“Saving Faith is Always Evidenced by a Humble Heart” — A.W. Pink

Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952)


A.W. Pink,

Saving faith is always evidenced by an humble heart. Faith lays the soul low, for it discovers its own vileness, emptiness, impotency. It realizes its former sinfulness, and present unworthiness. It is conscious of its weaknesses and wants, its carnality and corruptions. Nothing more exalts Christ than faith, and nothing more debases a man. In order to magnify the riches of His grace, God has selected faith as the fittest instrument, and this, because it is that which causes us to go entirely out from ourselves unto Him. Faith, realizing we have nothing but sin and wretchedness, comes unto Christ as an empty-handed beggar, to receive all from Him. Faith empties a man of self-conceit, self-confidence, and self-righteousness, and makes him seem nothing, that Christ may be all in all. The strongest faith is always accompanied by the greatest humility, accounting self the greatest of sinners and unworthy of the least favor (see Matthew 8:8- 10). (excerpted from: Studies on Saving Faith, A.W. Pink)

See also:

A Call To Humility: How Pride Keeps You From Christ — J.C. Ryle
The Humbling Doctrine of God’s Absolute Sovereignty — A.W. Pink
J.C. Ryle: On The Dangerous Delusion of Sinless Perfectionism
“Assurance and Humility” by A. A. Hodge

“Humility” by William Romaine (1714-1795)

Advertisements

Self-Righteousness Will Destroy You — Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)


Charles Spurgeon,

Self-righteousness will destroy you, my friend

and we therefore tell you, honestly and plainly, that you might as well hope to get to Heaven by flying up in a balloon as to get there by your good works! You may as soon sail to India in a sieve as get to Glory by your own goodness; you might as well go to court in cobwebs as seek to go to Heaven in your own righteousness. Away with your rags, your filthy, rotten rags! They are only a harbor for the parasites of unbelief and pride! Away with your rotten righteousness, your counterfeit gold, your forged wealth! It is of no worth whatever in the sight of God! Come to Him empty, poor, naked! It grates on your proud ears, does it? Better, I say, to lose your pride than to lose your soul! Why be damned for pride’s sake? Why carry your head so high that it must be cut off? Why feed your pride on your soul’s blood? Surely there is cheaper stuff than that for pride to drink! Why let it suck the very marrow out of your bones? Be wise!

Bow, stoop, stoop to be saved!

(excerpted from: The Interest of Christ and His People in Each Other, Sermon No. 374, delivered by C. H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, March 29, 1861) (Article Credit: Grace Gems)

Herman Bavinck on the Mirror of God’s Holy Law and the Subsequent Need for Grace

Herman Bavinck (1854-1921)


Herman Bavinck,

To correctly assess the benefit of justification, people must lift up their minds to the judgment seat of God and put themselves in his presence. When they compare themselves with others or measure themselves by the standard they apply to themselves or among each other, they have some reason perhaps to pride themselves in something and to put their trust in it. But when they put themselves before the face of God and examine themselves in the mirror of his holy law, all their conceit collapses, all self-confidence melts, and there is room left only for the prayer: “Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you” (Job 4:17-19; 9:2; 15:14-16; Ps. 143:2; cf.130:3), and there only comfort is that “there is forgiveness before you, so that you may be revered” (Ps. 130:4). If for insignificant, guilty, and impure persons there is to be a possibility of true religion, that is, of genuine fellowship with God, of salvation and eternal life, then God on his part must reestablish the broken bond, again take them into fellowship with him and share his grace with them, regardless of their guilt and corruption. He, then, must descend from the height of his majesty, seek us out and come to us, take away our guilt and again open the way to his fatherly heart. If God were to wait until we – by our faith, our virtues, and good works…- had made ourselves worthy, in part or in whole, to receive his favor, the restoration of communion between him and ourselves would never happen, and salvation would forever be out of reach for us.

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008), 204-205

Used by permission of Baker Academic a division of Baker Publishing Group. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without written permission from Baker Publishing Group. http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Novelty Has No Place In Gospel Preaching (Charles Spurgeon)

This is from the 01 July 2011 Dose of Spurgeon by Phil Johnson at the Pyromaniacs blog,

Charles Spurgeon at age 23

Charles Spurgeon,

The apostles never traveled far from the simple facts of Christ’s life, death, resurrection, ascension, exaltation, and second advent. These things, of which they were the witnesses, constituted the staple of all their discourses. . . .

