A Man Who Does Not Serve God is Not Really Alive

So long as a man does not serve God with body, soul, and spirit, he is not really alive. So long as he puts the first things last and the last first, buries his talent like an unprofitable servant, and brings the Lord no revenue of honor, so long in God’s sight he is dead. He is not filling the place in creation for which he was intended; he is not using his powers and faculties as God meant them to be used. The poet’s words are strictly true

He only lives, who lives to God,
And all are dead beside.

This is the true explanation of sin not felt, and sermons not believed, and good advice not followed, and the Gospel not embraced, and the world not forsaken, and the cross not taken up, and self-will not mortified, and evil habits not laid aside, and the Bible seldom read, and the knee never bent in prayer. Why is all this on every side? The answer is simple — Men are dead.

—J.C. Ryle
Alive or Dead?

Via: Aaron Armstrong

Christ is a Complete Saviour

Christ is a Saviour. He did not come on earth to be a conqueror, or a philosopher, or a mere teacher of morality. He came to save sinners. He came to do that which man could never do for himself – to do that which money and learning can never obtain – to do that which is essential to man’s real happiness – He came to ‘take away sin.’

Christ is a complete Saviour. He ‘taketh away sin.’ He did not merely make vague proclamations of pardon, mercy, and forgiveness. He ‘took’ our sins upon Himself, and carried them away. He allowed them to be laid upon Himself, and ‘bore them in His own body on the tree.’ (1 Peter 2:24.) The sins of every one that believes on Jesus are made as though they had never been sinned at all. The Lamb of God has taken them clean away.

Christ is an almighty Saviour, and a Saviour for all mankind. He ‘taketh away the sin of the world.’ He did not die for the Jews only, but for the Gentile as well as the Jew. He did not suffer for a few persons only, but for all mankind.

The payment that He made on the cross was more than enough to make satisfaction for the debts of all. The blood that He shed was precious enough to wash away the sins of all. His atonement on the cross was sufficient for all mankind, though efficient only to them that believe. The sin that He took up and bore on the cross was the sin of the whole world.

—J.C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on John, Vol. 1

Via: Tolle Lege

Are You Chaff in the Sight of God?

You may have rare intellectual gifts, and high mental attainments — you may sway kingdoms by your counsel, move millions by your pen, or keep crowds in breathless attention by your tongue — but if you have never submitted yourself to the yoke of Christ, and never honored His Gospel by heartfelt reception of it — then you are nothing but chaff in His sight.

—JC Ryle
The Great Separation

Via: JC Ryle Quotes

Do Not Become Dead to the Gospel

Men and women who hear the Gospel regularly, I often fear much for you. I fear lest you become so familiar with the sounds of its doctrines, that insensibly you become dead to its power. I fear lest your religion should sink down into a little vague talk about your own weakness and corruption, and a few sentimental expressions about Christ, while real practical fighting on Christ’s side is altogether neglected. Oh, beware of this state of mind! Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only. No victory — no crown! Fight and overcome!

—J.C. Ryle
The Great Battle

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

Become Familiar with Your Bible

You live in a world where your soul is in constant danger. Enemies are round you on every side. Your own heart is deceitful. Bad examples are numerous. Satan is always laboring to lead you astray. Above all false doctrine and false teachers of every kind abound. This is your great danger.

To be safe you must be well armed. You must provide yourself with the weapons which God has given you for your help. You must store your mind with Holy Scripture. This is to be well armed.

Arm yourself with a thorough knowledge of the written word of God. Read your Bible regularly. Become familiar with your Bible. . . . Neglect your Bible and nothing that I know of can prevent you from error if a plausible advocate of false teaching shall happen to meet you. Make it a rule to believe nothing except it can be proved from Scripture. The Bible alone is infallible. . . . Do you really use your Bible as much as you ought?

There are many today, who believe the Bible, yet read it very little. Does your conscience tell you that you are one of these persons?

If so, you are the man that is likely to get little help from the Bible in time of need. Trial is a sifting experience. . . . Your store of Bible consolations may one day run very low.

If so, you are the man that is unlikely to become established in the truth. I shall not be surprised to hear that you are troubled with doubts and questions about assurance, grace, faith, perseverance, etc. The devil is an old and cunning enemy. He can quote Scripture readily enough when he pleases. Now you are not sufficiently ready with your weapons to fight a good fight with him. . . . Your sword is held loosely in your hand.

