, practice and the power of the risen Christ can we get there. The many passages from the Bible are used well thoughout.
'Make every effort to live in peace with all men.' (Hebrews 12:14)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2012
Over the past year or so, I have been on a Jerry Bridges kick. He writes in an understandable, practical way sharing examples from his own life and the life of others to highlight biblical truths. For Christmas, my wife bought me 4 Jerry Bridges books and the first one that I chose was The Practice of Godliness (1996).
This book was essentially an exposition on the fruits of the spirit. In his preface (p. 9), he wrote "The Pursuit of Holiness (another excellent book) dealt largely with putting off the old self--dealing with the sin in our lives. The Practice of Godliness focuses on putting on the new self--growing in Christian Character." It seems to me that so many of Bridges work well together, building a strong structure by focusing on different elements of the Christian faith.
Bridges grounds the establishment of several elements of character in devotion to God, which consists of three aspects: the fear of God, the love of God, and the desire for God. He also talks about the importance of "training yourself to be godly" (1 Tim 4:7 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ), but as is characteristic of him, he balances this pursuit of godliness with a deep understanding of grace. It seems to me that it is so often characteristic of modern theology to either completely set aside any striving for holiness or make a pursuit of holiness a necessary requisite of salvation. Bridges always seems to get the balance close to right.
The later half of the book focuses on elements of Christian character: humility, contentment, thankfulness, joy, holiness, self-control, faithfulness, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness & goodness, and love. For each of these, he discusses their biblical importance and then suggests ways in which to grow in each element.
I would happily suggest this book. Feel free to read it along with: The Pursuit of Holiness, Transforming Grace, the Transforming Power of the Gospel, The Discipline of Grace...really any of Bridges's books.
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