What a rebuke this should be to those in modern times who are ever straining after novelties. There may be much of the Athenian spirit among congregations, but that should be no excuse for its being tolerated among ministers; we, of all men, should be the last to spend our time in seeking something new.

Our business, my brethren, is the old labor of apostolic tongues, to declare that Jesus, who is the same yesterday to-day and for ever. We are mirrors reflecting the transactions of Calvary, telescopes manifesting the distant glories of an exalted Redeemer. The nearer we keep to the cross, the nearer, I think, we keep to our true vocation. When the Lord shall be pleased to restore to his Church once more a fervent love to Christ, and when once again we shall have a ministry that is not only flavoured with Christ, but of which Jesus constitutes the sum and substance, then shall the Churches revive—then shall the set time to favor Zion come.

The goodly cedar which was planted by the rivers of old, and stretched out her branches far and wide, has become in these modern days like a tree dwarfed by Chinese art; it is planted by the rivers as aforetime, but it does not flourish, only let God the Holy Spirit give to us once again the bold and clear preaching of Christ crucified in all simplicity and earnestness, and the dwarf shall swell into a forest giant, each expanding bud shall burst into foliage, and the cedar shall tower aloft again, until the birds of the air shall lodge in the branches thereof.

I need offer you no apology, then, for preaching on those matters which engrossed all the time of the apostles, and which shall shower unnumbered blessings on generations yet to come. — Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

[View original post here]

“Substitute Anything for Christ, and the Gospel is Totally Spoiled!” — J.C. Ryle

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)


J.C. Ryle,

You may spoil the Gospel by substitution. You have only to withdraw from the eyes of the sinner the grand object which the Bible proposes to faith,—Jesus Christ; and to substitute another object in His place,—the Church, the Ministry, the Confessional, Baptism, or the Lord’s Supper, and the mischief is done. Substitute anything for Christ, and the Gospel is totally
spoiled! Do this, either directly or indirectly, and your religion ceases to be Evangelical.

You may spoil the Gospel by addition. You have only to add to Christ, the grand object of faith, some other objects as equally worthy of honour, and the mischief is done. Add anything to Christ, and the Gospel ceases to be a pure Gospel! Do this, either directly or indirectly, and your religion ceases to be Evangelical.

You may spoil the Gospel by interposition. You have only to push something between Christ and the eye of the soul, to draw away the sinner’s attention from the Saviour, and the mischief is done. Interpose anything between man and Christ, and man will neglect Christ for the thing interposed! Do this, either directly or indirectly, and your religion ceases to be Evangelical.

You may spoil the Gospel by disproportion. You have only to attach an exaggerated importance to the secondary things of Christianity, and a diminished importance to the first things, and the mischief is done. Once alter the proportion of the parts of truth, and truth soon becomes downright error! Do this, either directly or indirectly, and your religion ceases to be Evangelical. (from: Evangelical Religion, J.C. Ryle)

“What Doctrines Are Essential? – Part 3” by John MacArthur

“What Doctrines Are Essential? – Part 3”

by John MacArthur

1 Corinthians 3:11; John 3:18; 2 John 11; John 5:22

John MacArthur

V. The Fundamental Doctrines Are All Summed up in the Person and Work of Christ

Paul wrote, “No man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11). Christ Himself embodied or established every doctrine that is essential to genuine Christianity. Those who reject any of the cardinal doctrines of the faith worship a “christ” who is not the Christ of Scripture.

How are the fundamentals of the faith personified in Christ?

With regard to the inspiration and authority of Scripture, He is the incarnate Word (John 1:1, 14). He upheld the written Word’s absolute authority (Matthew 5:18). Christ Himself established sola Scriptura as a fundamental doctrine when He upbraided the Pharisees for nullifying Scripture with their own traditions: “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.… You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9). Our Lord had much to say about the authority and infallibility of the Word of God.

In the doctrine of justification by faith, it is Christ’s own perfect righteousness, imputed to the believer, that makes the pivotal difference between true biblical justification and the corrupted doctrine of Roman Catholicism and the cults. That is what Paul meant when he wrote, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4). It is also why Paul wrote that Christ is become to us righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30), and it is why Jeremiah called Him “The Lord our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6). The Lord Himself, Jesus Christ, is our righteousness (Jeremiah 33:16). That is the very essence of justification by faith alone, sola fide.

