Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Christ’s Compassion Toward Frail Sinners

Let us take comfort in the thought that the Lord Jesus does not cast off his believing people because of failures and imperfections. He knows what they are.

He takes them, as the husband takes the wife, with all their blemishes and defects, and once joined to Him by faith, will never leave them. He is a merciful and compassionate High Priest.
He knew what they were before conversion – wicked, guilty, and defiled; yet He loved them. He knows what they will be after conversion – weak, erring, and frail; yet He loves them. He has undertaken to save them, notwithstanding all their shortcomings, and what He has undertaken He will perform.
~ J.C. Ryle



Learning Contentment at the Foot of the Cross

Would I learn how to be contented and cheerful under all the cares and anxieties of life? What school shall I go to? How shall I attain this state of mind most easily? Shall I look at the sovereignty of God, the wisdom of God, the providence of God, the love of God?

It is well to do so; but I have a better argument still. I will look at Calvary and the crucifixion. I feel that He who spared not His only begotten Son but delivered Him up to die for me, will surely with Him give me all things that I really need. He that endured that pain for my soul, will surely not withhold from me anything that is really good. He that has done the greater things for me, will doubtless do the lesser things also. He that gave His own blood to procure me a home, will unquestionably supply me with all that is really profitable for me by the way. Ah, reader, there is no school for learning contentment that can be compared with Calvary and the foot of the cross.
~ J.C. Ryle




Train your Children or They Will Train Themselves

 If you want to train your children correctly, train them in the way they should go, and not in the way that they want to go.

Remember children are born with a definite bias towards evil, and therefore if you let them choose for themselves, they are certain to choose wrong.

The mother cannot tell what her tender little infant may grow up to be—tall or short, weak or strong, wise or foolish—he may be any of these things or not—it is all uncertain. But one thing the mother can say with certainty: he will have a corrupt and sinful heart. It is natural for us to do wrong. "Folly," says Solomon, "is bound up in the heart of a child" Proverbs 22:15. "A child left to himself disgraces his mother" Proverbs 29:15. Our hearts are like the earth on which we walk; leave it alone, and it is sure to bear weeds.

If, then, you want to be wise in dealing with your child, then you must not leave him to the guidance of his own will. Think for him, judge for him, act for him, just as you would for one who is weak and blind; but for pity's sake, do not allow him to pursue his own unruly tastes and inclinations. It must not be his tendencies and wishes that are favored. He does not yet know what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for his body. You do not let him decide what he will eat, and what he will drink, and how he will be clothed. Be consistent, and deal with his mind in the same manner. Train him in the way that is scriptural and right, and not in the way that he thinks is right.

If you cannot agree with this first principle of Christian training, then it is useless for you to listen any further. Self-will is almost the first thing that appears in a child's mind; and it must be your first step to resist it.

The book "The Duties of Parents" can be found here: J.C. Ryle



Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Christ’s Demonstration of Salvation

“There is one great work which the Lord Jesus Christ has done and finished completely. That work is the work of atonement, sacrifice, and substitution. He saw us ruined by the fall, a world of poor, lost, shipwrecked sinners.

He did not sit in heaven pitying us from a distance. He did not stand upon the shore and see the wreck, and behold poor drowning sinners struggling in vain to get to shore. He plunged into the waters Himself. He came off to the wreck, and took part with us in our weakness and infirmity, becoming a man to save our souls.”
~ J.C. Ryle



The Power of Your Child's SIN

 Train them, remembering continually, the power of sin.

You must not expect to find your children's minds a sheet of pure white paper, and to have no trouble if you only use right means. I warn you plainly you will find no such thing. It is painful to see how much corruption and evil there is in a young child's heart, and how soon it begins to bear fruit. Violent tempers, self-will, pride, envy, irritability, passion, idleness, selfishness, deceit, cunning, lying, hypocrisy, a terrible aptitude to learn what is bad, a painful slowness to learn what is good, a readiness to pretend anything in order to gain their own ends—all these things, or some of them, you must be prepared to see, even in your own flesh and blood. In little ways they will creep out at a very early age; it is almost startling to observe how naturally they seem to spring up. Children require no schooling to learn how to sin. 

But you must not be discouraged and depressed by what you see. You must not think it a strange and unusual thing, that little hearts can be so full of sin. It is the only inheritance which our father Adam left us; it is that fallen nature with which we come into the world; it is that inheritance which belongs to us all. May the awareness of it make you more diligent in using every possible means which seem most likely, by God's blessing, to counteract the evil. Let it make you more and more careful, so far it lies with you, to keep your children out of the way of temptation.

