A Better View of Sin and Holiness

“The Christian should never complain of want of ability and power. If we sin, it is because we choose to sin, not because we lack the ability to say no to temptation…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.”

– Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 84


  1. Thanks for this word today. I unfortunately look too much at why I’m so defeated rather than why I’m so disobedient when it comes to particular sins.

  2. Joe, I do the same thing.

    Isn’t it funny the words that we use for sin? I slipped up, messed up, didn’t realize, was fooled, was deceived, didn’t see that, didn’t understand, was defeated. All of these words lesson the word sin and excuse us from all responsibility of our disobedience.

    Earlier in my walk as a Christian, I thought that my actions would bring me closer to the Lord. (I would draw closer to the Lord) Now I realize that the more I confess my disobedience the closer He draws me near. (He draws me closer to Him) There is a difference, I’m not sure how to explain it.

  3. That’s true for all of us, I think. It’s much easier to make excuses then do the hard work of killing sin!

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