Of course, all the fundamental doctrines related to the incarnation — the Virgin Birth of Christ, His deity, His humanity, and His sinlessness — are part and parcel of who He is. To deny any of those doctrines is to attack Christ Himself.

The essential doctrines related to His work — His atoning death, His resurrection, and the reality of His miracles — are the very basis of the Gospel (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Hebrews 2:3-4). Reject them and you nullify the heart of the Christian message.

The fundamentals of the faith are so closely identified with Christ that the apostle John used the expression “the teaching of Christ” as a kind of shorthand for the set of doctrines he regarded as fundamental. To him, these doctrines represented the difference between true Christianity and false religion.

That is why he wrote, “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). Far from encouraging union with those who denied the fundamental truths of the faith, John forbade any form of spiritual fellowship with or encouragement of such false religion (vv. 10-11).

So What?

It has not been my purpose here to attempt to give an exhaustive list of fundamental doctrines. Such a task is beyond the scope of this article. Furthermore, the attempt to precisely identify and number such a list of doctrines would be an extremely difficult thing to do. However, a reasonable list of fundamentals would necessarily begin with these doctrines explicitly identified in Scripture as non-negotiable: the absolute authority of Scripture over tradition (sola Scriptura), justification by faith alone (sola fide), the deity of Christ, and the Trinity.

But what are we to do with this understanding? First of all, we should resist any temptation to wield these doctrines like a judge’s gavel that consigns multitudes to eternal doom. We must not set ourselves up as judges of other people’s eternal fate.

On the other hand, we must recognize that those who have turned away from sound doctrine in matters essential to salvation are condemning themselves. “He who does not believe has been judged already” (John 3:18). Our passion ought to be to proclaim the fundamentals with clarity and precision, in order to turn people away from the darkness of error. We must confront head-on the blindness and unbelief that will be the reason multitudes will one day hear the Lord say, “I never knew you; depart from Me” (Matthew 7:23). Again, it must be stressed that those who act as if crucial doctrines were of no consequence only heap the false teacher’s guilt on themselves (2 John 11).

We have no right to pronounce a sentence of eternal doom against anyone (John 5:22). But by the same token, we have no business receiving just anyone into the communion and fellowship of the church. We should no more forge spiritual bonds with people whose religion is fundamentally in error than we would seek fellowship with those guilty of heinous sin. To do so is tantamount to the arrogance shown by the Corinthians, who refused to dismiss from their fellowship a man living in the grossest kind of sin (1 Corinthians 5:1-3).

We must also remember that serious error can be extremely subtle. False teachers don’t wear a sign proclaiming who they are. They disguise themselves as apostles of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:13). “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (vv. 14-15). In view of the current hunger for ecumenical compromise, nothing is more desperately needed in the church right now than a new movement to reemphasize the fundamental articles of the faith.

See also:

“What Doctrines Are Essential? – Part 1”
by John MacArthur
“What Doctrines Are Essential? – Part 2” by John MacArthur

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This article originally appeared here at Grace To You © 1969-2011. Grace to You. All rights reserved.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Man-Abasing, God-Glorifying Nature of the Biblical Gospel — J. Gresham Machen


J. Gresham Machen,

Christ is a sufficient Saviour; but what has He done, and what will He do, not merely for the men who were with Him in the days of His flesh, but for us? How is it that Christ touches our lives?

The answer which the Word of God gives to that question is perfectly specific and perfectly plain. Christ touches our lives, according to the New Testament, through the Cross. We deserved eternal death, in accordance with the curse of God’s law; but the Lord Jesus, because He loved us, took upon Himself the guilt of our sins and died instead of us on Calvary. And faith consists simply in our acceptance of that wondrous gift. When we accept the gift, we are clothed, entirely without merit of our own, by the righteousness of Christ; when God looks upon us, He sees not our impurity but the spotless purity of Christ, and accepts us “as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.”

