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from J.C. Ryle’s Old Paths “Forgiveness”
HT: Eric

1)  Forgiven souls HATE SIN. They can enter most fully into the words of our Communion Service, “The remembrance of sin is grievous unto them, and the burden of it is intolerable.” It is the serpent which bit them—how should they not shrink from it with horror? It is the poison which brought them to the brink of eternal death—how should they not loathe it with a godly disgust? It is the Egyptian enemy which kept them in hard bondage—how should not the very memory of it be bitter to their hearts? It is the disease of which they carry the marks and scars about them, and from which they have scarcely recovered—well may they dread it, flee from it, and long to be delivered altogether from its power! If you and sin are friends, you and God are not yet reconciled. You are not fit for heaven; for one main part of heaven’s excellence is the absence of all sin.

2)  Forgiven souls LOVE CHRIST. This is that one thing they can say, if they dare say nothing else—they do love Christ. His person, His offices, His work, His name, His cross, His blood, His words, His example, His ordinances—all, all are precious to forgiven souls. The ministry which exalts Him most, is that which they enjoy most. The books which are most full of Him, are most pleasant to their minds. The people on earth they feel most drawn to, are those in whom they see something of Christ. He is their Redeemer, their Shepherd, their Physician, their King, their strong Deliverer, their gracious Guide, their hope, their joy, their All. Were it not for Him they would be of all people most miserable.

3)  Forgiven souls are HUMBLE. They cannot forget that they owe all they have and hope for to free grace, and this keeps them lowly. They are brands plucked from the fire—debtors who could not pay for themselves—captives who must have remained in prison forever—but for undeserved mercy—wandering sheep who were ready to perish when the Shepherd found them! What right then have they to be proud? I do not deny that there are proud saints. But this I do say—they are of all God’s creatures the most inconsistent, and of all God’s children the most likely to stumble and pierce themselves with many sorrows. We have nothing we can call our own–but sin and weakness. Surely there is no garment that befits us so well, as humility.

4)  Forgiven souls are HOLY. Their chief desire is to please Him who has saved them, to do His will, to glorify Him in body and in Spirit, which are His. “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits?” (Ps. 116:12), is a leading principle in a pardoned heart. It was the remembrance of Jesus showing mercy that made Paul in labors so abundant, and in doing good so unwearied. If anyone points out to me believers who are in a carnal, slothful state of soul, I reply in the words of Peter, “They have forgotten they were purged from their old sins.” (2 Pet. 1:9.)

But if you show me a man deliberately living an unholy and licentious life, and yet boasting that his sins are forgiven, I answer, “He is under a ruinous delusion, and is not forgiven at all.” I would not believe he is forgiven if an angel from heaven affirmed it, and I charge you not to believe it too. Pardon of sin and love of sin are like oil and water—they will never go together. All who are washed in the blood of Christ, are also sanctified by the Spirit of Christ.

5)  Forgiven souls are FORGIVING. They do as they have been done by. They look over the offenses of their brethren. They endeavor to “walk in love, as Christ loved them, and gave Himself for them.” (Eph. 5:2.) They remember how God for Christ’s sake forgave them, and endeavor to do the same towards their fellow-creatures. Has He forgiven them pounds, and shall they not forgive a few pence? Doubtless in this, as in everything else, they come short—but this is their desire and their aim. A spiteful, quarrelsome Christian is a scandal to his profession. Forgiveness is the way by which every saved soul enters heaven. Forgiveness is the eternal subject of song with all the redeemed who inhabit heaven. Surely an unforgiving soul in heaven would find his heart completely out of tune. Surely we know nothing of Christ’s love to us but the name of it, if we do not love our brethren.

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Let it be a settled resolution with us to “keep our hearts with all diligence,” all the days of our lives. (Prov. 4:23.) Even after renewal they are weak. Even after putting on the new man they are deceitful. Let us never forget that our chief danger is from within. The world and the devil combined, cannot do us so much harm as our own hearts will, if we do not watch and pray. Happy is he who remembers daily the words of Solomon, “One who trusts in himself is a fool.” (Prov. 28:26.)

~J. C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Matthew, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1986], 178, 179.

