Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Let Us Live For Eternity by J.C. Ryle

Oh, that men and women would learn to live with an awareness that one day they are going to die! Truly it is a waste of time to set our hearts on a dying world and its short-lived comforts and pleasures, and for the sake of momentary pleasures to lose a glorious eternity in Heaven!

Here we are striving, laboring, exhausting ourselves about little things, and running here and there like ants on an anthill and yet after a few years we will all be gone, and another generation will take our place. Let us live for eternity. Let us seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness that can never be taken from us.
~ J.C. Ryle
Practical Religion, “Riches and Poverty”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1998], 322.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Hypocrite: You Cannot Deceive God by J.C. Ryle

“Of all the sins into which men can fall, none seem so exceedingly sinful as false profession and hypocrisy. At all events, none have drawn from our Lord’s mouth such strong language, and such heavy denunciations.

It is bad enough to be led away captive by open sin, and to serve diverse lusts and pleasures. But it is even worse to pretend to have a religion, while in reality we serve the world. Let us beware of falling into this abominable sin. Whatever we do in religion, let us never wear a cloak. Let us be real, honest, thorough, and sincere in our Christianity. We cannot deceive an all-seeing God.”
~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, November 28, 2022

The Inward Peace of the Christian by J.C. Ryle

Do you think that you will not be happy if you seek to have your soul saved, and to sit down in the kingdom of heaven? Cast aside the unworthy thought as a lying suggestion of the devil.

There are no people so truly happy as true Christians. Whatever a sneering world may please to say, they have meat to eat which the world knows not, and inward comforts which the world cannot understand. There is no gloominess in true religion, and no religion in looking gloomy, sour, or austere. In spite of cross and conflict, the true Christian has an inward peace compared to which the world has nothing to give; for it is a peace which trouble, bereavement, sickness, and death itself cannot take away. The words of the Master are strictly true, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world give, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). If men and women want to be truly happy, they should strive to be amongst those who “shall sit down in the kingdom of heaven.”
~ J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Absolute Necessity of Repentance by J.C. Ryle

The necessity of repentance may seem at first sight a very simple and elementary truth. And yet volumes might be written to show the fullness of the doctrine, and the suitableness of it to every age and time, and to every rank and class of mankind. It is inseparably connected with right views of God, of human nature, of sin, of Christ, of holiness, and of heaven.

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. All need to be brought to a sense of their sins–to a sorrow for them–to a willingness to give them up–and to a hunger and thirst after pardon. All, in a word, need to be born again and to flee to Christ. This is repentance unto life. Nothing less than this is required for the salvation of any man.
~ J.C. Ryle

Unswerving Devotion to Christ By J.C. Ryle

“As a soldier follows his general, as the servant follows his master, as the scholar follows his teacher, as the sheep follows its shepherd, so ought the professing Christian to follow Christ.

Faith and obedience are the leading marks of real followers, and will always be seen in true believing Christians. Their knowledge may be very small, and their infirmities very great; their grace very weak, and their hope very dim. But they believe what Christ says, and they strive to do what Christ commands.
“Christianity like this, receives little praise from man. It is too thorough, to decided, too strong, too real. To serve Christ in name and form is easy work, and satisfies most people; but to follow Him in faith demands more trouble than the generality of men will take about their souls. Laughter, ridicule, opposition, persecution are often the only reward which Christ’s followers get from the world.”
~ J.C. Ryle

Possessing a Sense of Your Helplessness by J.C. Ryle

How is it that many true believers often pray so coldly? What is the reason that their prayers are so feeble, wandering and lukewarm, as they frequently are? The answer is very plain:

their sense of need is not so deep as it ought to be. They are not truly alive to their own weakness and helplessness, and so they do not cry fervently for mercy and grace. Let us remember these things. Let us seek to have a constant and abiding sense of our real necessities. If saints could only see their souls as the ten afflicted lepers saw their bodies, they would pray far better than they do.
~ J.C. Ryle

Christ’s Pruning Knife in a Believer: Trials by J.C. Ryle

How would the great work of sanctification go on in a person if they had no trial? Trouble is often the only fire which will burn away the dross that clings to our hearts.

Trouble is the pruning–knife which Christ employs in order to make us fruitful in good works. The harvest of the Lord’s field is seldom ripened by sunshine only. It must go through its days of wind, rain and storm.
~ J.C. Ryle
Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots, “The Ruler of the Waves”, [Moscow, ID: Charles Nolan Publishing, 2001], 237.

Beware of Being a Christian Pharisee by J.C. Ryle

There is something sadly wrong in our spiritual condition, when the only thing we look at in others is their outward Christianity, and the principal question we ask is, whether they worship in our communion, and use our ceremonial, and serve God in our way.

