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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C.H. Spurgeon: The Broken Fence

A religion which is all excitement, and has little instruction in it, may serve for transient use; but for permanent life-purposes there must be a knowledge of those great doctrines which are fundamental to the gospel system. I tremble when I hear of a man’s giving up, one by one, the vital principles of the gospel and boasting of his liberality.

The spirit of the Broad School robs us of everything like certainty. I should like to ask some great men of that order whether they believe that anything is taught in the Scriptures which it would be worth while for a person to die for, and whether the martyrs were not great fools for laying down their lives for mere opinions which might be right or might be wrong?

This broad-churchism is a breaking down of stone walls, and it will let in the devil and all his crew, and do infinite harm to the church of God, if it be not stopped. A loose state of belief does great damage to any man’s mind.

Lately we have seen few men with backbone; the most have been of the jelly-fish order. I have lived in times in which I should have said, “Be liberal, and shake off all narrowness ; but now I am obliged to alter my tone and cry, “Be steadfast in the truth.”

The faith once delivered to the saints is now all the more attractive to me, because it is called narrow, for I am weary of that breadth which comes of broken hedges. There are fixed points of truth, and definite certainties of creed, and woe to you if you allow these stone walls to crumble down.

C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Excerpt from sermon entitled “The Broken Fence”

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C.H. Spurgeon: Pragmatism

CHSpurgeon

One of the great evils of the time is that of deliberating about a plain command of Christ, and asking, “What will be the result of it?” What have you to do with results?  “But if I follow Christ in all things, I may lose my position.”  What have you to do with that? When a soldier is bidden to go up to the cannon’s mouth, he is very likely to lose his “position,” and something else; but he is bound to do it. “Oh, but I might lose my opportunities of usefulness!”  What do you mean?  That you are going to do evil that good may come?  That is what it comes to.

C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

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Watered Down Truth

“Error is bound to be much more popular than truth to the unregenerate; therefore, to make the truth in any way acceptable to them it has to be watered down, wrested and perverted. And there are always those who, for the sake of filthy lucre, are ready to perjure their souls.

Hence heretical sects and systems abound on every side. ‘What delusions are cherished about the character of God! ‘What erroneous ideas are entertained about His way of salvation! ‘What false opinions are held of man’s dignity, greatness, free will, even by many who call themselves Christians! Because of the unbelief, selfishness and impiety of men’s hearts, the false prophets, who speak smooth and flattering things, are assured of a ready hearing.

~ A.W. Pink (1886–1952)

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