Never listen to those who tell you your children are good, and well brought up, and can be trusted. Rather, remember that their hearts are always ready to burst into flame like dry tinder. At their very best, they only need a spark to ignite their evil. Parents are seldom too cautious. Remember the natural depravity of your children, and be careful.


The book "The Duties of Parents" can be found here: J.C. Ryle



God’s Medicine: Affliction

Affliction is one of God’s medicines. By it He often teaches lessons which would be learned in no other way. By it He often draws souls away from sin and the world, which would otherwise have perished everlastingly.

Health is a great blessing, but sanctified disease is a greater. Prosperity and worldly comfort, are what all naturally desire; but losses and crosses are far better for us, if they lead us to Christ. Thousands at the last day, will testify with David, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.” (Psalm. 119:71.)
~ J.C. Ryle



Monday, January 25, 2021

Hope For The Lost

I entreat them to seek ‘a good hope’ while it can be found. A good hope is within the reach of any man, if he is only willing to seek it. It is called emphatically in Scripture, a ‘good hope through grace.’
It is freely offered, even as it was freely purchased: it may be freely obtained, ‘without money and without price.

Our past lives do not make it impossible to obtain it, however bad they may have been.

Our present weaknesses and infirmities do not shut us out, however great they may be.

The same grace which provided mankind with a hope, makes a free, full, and unlimited invitation:—’Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely;’—’Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find.’ (Rev. 22:17; Matt. 7:7.)

The Lord Jesus Christ is able and willing to give ‘a good hope’ to all who really want it. He is sealed and appointed by God the Father to give the bread of life to all that hunger, and the water of life to all that thirst.

‘It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell.’ (Coloss. 1:19.)

In Him there is pardon and peace with God, bought by the precious blood which He shed upon the cross.

In Him there is joy and peace for any believer, and a solid, well-grounded expectation of good things to come.

In Him there is rest for the weary, refuge for the fearful, a cleansing fountain for the unclean, medicine for the sick, healing for the broken-hearted, and hope for the lost.

Whosoever feels labouring and heavy-laden with sin, whosoever feels anxious and distressed about his soul, whosoever feels afraid of death and unfit to die,—whosoever he is, let him go to Christ and trust in Him.

This is the thing to be done: this is the way to follow. Whosoever wants ‘hope,’ let him go to Christ.”

–J.C. Ryle, Old Paths: Being Plain Statements of Some of the Weightier Matters of Christianity (London: Charles J. Thynne, 1898), 113–114.



A Sympathizing Savior

“A special faith in our Lord Jesus Christ’s person, work, and office, is the life, heart, and mainspring of the Christian soldier’s character.

He sees by faith an unseen Saviour, who loved him, gave Himself for him, paid his debts for him, bore his sins, carried his transgressions, rose again for him, and appears in heaven for him as his Advocate at the right hand of God.

He sees Jesus, and clings to Him. Seeing this Saviour and trusting in Him, he feels peace and hope, and willingly does battle against the foes of his soul.

He sees his own many sins,—his weak heart, a tempting world, a busy devil; and if he looked only at them he might well despair.

But he sees also a mighty Saviour, an interceding Saviour, a sympathizing Saviour,—His blood, His righteousness, His everlasting priesthood,—and he believes that all this is his own.
He sees Jesus, and casts his whole weight on Him. Seeing Him he cheerfully fights on, with a full confidence that he will prove ‘more than conqueror through Him that loved him.’ (Rom. 8:37)”

–J.C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots (London: William Hunt and Company, 1889), 84.



The Mighty Change (Regeneration)

To possess the privileges of Christ’s kingdom, a man must be born again of the Holy Ghost. The change which our Lord here declares needful to salvation is evidently no slight or superficial one. It is not merely reformation, or amendment, or moral change, or outward alteration of life.

It is a thorough change of heart, will, and character. It is a resurrection. It is a new creation. It is a passing from death to life. It is the implanting in our dead hearts of a new principle from above.

It is the calling into existence of a new creature, with a new nature, new habits of life, new tastes, new desires, new appetites, new judgments, new opinions, new hopes, and new fears. All this, and nothing less than this is implied, when our Lord declares that we all need a ‘new birth.’

This change of heart is rendered absolutely necessary to salvation by the corrupt condition in which we are all, without exception, born. ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh.’ Our nature is thoroughly fallen.

The carnal mind is enmity against God. (Rom. 8:7.) We come into the world without faith, or love, or fear toward God. We have no natural inclination to serve Him or obey Him, and no natural pleasure in doing His will.