Do they repent of sin? Do they believe on Christ? Are they living holy lives? These are the chief points to which our attention ought to be directed. The moment we begin to place anything in religion before these things, we are in danger of becoming as thorough Pharisees as the accusers of the disciples.
~ J.C. Ryle

The Fruits of a True Conversion by J.C. Ryle

Does anyone ask me what we may expect to see in a true conversion? I reply: There will always be something seen in a converted man’s character, feelings, conduct, opinions and daily life. You will not see in him perfection; but you will see in him something peculiar, distinct, and different from other people.

You will see him hating sin, loving Christ, following after holiness, taking pleasure in his Bible, persevering in prayer. You will see him penitent, humble, believing, temperate, charitable, truthful, good-tempered, patient, upright, honorable, kind. These, at any rate, will be his aims—these are the things which he will follow after, however short he may come of perfection.
In some converted people you will see these things more distinctly, in others less. This only I say, wherever there is conversion, something of this kind will be seen.
~ J.C. Ryle
Old Paths, “Conversion”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1999], 335, 336.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Jesus And The Little Children by J.C. Ryle


And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. -Luke 18:15-17

Let us observe, for one thing, in this passage, how ignorantly people are apt to treat children, in the matter of their souls. We read that there were some who "brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch them and bless them, but the disciples told them not to bother him." They thought most probably that it was mere waste of their Master's time, and that little children could derive no benefit from being brought to Christ. They drew from our Lord a solemn rebuke. We read that "Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Allow the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not."

The ignorance of the disciples does not stand alone. On few subjects, perhaps, shall we find such strange opinions in the churches, as on the subject of the souls of children. Some think that children ought to be baptized, as a matter of course, and that if they die unbaptized they cannot be saved. Others think that children ought not to be baptized, but can give no satisfactory reason why they think so. Some think that all children are regenerate by virtue of their baptism. Others seem to think that children are incapable of receiving any grace, and that they ought not to be enrolled in the Church until they are grown up. Some think that children are naturally innocent, and would do no wickedness unless they learned it from others. Others think that it is no use to expect them to be converted when young, and that they must be treated as unbelievers until they come to years of discretion. All these opinions appear to be errors, in one direction or another. All are to be deprecated, for all lead to many painful mistakes.

We shall do well to get hold of some settled scriptural principles about the spiritual condition of children. To do so may save us much perplexity, and preserve us from grave false doctrine.

The souls of young children are evidently precious in God's sight. Both here and elsewhere there is plain proof that Christ cares for them no less than for grown-up people. The souls of young children are capable of receiving grace. They are born in sin, and without grace cannot be saved. There is nothing, either in the Bible or experience, to make us think that they cannot receive the Holy Spirit, and be justified, even from their earliest infancy. The baptism of young children seems agreeable to the general tenor of Scripture, and the mind of Christ in the passage before us. If Jewish children were not too young to be circumcised in the Old Testament dispensation, it is exceedingly hard to understand why Christian children should be too young to be baptized under the Gospel. Thousands of children, no doubt, receive no benefit from baptism. But the duty of baptizing them remains the same. The minds of young children are not unequal to receiving religious impressions. The readiness with which their minds receive the doctrines of the Gospel, and their consciences respond to them, is matter of fact well known to all who have anything to do with teaching. Last, but not least, the souls of children are capable of salvation, however young they may die. To suppose that Christ will admit them into His glorified Church, and yet maintain that He would not have them in His professing Church on earth, is an inconsistency which can never be explained.

These points deserve calm consideration. The subject is unquestionably difficult, and one on which good men disagree. But in every perplexity about it we shall find it good to return again and again to the passage before us. It throws a strong light on the position of children before God. It shows us in general terms the mind of Christ.

Let us observe, for another thing, in this passage, the strong declaration which our Lord Jesus Christ makes about little children. He says, "Of such is the kingdom of God."

The meaning of these words no doubt is a matter of dispute. That they were not meant to teach that children are born sinless and innocent, is abundantly clear from other parts of Scripture. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh." (John 3:6.) A threefold lesson is probably contained in our Lord's words. To that threefold lesson we shall do well to take heed.

"Like such as little children," all saints of God should strive to live. Their simple faith and dependence on others--their unworldliness and indifference to earthy treasures--their comparative humility, harmlessness, and freedom from deceit--are points in which they furnish believers with an excellent example. Happy is he who can draw near to Christ and the Bible in the spirit of a little child!

"Out of such as little children," the Church of God on earth ought to be constantly recruited. We should not be afraid to bring them to baptism even in their earliest infancy, and to dedicate them to Christ from the beginning of their days. Useless and formal as baptism often is, it is an ordinance appointed by Christ Himself. Those who use it with prayer and faith may confidently look for a blessing.