That view of the Cross, it cannot be denied, runs counter to the mind of the natural man. It is not, indeed, complicated or obscure; on the contrary it is so simple that a child can understand, and what is really obscure is the manifold modern effort to explain the Cross away in such fashion as to make it more agreeable to human pride. But certainly it is mysterious, and certainly it demands for its acceptance a tremendous sense of sin and guilt. That sense of sin and guilt, that moral awakening of a soul dead in sin, is the work of the Spirit of God; without the Spirit of God no human persuasion will ever bring men to faith. But that does not mean that we should be careless about the way in which we proclaim the gospel: because the proclamation of the message is insufficient to induce faith, it does not follow that it is unnecessary; on the contrary it is the means which the Spirit Himself graciously uses in bringing men to Christ. Every effort, therefore, should be made, with the help of God, to remove objections to this “word of the Cross” and to present it in all its gracious power. ¹

¹ J. Gresham Machen, What is Faith (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1991), pp. 143-144 [First Published 1925]

What is Justification by Faith? — Phil Johnson [VIDEO]

“Justification deals with the question of our standing before God. How can I be right with God? That’s the question the Doctrine of Justification answers.” – Phil Johnson

Click on link below to watch this short video.
What is Justification by Faith?

Fixing Our Eyes on the Cross — Dr. Art Azurdia [VIDEO]

Another wonderful excerpt from a message given by Dr. Azurdia at one of the 2007 Faith and Life Conferences at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California.

“The First Step Towards Heaven Is to See Clearly That We Deserve Hell” — J.C. Ryle

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)


J.C. Ryle,

Surely we ought all to cease from proud thoughts about ourselves. We ought to lay our hands upon our mouths, and say with Abraham, “I am dust and ashes;” and with Job, “I am vile;” and with Isaiah, “We are all as an unclean thing;” and with John, “If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (Gen. 18:27; Job 40:4; Isaiah 64:6; 1 John 1:8.) Where is the man or woman in the whole catalogue of the Book of Life, that will ever be able to say more than this, “I obtained mercy”? What is the glorious company of the apostles, the goodly fellowship of the prophets, the noble army of martyrs—what are they all but pardoned sinners? Surely there is but one conclusion to be arrived at—We are all great sinners, and we all need a great forgiveness.

See now what just cause I have to say that to know our need of forgiveness is the first thing in true religion. Sin is a burden, and must be taken off. Sin is a defilement, and must be cleansed away. Sin is a mighty debt, and must be paid. Sin is a mountain standing between us and heaven, and must be removed. The first step towards heaven is to see clearly that we deserve hell.

(excerpted from: Forgiveness, J. C. Ryle, emphasis added)

See Also:

“The Withering Work of The Spirit” — Charles Spurgeon
Believe the Gospel, Preach the Gospel, and Leave the Results To God — B.B. Warfield
The Christian’s Sufficiency In Christ — John Calvin
“We Do Not ‘Make’ Christ Lord; He Is Lord!” — John MacArthur
Christian: Never Doubt God’s Love For You — Thomas Vincent (1634-1678)
Submit To Christ As Lord Or He Will Not Be Your Savior — Charles Spurgeon

Solus Christus: Only One Way of Salvation — J.C. Ryle

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” — Acts 4:12

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)


J.C. Ryle,

I dare be sure these consequences sound very unpleasant to the minds of some who may read them. But I tell you of them advisedly and deliberately. I say calmly that a religion without Christ, a religion that takes away from Christ, a religion that adds anything to Christ, a religion that puts sincerity in the place of Christ,—all are dangerous: all are to be avoided, and all are alike contrary to the doctrine of our text.

You may not like this: I am sorry for it. You think me uncharitable, illiberal, narrow-minded, bigoted, and so forth: be it so. But you will not tell me my doctrine is not that of the Word of God, and of the Church of England whose minister I am. That doctrine is, salvation in Christ to the very uttermost,—but out of Christ no salvation at all.

