And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

J C Ryle on Holiness

Quotes from J C Ryle in his book Holiness

As I spent many mornings over the past few months reading slowly through Holiness by J C Ryle I found myself challenged and insufficient. And I am grateful. Ryle has a way of exposing our heart in love. 111 years after his death, his writings are still relevant. I also add, they are timely. For he does not write of his own accord or opinion as so many flash in the pan writes do. He writes from scripture, applied to living by means of justification and sanctification, and that will never fail to be timely.

Many more quotes could and should be posted from this book. I however leave you with these.

Sanctifying faith is a grace of which the very life is action: it worketh by love and, like a mainspring, moves the whole inward man.

We are frequently told that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law, by St. Paul. But not once are we told that we are sanctified by faith without the deeds of the law.

What do such expressions as fast, gay, wild, unsteady, thoughtless, loose mean? They show that men try to cheat themselves into the belief that sin is not quite so sinful as God says it is, ant that they are not so bad as they really are.

People will never set their faces decidly toward Heaven and live like pilgrims, until they really feel that they are in danger of Hell.

Sanctification does not consist in the occasional performance of right actions. It is the habitual working of a new heavenly principal within, which runs through all a man’s daily conduct, both in great things and in small.

We must be holy, because this is the one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world.

In short, to talk to men of being saved from the guilt of sin, without being at the same time saved from its dominion in their hearts, is to contradict the witness of all scripture.

We Must be holy, because this is the only sound evidence that we have a saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

We must be holy, because this is the only proof that we love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.

God has said it and He will not go back: “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord”. The pope’s calendar, says Jenkyn, “only makes saints of the dead, but scripture requires sanctity in the living”.

Tell me not of your justification, unless you have also some marks of sanctification.

The child of God has two great marks about him, and of these two we have one. He may be known by his inward warfare, as well as by his inward peace.

My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles, who will now be my redeemer”.

He will not break any bruised reed, nor quench any smoking flax. He will never let it be said that any perished at the foot of the cross.

It is vain to suppose you will feel assured and persuaded of your own pardon and acceptance with God, unless you count all God’s commandments concerning all things to be right, and hate every sin, whether great or small.

The believer who follows the Lord most fully and aims at the highest degree of holiness will ordinarily enjoy the most assured hope and have the clearest persuasion of his own salvation.

It is an awful truth, and worthy of all consideration, that knowledge not acted upon, in God’s sight, in not merely useless and unprofitable. It is much worse than that. It will add to our condemnation and increase our guilt in the judgment day. A faith that does not influence a man’s practice is not worthy of the name.

Before we pass on, let us remember that a true Christian may have many a blemish, many a defect, many an infirmity, and yet be a true Christian nevertheless.

Beware of selling your Sabbath for the sake of a good place! Remember Esau’s mess of pottage. Beware of Lot’s choice.

You have only got to walk in Lot’s steps and make Lot’s choice, and you will soon come to Lot’s state of soul.

It is amazing to observe how readily people catch at the least excuse for misunderstandings the things that concern their souls!

It is a solemn warning, when we think of the person Jesus names. He does not bid us remember Abraham or Isaac or Jacob or Sarah of Hanna or Ruth. No, He singles out one whose soul was lost forever. He cries to us, “Remember Lot’s wife”.

Great privileges misused bring down great wrath on the soul.

But you are forgetting that the grand object of the gospel is to persuade men to “flee the wrath that is to come”, and that it is vain to expect men to flee unless they are afraid. Well it would be for many professing Christians if they were more afraid about their souls than they are now!

Do you ever try to do good to others? If you do, remember to tell them about Christ.

Great is the danger of him “that believeth not”, the danger of him that “loveth not” is equally great.

“.. if you do not love Christ, let me plainly tell what is the reason. You have no sense of debt to Him.

If Bible words mean anything, to be without the Spirit is to be without Christ.

But you may depend, there is no ignorance so common as so mischievous as ignorance of ourselves. Yes, men may know all arts and sciences and languages, and political economy and statecraft, and yet be miserably ignorant of their own hearts and their own state before God.

Like people afflicted with colorblindness, they are incapable of discerning what is true and what is false, what is sound and what is unsound. If a preacher of religion is only clever and eloquent and earnest, they appear to think he is all right, however strange and heterogeneous his sermons may be. They are destitute of spiritual sense, apparently, and cannot detect error.

But while we are thankful for the increase of public religion, we must never forget that, unless it is accompanied by private religion, it is of no real solid value, and may even produce most mischievous effects. Incessant running after sensational preachers, incessant attendance at hot crowded meetings, protracted to late hours, incessant craving after fresh excitement and highly spiced pulpit novelties- all this kind of thing is calculated to produce a very unhealthy style of Christianity and, in many cases I am afraid, the end is utter ruin of the soul. For, unhappily, those who make public religion everything are often led away by mere temporary emotions, after some grand display of ecclesiastical oratory, into professing far more than they really feel.

When great professors backslide in public, and the church is surprised and shocked, the truth is that they had long ago backslidden on their knees. They had neglected the throne of grace.

Take any commandment of the ten, and let us examine ourselves by it. We have broken it repeatedly.

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