"Of such as little children," the kingdom of God in glory will be largely composed. The salvation of all who die in infancy may confidently be expected. Though sin has abounded, grace has much more abounded. (Rom. 5:20.) The number of those in the world who die before they "know good from evil" is exceedingly great. It is surely not too much to believe that a very large proportion of the glorified inhabitants of heaven will be found at length to be little children.

Let us leave the whole passage with a deep sense of the value of children's souls, and with a settled resolution to "put on the mind of Christ" in all our dealings with them. Let us regard children as a most important part of Christ's professing Church, and a part which the great Head of the Church does not like to see neglected. Let us train them from their earliest infancy in godly ways, and sow the seed of Scripture truth in their minds, with strong confidence that it will one day bear fruit.

Let us believe that they think more, and feel more, and consider more, than at first sight appears; and that the Spirit is often working in them, as really and truly as in older people. Above all, let us often name them before Christ in prayer, and ask Him to take them under His special charge. He never changes. He is always the same. He cared for boys and girls when He was upon earth. Let us not doubt that He cares for them at the right hand of God in heaven.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The Snare of Loving Money by J.C. Ryle

Let us watch against the love of money. It is a snare to the poor as well as to the rich. It is not so much the having money, as the trusting in it, which ruins the soul.

Let us pray for contentment with such things as we have. The highest wisdom is to be of one mind with Paul, “I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11.)
~ J.C. Ryle

Friday, November 18, 2022

Healthy Pulpits = Healthy Congregations By J.C. Ryle

“Let us beware of despising preaching. In every age of the Church, it has been God’s principal instrument for the awakening of sinners and the edifying of saints.

The days when there has been little or no preaching have been days when there has been little or no good done in the Church. Let us hear sermons in a prayerful and reverent frame of mind, and remember that they are the principal engines which Christ Himself employed when He was upon earth. Not least, let us pray daily for a continual supply of faithful preachers or God’s Word. According to the state of the pulpit will always be the state of a congregation and of a Church.”
~ J.C. Ryle

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Do Not Be a Prayerless Christian! By J.C. Ryle

If Jesus is to save you, you must pray. If your sins are to be forgiven, you must pray. If the Spirit is to dwell in your heart, you must pray. If you are to have strength against sin, you must pray.

If you are to dwell with God in heaven, your heart must talk with God upon earth by prayer. Oh! do not be a prayerless Christian, whatever others may think right. Begin to pray this day if you never prayed before. Remember if you and I are to meet each other with joy at Christ’s appearing, you must pray.
~ J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Do Not Be Surprised at Trials and Afflictions by J.C. Ryle

If we know anything of growth in grace and desire to know more, let us not be surprised if we have to go through much trial and affliction in this world.

I firmly believe it is the experience of nearly all the most eminent saints. Like their blessed Master, they have been men of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and perfected through sufferings (Isa. 53:3Heb. 2:10). It is a striking saying of our Lord, “Every branch in Me that bears fruit [my Father] purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2).
It is a melancholy fact, that constant temporal prosperity, as a general rule, is injurious to a believer’s soul. We cannot stand it. Sicknesses, losses, crosses, anxieties and disappointments seem absolutely needful to keep us humble, watchful and spiritual–minded. They are as needful as the pruning knife to the vine and the refiner’s furnace to the gold. They are not pleasant to flesh and blood. We do not like them and often do not see their meaning. “No chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11).
We shall find that all worked for our good when we reach heaven. Let these thoughts abide in our minds, if we love growth in grace. When days of darkness come upon us, let us not count it a strange thing. Rather let us remember that lessons are learned on such days, which would never have been learned in sunshine. Let us say to ourselves, “This also is for my profit, that I may be a partaker of God’s holiness. It is sent in love. I am in God’s best school. Correction is instruction. This is meant to make me grow.”
~ J.C. Ryle
Tract: Growth

Monday, November 14, 2022

Seeing Sin For What it Really Is by J.C. Ryle

The Christianity which is from the Holy Spirit will always have a very deep view of the sinfulness of sin. It will not merely regard sin as a blemish and misfortune, which makes men and women objects of pity, and compassion.

It will see in sin the abominable thing which God hates, the thing which makes people guilty and lost in his Maker’s sight, the thing which deserves God’s wrath and condemnation. It will look on sin as the cause of all sorrow and unhappiness, of strife and wars, of quarrels and contentions, of sickness and death – the curse which cursed God’s beautiful creation, the cursed thing which makes the whole earth groan and struggle in pain. Above all, it will see in sin the thing which will ruin us eternally, unless we can find a ransom, – lead us captive, except we can get its chains broken, – and destroy our happiness, both here and hereafter, except we fight against it, even unto death.
~ J.C. Ryle

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Being Around Unbelievers Prayerfully by J.C. Ryle

We ought not to withdraw entirely from all communion with unconverted people. It would be cowardice and indolence to do so, even if it were possible.