I feel it a duty to bear my solemn testimony against the spirit of the day you live in; to warn you against its infection. It is not Atheism I fear so much, in the present times, as Pantheism. It is not the system which says nothing is true, so much as the system which says everything is true; it is not the system which says there is no Saviour, so much as the system which says there are many saviours and many ways to peace. It is the system which is so liberal that it dares not say anything is false; it is the system which is so charitable that it will allow everything to be true; it is the system which seems ready to honour others as well as our Lord Jesus Christ, class them all together, and hope well of all. Confucius and Zoroaster, Socrates and Mahomet, the Indian Brahmins and the African devilworshippers, Arius and Pelagius, Ignatius Loyola and Socinus,—all are to be treated respectfully: none are to be condemned. It is the system which bids us smile complacently on all creeds and systems of religion: the Bible and the Koran, the Hindu Vedus and the Persian Zendavesta, the old wives’ fables of Rabbinical writers and the rubbish of Patristic traditions, the Racovian catechism and the thirty-nine Articles, the revelations of Emanuel Swedenborg and the book of Mormon of Joseph Smith,—all are to be listened to: none are to be denounced as lies. It is the system which is so scrupulous about the feelings of others, that we are never to say they are wrong; it is the system which is so liberal that it calls a man a bigot if he dares to say, “I know my views are right.” This is the system, this is the tone of feeling which I fear in this day. This is the system which I desire emphatically to testify against and denounce.

What is it but a bowing down before a great idol specially called liberality? What is it all but a sacrificing of truth upon the altar of a caricature of charity? Beware of it, reader, beware that the rushing stream of public opinion does not carry you away. Beware of it, if you believe the Bible…Has the Lord God spoken to us in the Bible, or has He not? Has He shown us the way of salvation plainly in that Bible, or has He not? Has He declared to us the dangerous state of all out of that way, or has He not? Gird up the loins of your mind, and look these questions fairly in the face, and give them an honest answer. Tell us that there is some other inspired book beside the Bible, and then we shall know what you mean; tell us that the whole Bible is not inspired, and then we shall know where to meet you: but grant for a moment that the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, is God’s truth., and then I know not in what way you can escape the doctrine of the text. From the liberality which says everybody is right, from the charity which forbids you to say anybody is wrong, from the peace which is bought at the expense of truth,—may the good Lord deliver you! (excerpted from: Only One Way of Salvation, in Knots untied: Being Plain Statements On Disputed Points In Religion From the Standpoint of An Evangelical Churchman, J.C. Ryle)

God’s Terrifying Presence, Apart From Christ — Charles Spurgeon

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” — John 17:3

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)


Charles Spurgeon,

No one knows the true God in the real sense of knowledge except through Jesus Christ, for no man comes unto the Father but by the Son. But even if he could know God, in a measure, apart from the Revelation of Him in Christ Jesus, it would be a knowledge of terror that would make him flee away and avoid God! It would not be life to our souls to know God apart from His Son, Jesus Christ! We must know the Christ whom He has sent or our knowledge does not bring eternal life to us. But, Beloved, when we see God in Christ meeting us, demanding a penalty and yet providing it, Himself, decreeing the punishment most justly and then bearing it Himself. When we see Him to be both Judge and Expiation, both Ruler and Sacrifice, then we see that “herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the Propitiation for our sins.” Then it is, in the knowledge of God in Christ and God through Christ, that we find that we have entered into eternal life! (excerpted from: Eternal Life, Sermon #2396, delivered by C.H. Spurgeon at Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, February 6, 1887) (RT: Spurgeon Gems)

“How Is A Person Justified In God’s Sight?” — J.C. Ryle

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)


No man can be justified by his works before God in the slightest possible degree. Before man he may be justified—his works may evidence the reality of his Christianity. Before God he cannot be justified by anything that he can do—he will be always defective, always imperfect, always short-coming, always far below the mark, so long as he lives. It is not by works of his own that anyone ever has peace and is a justified man.

But how then is a true Christian justified? What is the secret of that peace and sense of pardon which he enjoys? How can we understand a Holy God dealing with a sinful man—as with one innocent, and reckoning him righteous notwithstanding his many sins?

The answer to all these questions is short and simple. The true Christian is counted righteous for the sake of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is justified because of the death and atonement of Christ. He has peace because “Christ died for his sins according to the Scriptures.” This is the key that unlocks the mighty mystery. Here the great problem is solved, how God can be just and yet justify the ungodly. The life and death of the Lord Jesus explain all. “He is our peace.” (1 Cor. 15:3; Eph. 2:14.)

Christ has stood in the place of the true Christian. He has become his Surety and his Substitute. He undertook to bear all that was to be borne, and to do all that was to be done—and what He undertook He performed. Hence the true Christian is a justified man. (Isaiah 53:6.)

Christ has suffered for sins, the “just for the unjust.” He has endured our punishment in His own body on the cross. He has allowed the wrath of God, which we deserved, to fall on His own head. Hence the true Christian is a justified man. (1 Pet. 3:1.8.)