Left to himself, no child of Adam would ever turn to God. The truest description of the change which we all need in order to make us real Christians, is the expression, ‘new birth.’
This mighty change, it must never be forgotten, we cannot give to ourselves. The very name which our Lord gives to it is a convincing proof of this. He calls it ‘a birth.’ No man is the author of his own existence, and no man can quicken his own soul.

We might as well expect a dead man to give himself life, as expect a natural man to make himself spiritual. A power from above must be put in exercise, even that same power which created the world. (2 Cor. 4:6.) Man can do many things; but he cannot give life either to himself or to others.

To give life is the peculiar prerogative of God. Well may our Lord declare that we need to be ‘born again!’ This mighty change, we must, above all, remember, is a thing without which we cannot go to heaven, and could not enjoy heaven if we went there.

Our Lord’s words on this point are distinct and express. ‘Except a man be born again, he can neither see nor enter the kingdom of God.’ Heaven may be reached without money, or rank, or learning.

But it is clear as daylight, if words have any meaning, that nobody can enter heaven without a ‘new birth.’ A day will come when those who are not born again will wish that they had never been born at all.”

–J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, Vol. 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1869/2012), 86-87, 88. Ryle is commenting on John 3:1-8.



Everything Taught Must be Examined by Scripture

A man must make the Bible alone his rule. He must receive nothing, and believe nothing, which is not according to the word. He must try all religious teaching by one simple test,—Does it square with the Bible?—What saith the Scripture?

I would to God the eyes of the laity of this country were more open on this subject, I would to God they would learn to weigh sermons, books, opinions, and ministers, in the scales of the Bible, and to value all according to their conformity to the word. I would to God they would see that it matters little who says a thing, —whether he be Father or Reformer,—Bishop or Arch- bishop,— Priest or Deacon,—Archdeacon or Dean. The only question is,—Is the thing said Scriptural? If it is, it ought to be received and believed. If it is not, it ought to be refused and cast aside. I fear the consequences of that servile acceptance of everything which the parson says, which is so common among many English laymen. I fear lest they be led they know not whither, like the blinded Syrians, and awake some day to find themselves in the power of Rome. Oh! that men in England would only remember for what the Bible was given them!
I tell English laymen that it is nonsense to say, as some do, that it is presumptuous to judge a minister’s teaching by the word. When one doctrine is proclaimed in one parish, and another in another, people must read and judge for themselves. Both doctrines cannot be right, and both ought to be tried by the word. I charge them above all things, never to suppose that any true minister of the Gospel will dislike his people measuring all he teaches by the Bible. On the contrary, the more they read the Bible, and prove all he says by the Bible, the better he will be pleased. A false minister may say, “You have no right to use your private judgment: leave the Bible to us who are ordained.” A true minister will say, “Search the Scriptures, and if I do not teach you what is Scriptural, do not believe me.” A false minister may cry, “Hear the Church,” and “Hear me.” A true minister will say, “Hear the word of God.”
– J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) taken from: Consider Your Ways: Being a Pastor’s Address to His Flock. 10th Thousand, Revised and Adapted to All Seasons. London: Hunt & Son, 1849.



Sunday, January 24, 2021

Expect the Pure Gospel

We have no right to expect anything but the pure Gospel of Christ, unmixed and unadulterated, the same Gospel that was taught by the Apostles, to do good to the souls of men.

I believe that to maintain this pure truth in the Church—men should be ready to make any sacrifice, to hazard peace, to risk dissension, and run the chance of division. They should no more tolerate false doctrine—than they would tolerate sin. They should withstand any adding to or taking away from the simple message of the Gospel of Christ.
~ J.C. Ryle


The Marks of a Dead Man

 -When a man’s heart is cold and unconcerned about religion

-When his hands are never employed in doing God’s work
-When his feet are not familiar with God’s ways 


-When his tongue is seldom or never used in prayer and praise
-When his eyes are blind to the beauty of the kingdom of heaven
-When his mind is full of the world, and has no room for spiritual things 
When these marks are to be found in a man, the word of the Bible is the right word to use about him, and that word is, “Dead.”
~ J.C. Ryle



The Duties of Parents

 Duty of Parents

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

I believe that most professing Christians are acquainted with our sermon text. The sound of it is probably very familiar to your ears, like an old tune. It is likely that you have heard it, or read it, talked of it, or quoted it, many times. Is that not true? 

But, despite it being a well-known Bible verse, how little do we regard its truth! The doctrine it contains appears scarcely known, the duty it puts before us is seldom put into practice. My friends, am I not speaking the truth?