It would shut us out from many opportunities of doing good. But we ought to go into their society moderately, watchfully, and prayerfully, and with a firm resolution to carry our Master and our Master’s business with us.
~ J.C. Ryle

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Model Christ’s Patience in Afflictions by J.C. Ryle

Let us diligently follow the example of Christ’s patience in all the trials and afflictions of life, especially in those which may be brought upon us by religion.

When He [Christ] was reviled, He reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him that judges righteously. Let us arm ourselves with the same mind. Let us consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners without a murmur, and strive to glorify Him by suffering well, no less than by doing well.
~ J.C. Ryle

Friday, November 11, 2022

What Are You Doing With the Gospel? By J.C. Ryle

What are we doing with the Gospel? We live in a Christian land. We have the Bible in our houses. We hear of the salvation of the Gospel frequently every year. But have we received it into our hearts?

Have we really obeyed it in our lives? Have we, in short, laid hold on the hope set before us, taken up the cross, and followed Christ? If not, we are far worse than the heathen, who bow down to stocks and stones. We are far more guilty than the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They never heard the Gospel, and therefore never rejected it. But as for us, we hear the Gospel, and yet will not believe. May we search our own hearts, and take heed that we do not ruin our own souls!
~ J.C. Ryle

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Present the Gospel Accurately by J.C. Ryle

Do not present only one side of Christianity. Do not keep back ‘the cross’ of self-denial that must be carried, when you speak of the cross on which Christ died for our redemption. Explain fully what Christianity entails.

Entreat men to repent and come to Christ; but bid them at the same time to ‘count the cost.
~ J.C. Ryle
“The Cost”, 181.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Beginning of Backsliding: Little Sins by J.C. Ryle

Let us beware of the beginnings of backsliding, however small. We never know what we may come to, if we once leave the king’s highway.

The professing Christian who begins to say of any sin or evil habit, “it is but a little one,” is in imminent danger. He is sowing seeds in his heart, which will one day spring up and bear bitter fruit. It is a homely saying, that “if men take care of the pence the pounds will take care of themselves.” We may borrow a good spiritual lesson from the saying. The Christian who keeps his heart diligently in little things shall be kept from great falls.
~ J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Hold Firmly to the Gospel! By J.C. Ryle

Trouble or no trouble—pains or no pains—controversy, or no controversy—one thing is very sure: that nothing but Christ’s Gospel will ever do good to our own souls.

Nothing else will maintain our Churches. Nothing else will ever bring down God’s blessing upon our land. If, therefore, we love our own souls, or if we love our country’s prosperity, or if we love to keep our Churches standing, we must remember the Apostles words, and “hold fast,” hold firmly the Gospel, and refuse to let it go!
~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, November 7, 2022

Pray For Humility by J.C. Ryle

Let a prayer for humility and the spirit of a little child, form our daily supplications. Of all creatures none has so little right to be proud as man, and of all men none ought to be so humble as the Christian.

Is it really true that we confess ourselves to be miserable sinners, and daily debtors to mercy and grace? Are we the followers of Jesus, who was meek and lowly of heart, and made Himself of no reputation for our sakes? Then let that same mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus. Let us lay aside all high thoughts and self-conceit. In lowliness of mind, let us esteem others better than ourselves. Let us be ready, on all occasions, to take the lowest place. And let the words of our Savior ring in our ears continually, “He that is least among you all the same shall be great.”
~ J.C. Ryle

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Let Us HATE Sin by J.C. Ryle

How incredible it is that we do not hate sin more than we do! Sin is the cause of all the pain and disease in the world. God did not create man to be an ailing and suffering creature.

It was sin, and nothing but sin, which brought in all the ills that flesh is heir to. It was sin to which we owe every racking pain, and every loathsome infirmity, and every humbling weakness to which our poor bodies are liable. Let us keep this ever in mind. Let us hate sin with a godly hatred.
~ J.C. Ryle

Saturday, November 5, 2022

God’s Mercy on Our Past by J.C. Ryle

Let us remember as we look back over the days past of our lives, from the hour of our conversion.

 “Our Lord has done all things well.” In the first bringing us out of darkness into marvelous light–in humbling us and teaching us our weakness, guilt, and folly–in stripping us of our idols, and choosing all our portions in placing us where we are, and giving us what we have–how well everything has been done! How great the mercy that we have had on our own way!
~ J.C. Ryle

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