Christ has paid the debt the Christian owed, by His own blood. He has reckoned for it, and discharged it to the uttermost farthing by His own death. God is a just God, and will not require his debts to be paid twice over. Hence the true Christian is a justified man. (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 1:18, 19.)

Christ has obeyed the law of God perfectly. The devil, the Prince of this world, could find no fault in Him. By so fulfilling it He brought in an everlasting righteousness, in which all His people are clothed in the sight of God. Hence the true Christian is a justified man. (Dan 9:24; Rom 10:4.)

Christ, in one word, has lived for the true Christian. Christ has died for him. Christ has gone to the grave for him. Christ has risen again for him. Christ has ascended up on high for him, and gone into heaven to intercede for his soul. Christ has done all, paid all, suffered all that was needful for his redemption. (Col. 2:3; 3:11) (excerpted from: JUSTIFICATION!, J.C. Ryle)

Christ Our Intercessor: Comfort For the Sorrowful Christian — J.C. Ryle

“He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” — Hebrews 7:25

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

J.C. Ryle,

 

Let us think again, that Christ is able to save to the uttermost, notwithstanding all the present weakness of His believing people. How great that weakness is, time would fail me to show. There are many of God’s children who know their hearts’ bitterness, who bewail with strong crying and tears their short-comings, their unprofitableness, and the scanty fruit they bring forth. But let us take comfort in the words of John, “If any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father”—ever present with the Father, “Jesus Christ the righteous—and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 2:1.) Those weaknesses may well humble us. Those infirmities may well make us walk softly before our God. But while the Lord Jesus Christ lives, those infirmities need not make us entirely despair. We have an ever-living, ever-interceding Priest. Christ is not dead but alive……….Would you know the secret of the security for the perseverance of God’s own people? Would you know why it is that Christ’s sheep shall never perish, and none shall ever pluck them out of His hand? It is a miraculous thing. When you look at the believer’s heart, listen to the believer’s prayers, mark the believer’s confessions, when you see how a just man may fall, sometimes seven times—when you see, with all this, the believer’s perseverance, it is a marvel indeed. To carry a candle in a stormy night, when winds and gusty blasts are blowing from every quarter—to carry it still burning, steadily burning, along the street—this is a wonderful achievement. To go over a stormy sea in a little boat—to mount billow after billow, and not see the waves breaking over the boat, and overturning it—this is well-near a miracle. To see a little child tottering along the crowded street, a child some three or four years old—to see it tottering on and making its way in safety, from one end of the town to the other—this is a mighty marvel.

But after all, what is this but the life, and history, and experience of every true Christian? Though he falls, he rises again; though he is cast down, he is not destroyed. He goes on from one position to another, like the moon upon a stormy night, plunging from one cloud into another, yet by-and-by shining out again and walking in brightness. What is the secret of it all? It is the continual intercession of a mighty Friend at the right hand of God—a Friend who never slumbers and never sleeps—a Friend who cares for the believer, morning, noon, and night. The intercession of Christ is the secret of the perseverance of the Christian. (excerpted from: Christ’s Power To Save, J.C. Ryle)

Related Posts:

John MacArthur: On What Happens To A Christian Who Sins Just Before Dying
“Christ Lays His Hand Upon Us and We Are Healed” — Martin Luther
“Jesus Will Never Cast Away His Believing People” — J.C. Ryle
J. Gresham Machen: On The Christian’s Leaving the Past Behind
Cures for Worry and Anxiety – Charles Spurgeon
Sinclair Ferguson: Imputed Righteousness [VIDEO]

Madison Avenue Evangelism Versus Biblical Evangelism — James M. Boice

James M. Boice (1938-2000)


James Boice,

If Madison Avenue executives were trying to attract people to the Christian life, they would stress its positive and fulfilling aspects…Unfortunately, we who live in the West are so conditioned to this very thinking (and to precisely this type of Christian evangelism or salesmanship) that we are almost shocked when we learn that the first great principle of Christianity is negative. It is not, as some say, “Come to Christ, and all your troubles will melt away.” It is as the Lord himself declared, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?” (Mt. 16:24-26).

James Montgomery Boice, Foundations of the Christian Faith: A Comprehensive and Readable Theology (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1986) pg. 459