It cannot be said that the subject is a new one. The world is old, and we have the experience of nearly six thousand years to help us. We live in days when there is a mighty zeal for education. We hear of new schools rising up everywhere. We are told of new systems, and new books for the young, of every sort and description. And still for all of this, the vast majority of children are clearly not trained in the way they should go, for when they grow up, they do not walk with God.

Now how do we account for this state of affairs? The plain truth is, the Lord's commandment in our text is not regarded; and therefore the Lord's promise in our text is not fulfilled.

Friends, these things may cause you to seriously search your hearts. Permit a word of exhortation from a minister, about the right training of children. Believe me, the subject is one that should hit home to every conscience, and make every one ask himself the question, "In the matter of training children, am I doing what I am supposed to do?"

It is a subject that concerns almost everyone. There is hardly a household that it does not touch. Parents, teachers, grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters—all have an interest in it. Few can be found, I think, who might not influence some parent in the management of his family, or affect the training of some child by suggestion or advice. All of us, I suspect, can do something here, either directly or indirectly, and I wish to stir up everyone to remember this.

It is also a subject, on which everyone concerned are in great danger of falling short of their duty. This is notably a point in which men can see the faults of their neighbors more clearly than their own. They will often raise their children in the very path which they have denounced to their friends as unsafe. They will see little problems in other people's families, and overlook major ones in their own. They will have the eyesight of an eagle in detecting mistakes everywhere else, and yet be blind as bats to the fatal errors which are daily going on in their own homes. They will be wise about their brother's house, but foolish about their own flesh and blood. Here, if anywhere, we have need to suspect our own judgment. This, too, you will do well to keep in mind.

As a minister, I cannot help remarking that there is hardly any subject about which people seem so stubborn as they are about their own children. I have sometimes been absolutely astonished at the slowness of sensible Christian parents to accept the fact, that their own children are at fault, or deserve blame. There are many persons to whom I would much rather speak about their own sins, than to tell them that their children had done anything wrong.

Come now, and let me place before you a few hints about the proper training of children. May God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit bless them, and make them timely words to everyone of you. Do not reject them because they are blunt and simple; do not despise them because they contain nothing new. You can be sure, that if you want to train your children for heaven, then the hints that that follow ought not to be lightly set aside.

The book "The Duties of Parents" can be found here: J.C. Ryle



Looking Forward to Heaven

 Christian, look up and take comfort. Jesus has prepared a place for you, and those who follow Him shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of His hands. Look forward to that glorious dwelling He has provided; look forward in faith, for it is yours.

O Christian, think what a glorious meeting that shall be. There we shall see the saints of old, of whom we have so often read; there we shall see those holy ministers whose faith and patience we have admired; there we shall see one another round the throne of our common Savior, and be parted and separated no more.
~ J.C. Ryle



Saturday, January 23, 2021

Watch Out! Your Pride is Lurking

 Let all who desire to please Christ, watch and pray against self-esteem. It is a feeling which is deeply rooted in our hearts.

Thousands have come out from the world, taken up the cross, professed to forsake their own righteousness, and believe in Christ, who have felt irritated and annoyed when a person has been more honored than themselves. These things ought not so to be. We ought often to ponder the words of Paul, “Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than themselves.” (Phil 2:3) Blessed is that person who can sincerely and gladly rejoice when others are exalted, though they themselves are overlooked and passed by!
~ J.C. Ryle



No Cross, No Crown!

We must not conceal from ourselves that true Christianity brings with it a daily cross in this life, while it offers us a crown of glory in the life to come.

The flesh must be daily crucified. The devil must be daily resisted. The world must be daily overcome. There is a warfare to be waged, and a battle to be fought. All this is the inseparable accompaniment of true religion. Heaven is not to be won without it. Never was there a truer word than the old saying, “No cross, no crown!” If we never found this out by experience, our souls are in a poor condition.
~ J.C. Ryle



Friday, January 22, 2021

Choose Your Company Wisely

 Nothing perhaps affects man’s character more than the company he keeps. We catch the ways and tone of those we live and talk with, and unhappily get harm far more easily than good. Disease is infectious, but health is not.

