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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Daily Grace: Storms of Life

When the storms of life blow our way, we can either cringe in despair or flee to the heavenly Mercy Seat—the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). There we can find the help and strength to be overcomers. Trials can sometimes embitter and harden our spirits. However, if we use the trial to lean more fully on Christ and to learn the lesson He desires to teach us, we become stronger in our faith.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 1 Corinthians 1:3-4

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Return to Holy Reverence

“Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.”  – Isaiah 52:13

One of the most tragic graces we have lost today in our Christianity is the fear of the LORD, and reverence for Jesus Christ, in particular. As the enemy, the world, or corrupt flesh delight to tear us away from God’s holy Word and the truth at the center of Christ, and Him crucified, and the more we forget, or forsake, the truth of the Cross, the greater the caricature we make of our Lord. Soon, the holy and beloved Son of God becomes our pal, our bro, our home boy, and a host of other common titles, that though the names are not offensive in and of themselves, the mere thought of the irreverence directed toward the holy Redeemer should turn our stomachs and bring forth from our eyes a fountain of tears.

Although the King has humbled Himself to become a man, although He has extended His favor and majestic scepter to us to call us “friend,” that does not mean that we have permission to be so familiar with my Lord that we lose all respect toward Him. When my earthly father played catch with me in the yard, it did not mean that I could start calling him by his first name like he was one of my school chums.

I taught my children to say “sir” and “ma’am” to their elders, and to their parents especially; so that, in teaching them to honor father and mother, as they learned to obey mom and dad, they were being trained to honor and obey their heavenly Father.

Do we see what our heavenly Father says about the Suffering Servant and Savior of our souls? He is exalted, lifted up, and ascended very high into heaven at the right hand of God because He, the Son of God, was prudent in wisdom and obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.

Get back to the Cross of Christ in the Word of God, in your private prayers, in your public, family and private worship, and His holiness will be as a brilliant light that shines brighter than the sun in its strength; His terrible majesty will bring us once again to fear Him and tremble at His name. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

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by Jon J. Cardwell

www.justificationbygrace.com

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