If so, you are the man that is likely to make mistakes in life. I shall not wonder if I am told that you have problems in your marriage, problems with your children, problems about the conduct of your family and about the company you keep. The world you steer through is full of rocks, shoals and sandbanks. You are not sufficiently familiar either with lighthouses or charts.

If so, you are the man who is likely to be carried away by some false teacher for a time. It will not surprise me if I hear that one of these clever eloquent men who can make a convincing presentation is leading you into error. You are in need of ballast (truth); no wonder if you are tossed to and fro like a cork on the waves.

All these are uncomfortable situations. I want you to escape them all. Take the advice I offer you today. Do not merely read your Bible a little—but read it a great deal. . . . Remember your many enemies. Be armed!

—J.C. Ryle
Quoted by J.I. Packer in 18 Words: The Most Important Words You Will Ever Know

Via: Justin Taylor

The Shallowness of Worldly Possessions

The possession of the whole world, and all that it contains, will never make a person happy. Its pleasures are false and deceptive. Its riches, rank, and honors, have no power to satisfy the heart. So long as we have not got them they glitter, sparkle, and seem desirable. The moment we have them we find that they are empty bubbles, and cannot make us feel content. And, worst of all, when we possess this world’s good things, to the utmost bound of our desire, we cannot keep them. Death comes in and separates us from all our property forever. Naked we came upon earth, and naked we go forth, and of all our possessions we can carry nothing with us. Such is the world, which occupies the whole attention of thousands! Such is the world, for the sake of which millions are every year destroying their souls!

—J.C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke – Volume 1

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

Do Not Forget the Holy Nature of God

Myriads of professing Christians at the present day have not an idea of their own sinfulness and guilt in the sight of God. They flatter themselves that they have never done anything very wicked. They have never murdered, or stolen, or committed adultery, or borne false witness. They cannot surely be in much danger of missing heaven. They forget the holy nature of that God with whom they have to do. They forget how often they break His law in temper, or imagination, even when their outward conduct is correct. They never study such portions of Scripture as the fifth chapter of Matthew, or at any rate they study it with a thick veil over their hearts, and do not apply it to themselves. The result is that they are wrapped up in self-righteousness. Like the church of Laodicea, they are “rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” (Revelation 3:17) Self-satisfied they live, and self-satisfied too often they die.

—J.C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Mark

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

Jesus the Redeemer: God and Man

The Lord Jesus, in whom the Gospel bids us believe, is, without doubt, almighty God–equal to the Father in all things, and able to save to the uttermost all those that come unto God by Him. But that same Jesus is no less certainly perfect man–able to sympathize with man in all his bodily sufferings, and acquainted by experience with all that man’s body has to endure. Power and sympathy are marvelously combined in Him who died for us on the cross. Because He is God, we may rest the weight of our souls upon Him with unhesitating confidence. He is mighty to save. Because He is man, we may speak to Him with freedom, about the many trials to which flesh is heir. He knows the heart of a man. Here is rest for the weary! Here is good news! Our Redeemer is man as well as God, and God as well as man.

—J.C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: John – Volume 1

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

You Just Pray

I dare not lay down too strict rules on such points as these. I leave them to your own conscience. You must be guided by circumstances.

Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed on a mountain;
Isaac prayed in the fields;
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall as he lay upon his bed;
Daniel prayed by the riverside;
Peter, the Apostle, on the housetop.

I have heard of young men praying in stables and haylofts. All that I contend for is this, you must know what it is to “go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen” (Matthew 6:6).

There must be stated times when you must speak to God face to face, you must every day have your times for prayer – you must pray.

—J.C. Ryle
Thoughts For Young Men

Via: Desiring God Blog

Fighting Against the Gates of Hell

Be prepared for the hostility of the gates of hell. Put on the whole armor of God. The weapons of our warfare have been tried by millions of poor sinners like ourselves, and have never been found to fail. Be patient under the bitterness of the gates of hell. It is all working together for your good. It tends to sanctify. It keeps you awake. It makes you humble. It drives you nearer to the Lord Jesus Christ. It weans you from the world. It helps to make you pray more. Above all, it makes you long for heaven, and say with heart as well as lips, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

—JC Ryle
The True Church

Via: JC Ryle Quotes