Thank God For Feeling Your Sinfulness

He that has any feeling of his own sinfulness, ought to thank God for it. That very sense of weakness, wickedness, and corruption, which perhaps makes you uncomfortable, is in reality a token for good, and a cause for praise. The first step towards being really good, is to feel bad. The preparation for heaven, is to know that we deserve hell. Before we can be counted righteous we must know ourselves to be miserable sinners. Before we can have inward happiness and peace with God, we must learn to be ashamed and confounded because of our manifold transgressions. Before we can rejoice in a well-grounded hope, we must be taught to say, “Unclean, unclean! God, be merciful to me a sinner!”

—J.C. Ryle
Old Paths

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

How the Devil Spoke Through Peter

But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.’” Matthew 16:23

Peter had confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus replied, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” God entered into Peter’s subjectivity and made the truth real to him (Matthew 16:16-20).

When Jesus also warned his disciples about the cross, Peter took him aside and explained what a bad idea that was: “This shall never happen to you” (Matthew 16:21-22).

This time Jesus discerned in Peter another spiritual presence. Peter could speak under God’s illuminating power on one occasion, the same Peter could speak under Satan’s tempting power on another, and Peter himself didn’t feel the difference. So Jesus shocked him into awareness. What made the difference was not Peter setting his mind on the things of Satan but just setting his mind on “the things of man.” Things like survival. Natural, understandable things — but contrary to the cross.

Jesus, keep me near the cross.

—Ray Ortlund

Via: Ray Ortlund

Waiting for Christ’s Return

The true Scriptural source of consolation, in the face of all that troubles us, is to keep steadily before our eyes the second coming of Christ.

We must grasp and realize the blessed fact that the rightful King of the world is returning soon, and shall have His own again; that He shall put down that old usurper, the devil, and take away the curse from off the earth.

Let us cultivate the habit of daily looking forward to the resurrection of the dead, the gathering together of the saints, the restitution of all things, the banishment of sorrow and sin, and the re-establishment of a new kingdom, of which the rule shall be righteousness.

—J.C. Ryle
Looking Unto Jesus

Via: Of First Importance

Unsanctified Head-Knowledge

Let us pray that we may be delivered from a cold, speculative, unsanctified head-knowledge of Christianity. It is a rock on which thousands make shipwreck to all eternity. No heart becomes so hard as that on which the light shines, but finds no admission. To be an ignorant heathen, and bow down to idols and stones, is bad enough. But to be called a Christian, and know the theory of the Gospel, and yet cleave to sin and the world with the heart, is to be a candidate for the worst and lowest place in hell. It is to be as like as possible to the devil.

—J.C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke – Volume 2

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

Knowing God

Martin Downes published a really insightful post the other day at his website and I wanted to pass along a couple of quotes:

A non-doctrinal faith is impossible. A faith wrongly informed because it has been fed on false doctrine is disastrous. A faith rooted in an experiential, subjective moralism, can easily pose as Christian faith, but it is no substitute for faith in a gracious Saviour, who is both God and man, a faith rooted and grounded in the Word of God. And not to care about these matters is really not to care about God.

Although this quote is presented out of order from the original post, I thought it a fitting warning and wonderful conclusion.

My point is that we need books to help us grow in grace and knowledge, to help us think deep thoughts about a great God, and to set us on a path of further reading and reflection on the riches of the Christian faith. Truth has edges and boundaries. Step outside of these, or behave as if they don’t matter, and you will walk into a spiritual minefield.

Via: Against Heresies