Now if a professing Christian deliberately chooses to be intimate with those who are not friends of God and who cling to the world, his soul is sure to take harm. It is hard enough to serve Christ under any circumstances in such a world as this. But it is doubly hard to do it if we are friends of the thoughtless and ungodly. Mistakes in friendship or marriage engagements are the whole reason why some have entirely ceased to grow. "Evil communications corrupt good manners." "The friendship of the world is enmity with God" (1 Corinthians 15:33James 4:4).
~ J.C. Ryle



Christ Will Build His Church

 Forever let us thank God that the building of the one true Church is laid on the shoulders of One who is mighty. Let us bless God that it does not rest upon man. Let us bless God that it does not depend on missionaries, ministers, or committees.

Christ is the almighty Builder. He will carry on His work, though nations and visible Churches do not know their duty. Christ will never fail. That which He has undertaken He will certainly accomplish!
~ J.C. Ryle



Thursday, January 21, 2021

Never Be Ashamed of Christ!

“Live a courageous life. Confess Christ before men. Whatever station you occupy, in that station confess Christ. Why should you be ashamed of Him? He was not ashamed of you on the cross.

He is ready to confess you now before His Father in heaven. Why should you be ashamed of Him? Be bold. Be very bold. The good soldier is not ashamed of his uniform. The true believer ought never be ashamed of Christ.” ~ J.C. Ryle



Be Ready for Many Trials

Are you indeed Christ’s sheep? Then be sure you will have many a trial. Where would be the value of a Savior, if there were not enemies to be saved from?

Yes! You will have many a trial! Satan has great wrath against all who have escaped his snares, and he will bring every weapon to bear against your peace; he will start many a doubt within your mind, he will stir up many a vile and blasphemous imagination within the chambers of your heart, many a horrid thought you once would have believed impossible—but still remember those words, “never perish.” Yes! You will have many a trial! ~ J.C. Ryle




Wednesday, January 20, 2021

God Requires Heart Worship

"The heart is the part of man which God chiefly notices in religion. The bowed head, and the bended knee–the grave face and the rigid posture–the ritual response, and the formal amen–all these together do not make up a spiritual worshiper. The eyes of God look further and deeper. He requires the worship of the heart. “My son,” he says to every one of us, “Give me your heart.”

~ J.C. Ryle



Does Your Salvation Motivate You?

“A genuine Gospel-faith has nothing selfish about it – it never makes a man think only of his own salvation. It stirs him up, on the contrary, to concern about the souls of others.

I always suspect that those who care nothing whether their brethren are saved or not, must in reality be ignorant or thoughtless about their own state.”
~ J.C. Ryle



Tuesday, January 19, 2021

It is their Father's hand that chastens them!

 We live in such a beauteous and pleasant world--we are so surrounded with so much that is smiling and mirthful--that if we were not often obliged to taste of sickness or trial or disappointments--we would soon forget our heavenly home and pitch our tents permanently in this Sodom. 

Therefore it is that God's people pass through great tribulations; therefore it is they are often called upon to suffer the sting of affliction and anxiety--or weep over the grave of those whom they have loved as their own soul. 

It is their Father's hand that chastens them! It is thus He weans their affection from things below, and fixes them on Himself. It is thus He trains them for eternity, and cuts the threads that bind their truant hearts to earth one by one. 

No doubt such chastening is grievous for the time, but still it brings many a hidden grace to light, and cuts down many a secret seed of evil. We shall see those who have suffered most, shining among the brightest stars in the assembly of Heaven. "Our light affliction endures but for a moment, and it works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!" 2 Corinthians 4:17 

The purest gold is that which has been longest in the refiner's furnace. 

The brightest diamond is often that which has required the most grinding and polishing. 

The saints are men who have come out of great tribulation--they are never left to perish in it. 

The last night of weeping will soon be spent,
the last wave of trouble will have rolled over us, and 
then we shall have a peace that passes all understanding!
We shall be at home forever with the Lord!

"Therefore comfort one another with these words!" 1 Thessalonians 4:18



Put Nothing Ahead of Scripture

“Let us be very careful that we never exalt any minister, or sermon, or book, or tract, or friend above the Word. Cursed be that book, or tract, or human counsel, which creeps in between us and the Bible, and hides the Bible from our eyes!” ~ J.C. Ryle



Monday, January 18, 2021

How the World Can Shipwreck a Young Christian

I appeal to any old Christian who keeps their eyes open, and knows what is going on in the Churches. I ask them whether it be not true that nothing damages the cause of religion so much as “the world”? It is not open sin, or open unbelief, which robs Christ of His professing servants — so much as . . .
the love of the world,
the fear of the world,
the cares of the world,
the business of the world,
the money of the world,
the pleasures of the world, and
the desire to remain in with the world.
The world is the great rock on which thousands of young people are continually making shipwreck.
~ J.C. Ryle



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