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J.C. Ryle: Believers are a little Flock

Believers are a Little Flock by J C Ryle on Girded with Truth

Believers are a Little Flock

This passage contains a gracious word of consolation for all true believers (Luke 12:32). Our Lord knew the hearts of his disciples well. He knew how ready they were to be filled with fears of every description, fears because of the fewness of their number, fears because of the multitude of their enemies, fears because of the many difficulties in their way, fears because of their sense of weakness and unworthiness. He answers these many fears with one golden sentence (Luke 12:32).

Believers are a little flock. They always have been ever since the world began. Professing servants of God have sometimes been many. But true Christians are very few. It is foolish to be surprised at this. Listen to our Lord’s teaching (Matthew 7:14).

Believers have a glorious kingdom awaiting them. Here upon earth they are often mocked and ridiculed, persecuted and, like their Master, despised and rejected of men. But let us remember Paul’s words (Romans 8:18; Colossians 3:4).

Believers are tenderly loved by the Father. It is ‘the Father’s good pleasure’ to give them a kingdom. He does not receive them grudgingly, unwillingly and coldly. He rejoices over them as members of his beloved Son in whom he is well pleased. He regards them as his dear children in Christ. He sees no spot in them. Even now when he looks down on them from heaven in the midst of their infirmities he is well pleased and, hereafter, when presented before his glory he will welcome them with exceeding joy (Jude 24).

Are we members of Christ’s little flock? Then surely we ought not to be afraid. There are given to us exceeding great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4). God is ours and Christ is ours. Greater are those that are for us than all that are against us. The world, the flesh and the devil are mighty enemies. But with Christ on our side we have no cause to fear.

Romans 8:26-39 – Our Victory in Christ

J.C. Ryle – Expository Thoughts on the Gospels

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The Vast and Solemn Subject of Sin

Holiness by J.C. Ryle

“Sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4

He who wishes to attain right views about Christian holiness must begin by examining the vast and solemn subject of sin. He must dig down very low if he would build high. A mistake here is most mischievous. Wrong views about holiness are generally traceable to wrong views about human corruption. I make no apology for beginning this volume of messages about holiness by making some plain statements about sin.

The plain truth is that a right understanding of sin lies at the root of all saving Christianity. Without it such doctrines as justification, conversion, sanctification, are “words and names” which convey no meaning to the mind. The first thing, therefore, that God does when He makes anyone a new creature in Christ is to send light into his heart and show him that he is a guilty sinner. The material creation in Genesis began with “light,” and so also does the spiritual creation. God “shines into our hearts” by the work of the Holy Spirit and then spiritual life begins (2 Corinthians 4:6). Dim or indistinct views of sin are the origin of most of the errors, heresies and false doctrines of the present day. If a man does not realize the dangerous nature of his soul’s disease, you cannot wonder if he is content with false or imperfect remedies. I believe that one of the chief wants of the contemporary church has been, and is, clearer, fuller teaching about sin.

 

Excerpt from the book “Holiness” by J.C. Ryle

~ Chapter 1 ~

J.C. Ryle, Evangelical, Church of England

The Bible does not change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Hebrews 13:8

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