Jerry Bridges entered into the joy of his Master this Sunday evening, March 6, 2016. He was 86 years old. [Gospel Coalition Link] In the early 1960s Jerry served for three years in Europe as administrative assistant to the Navigators’ Europe Director. In 1963, at the age of 34, he married his first wife, Eleanor Miller of The Navigators following a long-distance relationship. Two children followed: Kathy in 1966, and Dan in 1967. From 1965 to 1969 Jerry served as office manager for The Navigators’ headquarters office at Glen Eyrie. From 1969 to 1979 Jerry served as the Secretary-Treasurer for The Navigators. It was during this time that NavPress was founded in 1975. Their first publications began by transcribing and editing audio material from their tape archives and turning them into booklets. They produced one by Jerry on Willpower. Leroy Eims—who started the Collegiate ministry—encouraged Jerry to try his hand at writing new material. Jerry had been teaching at conferences on holiness, so he suggested a book along those lines. In 1978, NavPress published The Pursuit of Holiness, which has now sold over a million copies. Jerry assumed it would be his only book. A couple of years later, after reading about putting off the old self and putting on the new self from Ephesians 4, he decided to write The Practice of Godliness -- on developing a Christlike character. That book went on to sell over a half a million copies. Lessons In 2014, Jerry published a memoir of his life, tracing the providential hand of God through his own story: God Took Me by the Hand: A Story of God’s Unusual Providence (NavPress, 2014). He closes the work with seven spiritual lessons he learned in his six decades of the Christian life: The Bible is meant to be applied to specific life situations. All who trust in Christ as Savior are united to Him in a loving way just as the branches are united to the vine. The pursuit of holiness and godly character is neither by self-effort nor simply letting Christ “live His life through you.” The sudden understanding of the doctrine of election was a watershed event for me that significantly affected my entire Christian life. The representative union of Christ and the believer means that all that Christ did in both His perfect obedience and His death for our sins is credited to us. The gospel is not just for unbelievers in their coming to Christ. We are dependent on the Holy Spirit to apply the life of Christ to our lives.