Tag Archives: J. C. Ryle

The Living Christ!

jc_ryle2I am afraid that many Christians in our day, have lost sight of Christ. They talk . . .

more about salvation — than about their only Savior,
and more about redemption — than the one true Redeemer,
and more about Christ’s work — than Christ Himself!

This is a great fault — one that accounts for the dry and shriveled spirit that infuses the religious lives of many who profess faith.

As ever you would grow in grace, and have joy and peace in believing — beware of falling into this error! Cease to regard the Gospel as a mere collection of dry doctrines. Look at it rather as the revelation of a mighty living Being in whose sight you are daily to live. Cease to regard the Gospel as a mere set of abstract propositions and abstruse principles and rules. Look at it as the introduction to a glorious personal Friend. This is the kind of Gospel that the apostles preached. They did not go about the world telling men of love and mercy and pardon in the abstract. The leading subject of all their sermons, was the loving heart of an actual living Christ!

This is the kind of Gospel which is most calculated to promote sanctification and fitness for glory. Nothing, surely, is so likely to prepare us for that Heaven where Christ’s personal presence will be all, and that glory where we shall meet Christ face to face — as to realize communion with Christ, as an actual living Person. There is all the difference in the world, between an idea and a person. (J.C. Ryle, “Holiness)

 We shall meet Christ face to face

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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What is the best safe-guard against false teaching?

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” — Romans 16:17, KJV

Dr. John MacArthurIdentifying and confronting false teachers is extremely unpopular today. But Scripture calls Christians to discern truth from error, providing guidelines for identifying and dealing with those who try to corrupt Christ’s church with false doctrine. John MacArthur elaborates on this in the following audio.

Governments recognize the necessity of protecting their citizens. The church should be even more vigilant against spiritual terrorists, especially in light of what’s at stake—people’s souls.

“What is the best safe-guard against false teaching? Beyond all doubt the regular study of the word of God, with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was given to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm. 119:105). The man who reads it aright will never be allowed greatly to err. It is neglect of the Bible which makes so many a prey to the first false teacher whom they hear. They would have us believe that “they are not learned, and do not pretend to have decided opinions.” The plain truth is that they are lazy and idle about reading the Bible, and do not like the trouble of thinking for themselves. Nothing supplies false prophets with followers so much as spiritual sloth under a cloak of humility.” J.C. Ryle Commentary, Matthew 7.

“The church should be even more vigilant
against spiritual terrorists, especially
in light of what’s at stake—people’s souls.”

People’s Souls

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Believers Security

Once enrolled in the lists of this Church, sinners are safe for eternity; they are never cast away. The election of God the Father, the continual intercession of God the Son, the daily renewing and sanctifying power of God the Holy Ghost, surround and fence them in like a garden enclosed. Not one bone of Christ’s mystical Body shall ever be broken; not one lamb of Christ’s flock shall ever be plucked out of His hand. J.C. Ryle

 

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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These Three Things

Holiness

J.C. Ryle Holiness

One thing essential to growth in grace is diligence in the use of private means of grace. By these I understand such means as a man must use by himself alone, and no one can use for him. I include under this head…

  1.  private prayer,
  2. private reading of the Scriptures,
  3. private meditation and self-examination.

The man who does not take pains about these three things must never expect to grow. Here are the roots of true Christianity. Wrong here, and a man is wrong all the way through.

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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By the Predetermined plan and Foreknowledge of God

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. Acts 2:22, 23

All Christ’s sufferings on the cross were foreordained. They did not come on Him by chance or accident: they were all planned, counseled, and determined from all eternity. The cross was foreseen in all the provisions of the everlasting Trinity, for the salvation of sinners. In the purposes of God the cross was set up from everlasting. Not one throb of pain did Jesus feel, not one precious drop of blood did Jesus shed, which had not been appointed long ago. Infinite wisdom planned that redemption should be by the cross. Infinite wisdom brought Jesus to the cross in due time.  He was crucified by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. (J.C. Ryle The Cross: A Call to the Fundamentals of Religion.)

“Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand” Isaiah 14: 24

According to an eternal counsel,
which could not be altered.
I have planned so it will stand

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Guard Your Thoughts and Heart

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. Mark 7:21-22
Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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True Sanctification

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; 1 Thessalonians 4:3

True sanctification does not consist in outward formalism and external devoutness. This is an enormous delusion, but unhappily a very common one. Thousands appear to imagine that true holiness is to be seen in an excessive quantity of bodily religion,–in constant attendance on Church services, reception of the Lords Supper, and observance of fasts and saints days,–in multiplied bowings and turnings and gestures and postures during public worship,–in self-imposed austerities and petty self-denials,–in wearing peculiar dresses, and the use of pictures and crosses. I freely admit that some people take up these things from conscientious motives, and actually believe that they help their souls. But I am afraid that in many cases this external religiousness is made a substitute for inward holiness; and I am quite certain that it falls utterly short of sanctification of heart. Above all, when I see that many followers of this outward, sensuous, and bodily style of Christianity are absorbed in worldliness, and plunge headlong into its pomps and vanities without shame, I feel that there is need of very plain speaking on the subject. There may be an immense amount of bodily service,ˇ while there is not a jot of real sanctification.  Taken from ARE WE SANCTIFIED? A Question for all Professing Christians. by J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

I love these words from John Newton “I am not what I might be, I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I wish to be, I am not what I hope to be. But I thank God I am not what I once was, and I can say with the great apostle, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

Paul goes on to say… I love this……..

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me. Philippians 2:12-18

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 


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The Cross of Christ and Foreknowledge of God

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know– this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. Acts 2:22-23

The KJB says “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:” Acts 2:23

This sound like to me that the holy trinity in heaven before foundations the world came together to sit on a counsel to predetermine a plan for human redemption and Christ was that plan and death was the cross, as Job says any plan and desire of God would be unstoppable and who can turn Him? He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. Job 23:13 Just as it says in Isaiah 14  “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand” Isaiah 14: 24

J.C. Ryle asks a great question, What do you think about the cross of Christ?

“All Christ’s sufferings on the cross were foreordained. They did not come on Him by chance or accident: they were all planned, counseled, and determined from all eternity. The cross was foreseen in all the provisions of the everlasting Trinity, for the salvation of sinners. In the purposes of God the cross was set up from everlasting. Not one throb of pain did Jesus feel, not one precious drop of blood did Jesus shed, which had not been appointed long ago. Infinite wisdom planned that redemption should be by the cross. Infinite wisdom brought Jesus to the cross in due time. He was crucified by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.”

“If Christ had not gone to the cross and suffered in our stead, the just for the unjust, there would not have been a spark of hope for us. There would have been a mighty gulf between ourselves and God, which no man ever could have passed.”

“This is no mere question of controversy; this is not one of those points on which men may agree to differ, and feel that differences will not shut them out of heaven. A man must be right on this subject, or he is lost forever. Heaven or hell, happiness or misery, life or death, blessing or cursing in the last day – all hinges on the answer to this question: “What do you think about the cross of Christ?” (Quotes taken from J.C. Ryle The Cross: A Call to the Fundamentals of Religion.)

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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The Word of God calls it “Repentance”

We talked about bearing fruit of repentance in yesterdays post… Where John the Baptist says “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance” Luke 3:8. John the Baptist message was one of repentance, as was Peter’s, Paul’s and our Lord Jesus Christ message.

I found this sermon from J. C. Ryle called “Repentance” Here’s an excerpt of it…. “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3

Let us see that we set down our feet firmly on this point. The importance of the inquiry cannot be overrated. Repentance is one of the foundation-stones of Christianity. Sixty times, at least, we find repentance spoken of in the New Testament. What was the first doctrine our Lord Jesus Christ preached? We are told that He said, “Repent, and believe the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15.) What did the Apostles proclaim when the Lord sent them forth the first time? They “preached that people should repent.” (Mark 6:12.) What was the charge which Jesus gave His disciples when He left the world? That “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations.” (Luke 24:47.) What was the concluding appeal of the first sermons which Peter preached? “Repent, and be baptized.” “Repent you, and be converted.” (Acts 2:38; 3:19.) What was the summary of doctrine which Paul gave to the Ephesian elders, when he parted from them? He told them that he had taught them publicly, and from house to house, “testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21.) What was the description which Paul gave of his own ministry, when he made his defense before Festus and Agrippa? He told them that he had taught all people that they should “repent, and do works fit for repentance.” (Acts 26:20.) What was the account given by the believers at Jerusalem of the conversion of the Gentiles? When they heard of it they said, “Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:18.)