 

HT:  J. C. Ryle Quotes

 

 

 

 

For the LORD shall rise up as [in] Mount Perazim he shall be wroth as [in] the valley of Gibeon that he may do his work his strange work and bring to pass his act his strange act.
Isaiah 28:21

The judgment work of Christ is not an easy work to speak on because, you see, even Isaiah in Isaiah 28:21 calls it God’s quote “strange work,” because to Isaiah it seems to be so contrary to the greatest attribute of God which is His love, the supreme quality of His nature. But you see, God must be a God of judgment because He loves. You see, He loves so much that the day is coming when He’s going to protect those who are the objects of His love from evil forever. And the only way He can do it is to destroy evil, you see? So even that is an act of love…to protect and preserve the full manifestation of His love to His people forever. And so He will come in judgment to destroy sinners and sin. (emphasis added)

~John MacArthur
The Saga of Two Conquerers, Part 2
(~from the commentary on Zechariah 9:9-17)


“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

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Mark, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1985], 267, 268.

HT: J. C. Ryle Quotes

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The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone.

The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

The man [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.

He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else.”

A.W. Tozer
Man-The Dwelling Place of God
Ch. 39: “The Saint Must Walk Alone”

HT: Crossroads

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Nothing is lovelier in life, than the spirit of contentment. Fretting mars the beauty of many a face. Discontent spoils all one’s world. Out of whatever window he looks–the discontented person sees something that is not pleasing.

But a contented person sees only good everywhere. The happiest homes in the world are not those in which are the finest carpets, the costliest pictures, the most luxurious furniture–but those in which contented, joyful hearts dwell. A mind at peace, beautifies the plainest surroundings and even the hardest conditions.

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

~J.R. Miller, ‘Counsel and Help’  1907
Grace Gems

 

“True disciples of Jesus are those who have been set free by the truth as they abide in His Word (John 8:31-32).  Those who do not know the truth will continue to be enslaved to the bondage of religion.  Throught history, the goal of every religion has been to control people.  This has been accomplished with religious traditions, legalism, pride and deception.  One example of this fierce religious loyalty is a comment we hear so often from Roman Catholics:  “I was born a Catholic, and I will die a Catholic.”  Yet, true conversion can only take place if they confess:  “I was born a sinner and will die a saint.”  And what a way to die!  By God’s amazing grace, saints are elected in Christ (Eph. 1:4), called to Christ (1 Cor. 1:9), have believed the truth about Christ (Rom. 10:14-17), have turned to Christ in repentance (1 Pet. 2:25), are justified by the blood of Christ (Rom. 5:9), are united with Christ (Gal. 2:20), are being transformed into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18), are being kept and preserved by Christ (1 John 5:18) and will one day gain the glory of Christ (2 Thes. 2:14).  Why would anyone chose to be enslaved to religion whan they can become a blessed and privileged slave of the Lord Jesus?”

–Mike Gendron
Proclaiming the Gospel Newletter
Jan-Mar 2010

worship3

“Spiritual experience that does not arise from God’s word is not Christian experience. . . . Not all that passes for Christian experience is genuine. An authentic experience of the Spirit is an experience in response to the gospel.  Through the Spirit the truth touches our hearts, and that truth moves our emotions and effects our wills.”

–  Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, Total Church (Wheaton, Ill.; Crossway Books, 2008), 31.

HT: Of First Importance

 

 

unfettered hands

 

Ah! believer, it is safer always for you to be led of the Spirit into gospel liberty than to wear legal fetters. Judge yourself at what Christ is rather than what you are. Satan will try to mar your peace by reminding you of your sinfulness and imperfections: you can only meet his accusations by faithfully adhering to the Gospel and refusing to wear the yoke of bondage.”

Charles Spurgeon  (Morning & Evening, September 6)

 

HT: Of First Importance

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To bless God for mercies–is the way to increase them; repentance1
to bless Him for miseries–is the way to remove them.

Christ uncrowned Himself–to crown us!
He put off His robes–to put on our rags!
He came down from heaven–to keep us out of hell!
He fasted forty days–that He might feast us to all eternity!
He came from heaven to earth–that He might send us from earth to heaven!

There is no going to the fair haven of glory–without
sailing through the narrow strait of repentance.

by William Dyer

HT:  Grace Gems