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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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C.H. Spurgeon: Doctrine and Holiness

Let us never reckon that we have learned a doctrine till we have seen its bearing upon our lives

My brethren, this is a lesson for us; let us never reckon that we have learned a doctrine till we have seen its bearing upon our lives. Whatever we discover in God’s word, let us pray the Holy Spirit to make us feel the sanctifying influence of it. You know not a man because you recognize his features, you must also know his spirit, and so the mere acquaintance with the letter of truth is of small account — you must feel its influence and know its tendency.

Love Holiness as much as the Truth

There are some brethren who are so enamored of doctrine that no preacher will content them unless he gives them over and over again clear statements of certain favourite truths: but the moment you come to speak of practice they fight shy of it at once, and either denounce the preacher as being legal, or they grow weary of that which they dare not contradict. Let it never be so with us. Let us follow up truth to its practical “therefore.” Let us love the practice of holiness as much as the belief of the truth; and, though we desire to know, let us take care when we know that we act according to the knowledge, for if we do not our knowledge itself will become mischievous to us, will involve us in responsibilities, but will bring to us no effectual blessing. Let everyone here who knoweth aught, now pray God to teach him what he would have him to do, as the consequence of that knowledge.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 15:58

Excerpt from the sermon “Motives For Steadfastness” delivered by Charles H. Spurgeon, May 11, 1873.

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