Repentance is a thorough change of man’s natural heart, upon the subject of sin. We are all born in sin. We naturally love sin. We take to sin, as soon as we can act and think—just as the bird takes to flying, and the fish takes to swimming. There never was a child that required schooling or education in order to learn deceitfulness, selfishness, passion, self-will, gluttony, pride, and foolishness. These things are not picked up from bad companions, or gradually learned by a long course of tedious instruction. They spring up of themselves, even when boys and girls are brought up alone. The seeds of them are evidently the natural product of the heart. The aptitude of all children to these evil things is an unanswerable proof of the corruption and fall of man. Now when this heart of ours is changed by the Holy Spirit, when this natural love of sin is cast out, then takes place that change which the Word of God calls “repentance.” The man in whom the change is wrought is said to “repent.” He may be called, in one word, a “penitent” man.

But I dare not leave the subject here. It deserves a closer and more searching investigation. It is not safe to deal in general statements, when doctrines of this kind are handled. I will try to take repentance to pieces, and dissect and analyze it before your eyes. I will show you the parts and portions of which repentance is made up. I will endeavor to set before you something of the experience of every truly penitent man.

  • (a) True repentance begins with KNOWLEDGE of sin. The eyes of the penitent man are opened. He sees with dismay and confusion the length and breadth of God’s holy law, and the extent, the enormous extent, of his own transgressions. He discovers, to his surprise, that in thinking himself a “good sort of man,” and a man with a “good heart,” he has been under a huge delusion. He finds out that, in reality, he is wicked, and guilty, and corrupt, and evil in God’s sight. His pride breaks down. His high thoughts melt away. He sees that he is a great sinner. This is the first step in true repentance.
  • (b) True repentance goes on to work SORROW for sin. The heart of a penitent man is touched with deep remorse because of his past transgressions. He is cut to the heart to think that he should have lived so madly and so wickedly. He mourns over time wasted, over talents misspent, over God dishonored, over his own soul injured. The remembrance of these things is grievous to him. The burden of these things is sometimes almost intolerable, When a man so sorrows, you have the second step in true repentance.
  • (c) True repentance proceeds, further, to produce CONFESSION of sin. The tongue of a penitent man is loosed. He feels he must speak to that God against whom he has sinned. Something within him tells him he must cry to God, and pray to God, and talk with God, about the state of his own soul. He must pour out his heart, and acknowledge his iniquities, at the throne of grace. They are a heavy burden within him, and he can no longer keep silence. He can keep nothing back. He will not hide anything. He goes before God, pleading nothing for himself, and willing to say, “I have sinned against heaven and before You—my iniquity is great. God be merciful to me, a sinner!” When a man goes thus to God in confession, you have the third step in true repentance.
  • (d) True repentance, furthermore, shows itself in a thorough BREAKING OFF from sin. The life of a penitent man is altered. The course of his daily conduct is entirely changed. A new King reigns within his heart. He puts off the old man. What God commands he now desires to practice; and what God forbids he now desires to avoid. He strives in all ways to keep clear of sin, to fight with sin, to war with sin, to get the victory over sin. He ceases to do evil. He learns to do well. He breaks off sharply from bad ways and bad companions. He labors, however feebly, to live a new life. When a man does this, you have the fourth step in true repentance.
  • (e) True repentance, in the last place, shows itself by producing in the heart a settled habit of deep HATRED of all sin. The mind of a penitent man becomes a mind habitually holy. He abhors that which is evil, and cleaves to that which is good. He delights in the law of God. He comes short of his own desires not unfrequently. He finds in himself an evil principle warring against the spirit of God. He finds himself cold when he would be hot; backward when he would be forward; heavy when he would be lively in God’s service. He is deeply conscious of his own infirmities. He groans under a sense of indwelling corruption. But still, for all that, the general bias of his heart is towards God, and away from evil. He can say with David, “I count all Your precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way.” (Psalm. 119:128.) When a man can say this, you have the fifth, or crowning step, of true repentance. (from REPENTANCE by J. C. Ryle)

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

 

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I Ask The Children

“I ask the children of religious parents to mark well what I am saying. It is the highest privilege to be the child of a godly father and mother, and to be brought up in the midst of many prayers. It is a blessed thing indeed to be taught the gospel from our earliest infancy, and to hear of sin, and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and holiness, and heaven, from the first moment we can remember anything. But, oh, take heed that you do not remain barren and unfruitful in the sunshine of all these privileges: beware lest your heart remains hard, impenitent, and worldly, notwithstanding the many advantages you enjoy. You cannot enter the kingdom of God on the credit of your parents’ religion. You must eat the bread of life for yourself, and have the witness of the Spirit in your own heart. You must have repentance of your own, faith of your own, and sanctification of your own.” (J.C. Ryle Holiness)

Soli Deo Gloria

Lenny

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