Category Archives: Jerry Bridges

Occupy Entitlement and the Pursuit of Holiness

This morning as I was clearing out my overnight emails, and preparing to attend my regular Wednesday morning bible study on the pursuit of holiness, I encountered an email which had been passed along to me from a dear brother in Christ. The email only contained a five minute video called “Three and a Half Days“. The video is about how someone would deal with what is going on with the protesters who are protesting under the now popular heading of “Occupy Wall Street”. After taking the time to view it, I was prompted to think about how Christ would have us think about entitlements. This subject will be raised again in my mind during our morning bible study.

In our morning bible study we are reading and discussing through the book “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges. This week the discussion was over chapter 13, “Holiness and Our Wills”. One of the points from the chapter we discussed is that as believers in Christ we are to submit to the will of God. In order to do this it is important to understand how our will functions. There are two factors that carry huge weight in our will. These are our mind, and our emotions. The mind reasons, discerns, and makes a judgement. Our emotions bubble up with our personal likes and dislikes. These two factors help to determine our will. To choose or refuse to act in line with God’s will.

These faculties were implanted in man’s soul by God, but were corrupted through man’s fall and sin. Our reason (or understanding) was darkened (Ephesians 4:17-18); our desires were corrupted (Ephesians 2:1-3); and our wills diverted (John 5:39-40).  Therefore, it is incumbent upon the believer to renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2), set our affections (desires) on things above (Colossians 3:1-2) and to submit our wills to God (James 4:7). (* citation below)

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The Weeds of Anger

During our adult bible study on Sunday mornings we are reading through a book by Jerry Bridges callrespectable-sinsRespectable Sins – Confronting the Sins We Tolerate“. This week we looked at the sin of anger. Very often we tend to tolerate this sin because we believe anger is justified in many cases and in certain situations. Although the bible does provide some examples of righteous anger, the main focus of teaching is on our sinful anger, and our sinful reactions to other people’s actions or words.

Today we looked at the chapter in the Bridges book titled “Weeds of Anger”. One of the first things Bridges points out is the scripture we have all used to provide justification for our anger. You know the verse in Ephesians 4:26:

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.

According to Bridges, the apostle Paul is not granting us permission to be angry, let alone commanding it, as the imperative mood might suggest. Rather, Paul takes for granted that we will become angry, and he is telling us how to handle it. Basically Paul is saying “Don’t hold on to your anger. Get over it quickly.” As Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show liked to say “Nip it in the bud.”

Also in this chapter, Bridges leads the reader to look at some of the long term results of anger, what he calls “weeds of anger.” He chooses the term weeds because it emphasizes something we dislike that takes root and is often difficult to get rid of. Bridges discusses five noxious weeds that spring up from unresolved anger. The fives weeds are:

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