Jerry Bridges has been one of the most influential writers on the topic of sanctification in this last generation. Here is a summary of one of his most-read books, The Practice of Godliness:
CHAPTER 1 — VALUE FOR ALL THINGS (1 Tim. 4:8)
• Devotion in Action: Enoch (Gen. 5:21-24)
• Focused on God — in three areas (the fear and love of God and the desire for God)
• Key thought: “The godly person is moral, benevolent, and zealous because of his devotion to God. And his life takes on a dimension that reflects the very stamp of God.” (p. 20)
CHAPTER 2 — DEVOTION TO GOD (Rev. 15:4)
• The God-fearing Christian fears God because he has a correct concept of God’s character, he has a pervasive sense of God’s presence, and a constant awareness of his obligation to God.
• Gripped by God’s love means no failure can cause us to doubt God’s love for us.
• A thirst for God is the culmination of godly fear and understanding God’s love.
• Key thought: “The practice of godliness is first of all the cultivation of a relationship with God, and from this the cultivation of a live that is pleasing to God. Our concept of God and our relationship with Him determine our conduct.” (p. 23)
CHAPTER 3 — TRAIN YOURSELF TO BE GODLY (1 Tim. 4:7)
• Principles for training: personal responsibility, keeping growth as the objective; maintaining the minimums.
The cost of commitment
Learning from a skilled teacher
Practice, and more practice
Using the word of God
• The nature of training
• Key thought: “It is possible to be very orthodox in one’s doctrine and very upright in one’s behavior and still not be godly. Many people are orthodox and upright, but they are not devoted to God; they are devoted to their orthodoxy and their standards of moral conduct.” (p. 45)