Friday, December 30, 2011

The True Character of a Christian

The man who hears the word of God, and does it, is the true Christian. He hears the call of God to repent and be converted, and he obeys it. He ceases to do evil, and learns to do well. He puts off the old man, and puts on the new. He hears the call of God to believe on Jesus Christ for justification, and he obeys it. He forsakes his own righteousness, and confesses his need of a Savior. He receives Christ crucified as his only hope, and counts all things loss for the knowledge of Him. He hears the call of God to be holy, and he obeys it. He strives to mortify the deeds of his body, and to walk after the Spirit. He labors to lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets him. This is true vital Christianity. All men and women who are of this character are true Christians.
~ J.C. Ryle

Thursday, December 29, 2011

All religions do indeed lead you to God.

‎"All religions do indeed lead you to God. Christians, however, are the only ones who will be happy to see Him, for they are the only ones He will be happy to see." 
   ~R.C. Sproul Jr.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The state of things after the judgment

The state of things after the judgment is changeless and without end. The misery of the lost, and the blessedness of the saved, are both alike forever. Let no person deceive us on this point. It is clearly revealed in Scripture. The eternity of God, and heaven, and hell, all stand on the same foundation. As surely as God is eternal, so surely is heaven an endless day without night, and hell an endless night without day.
~ J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

God's use of evil

So great and boundless is God's wisdom that he knows right well how to use evil instruments to do good. 
   ~John Calvin

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Simple Test for Distinguishing Heresy from Sound Doctrine

It is a remarkable fact that all the heresies which have arisen in the Christian Church have had a decided tendency to dishonor God and to flatter man. They have always had for their covert, if not for their open aim, the exaltation of human nature, and the casting down of the sovereignty of divine grace.

Robbing God of the glory which is due unto his name, these false prophets would shed a counterfeit lustre upon the head of the rebellious and depraved creature. On the other hand, the doctrines of the gospel, commonly known as the doctrines of grace, are distinguished for this peculiarity above every other, namely, that they sink the creature very low, and present the Lord Jehovah before us as sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up.

So true is this, that the most uneducated Christian may, even if he is incapable of refuting an erroneous discourse, always be able to discover its untruthfulness, if it glorifies man at the expense of God. The merest babe in grace may carry this test with him: in the midst of the diversities of opinion with which he is surrounded, he may always judge, and judge infallibly too, of the truth or falsehood of a doctrine by testing it thus—

"Does it glorify God?" If it be so it is true.

"Does it exalt man?" Then it must be false.

On the other hand, does it lay man very low, and speak of him in terms which tend to make him feel his degradation? Then doubtless it is full of truth. And does it put the crown upon the head of God, and not upon the head of man's free-will, or free-agency, or good works? Then assuredly it is a doctrine according to godliness for it is the very truth of the Lord our God.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Warning to Careless Christians

If thou be a loose and careless professor of Christ, I beseech thee, let the things you hear of Christ, convince, shame, reclaim thee from thy vain conversation. Here thou wilt find how contrary thy conversation is to the grand designs of the death and resurrection of Christ. Oh, rethink the deep humiliation, and unspeakable sorrows Christ underwent for the expiating of sin, thou shouldest thenceforth look upon sin as a tender child would look upon that knife that stabbed his father to the heart! thou shouldst never whet and sharpen it again to wound the Son of God afresh. To such loose and careless professors, I particularly recommend the last general use of this discourse, containing many great motives to reformation and strict godliness in all that call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.”
~ John Flavel

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christ’s Amazing Love for Poor Sinners

“From one wonder let our souls turn to another, for they are now in the midst of wonders: adore, and be forever astonished at the love of Jesus Christ to poor sinners; that ever he should consent to leave such a bosom, and the ineffable delights that were there, for such poor worms as we are. O the heights, depths, lengths, and breadths of unmeasurable love! O see, Rom. 5: 6, 7, 8. Read, and wonder; how is the love of Christ commended in ravishing circumstances to poor sinners! You would be loth to leave a creature’s bosom, a comfortable dwelling, a fair estate for the best friend in the world; your souls are loth to leave their bodies, though they have no such great content there; but which of you, if ever you found by experience what it is to be in the bosom of God by divine communion, would be persuaded to leave such a bosom for all the good that is in the world? And yet Jesus Christ who was embraced in that bosom after another manner than ever you were acquainted with, freely left it, and laid down the glory and riches he enjoyed there, for your sakes; and as the Father loved him; even so (believers) has he loved you, John 17: 22. What manner of love is this! Who ever loved as Christ loves? Who ever denied himself for Christ, as Christ denied himself for us?”
~ John Flavel

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Christ Forsook All, Will You?

If Christ lay eternally in this bosom of love, and yet was content to forsake and leave it for your sakes; then, (1.) Be you ready to forsake and leave all the comforts you have on earth for Christ: famous Galleacius left all for this enjoyment. Moses left all the glory of Egypt: Peter, and the other Apostles left all, Luke 18: 28. But what have we to leave for Christ in comparison of what he left for us? Surely Christ is the highest pattern of self-denial in the world. (2.) Let this confirm your faith in prayer: If he, that has such an interest in the heart of God, intercede with the Father for you, then never doubt of audience and acceptance with him; surely you shall be accepted through the beloved, Eph. 1: 6. Christ was never denied any thing that he asked, John 11: 42. The Father hears him always; though you are not worthy, Christ is, and he ever lives to make intercession for you, Heb. 7: 25.”
~ John Flavel

Friday, November 11, 2011

Blindness Is A Danger

If thou be one whose heart is eagerly set upon this vain world, I beseech thee take heed, lest it interpose itself betwixt Christ and thy soul, and so cut thee off from him for ever. O beware, lest the dust of the earth, getting into thine eyes, so blind thee, that thou never see the beauty or necessity of Christ. The god of this world so blinds the eyes of them that believe not. And what are sparkling pleasures that dazzles the eyes of some, and the distracting cares that wholly divert the minds of others, but as a napkin drawn by Satan over the eyes of them that are to be turned off into hell? 1 Cor. 4: 3, 4.”
~ John Flavel

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Christ Is Heaven’s Favorite

Hence we are informed, That interest in Jesus Christ is the true way to all spiritual preferment in heaven. Do you covet to be in the heart, in the favor and delight of God? Get interest in Jesus Christ, and you shall presently be there. What old Israel said of the children of his beloved Joseph, Thy children are my children; the same God saith of all the dear children of Christ, Gen. 48: 5, 9. You see among men, all things are carried by interest: persons rise in this world as they are befriended; preferment goes by favor: So it is in heaven, persons are preferred according to their interest in the beloved, Eph. 1: 9. Christ is the great favorite in heaven: his image upon your souls and his name in your prayers, makes both accepted with God.”
~ John Flavel

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sinners Must Embrace Christ

Poor Wretches! Whatever you are, or have been; whatever guilt or discouragement at present you lie under; embrace Christ, who is freely offered to you, and you shall be as dear to God as the holiest and most eminent believer in the world: but if you still continue to despise and neglect such a Saviour, sorer wrath is treasured up for you than other sinners, even something worse than dying without mercy, Heb. 10: 28. O that these discoveries and overtures of Christ may never come to such a fatal issue with any of your souls, in whose eyes his glory has been this day opened!”
~ John Flavel

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Be Not Deceived

Thou sometimes reflectest upon the state of thy soul, and enquirest, is Christ mine? may I depend upon it, that my condition is safe? Thy heart returns thee an answer of peace, it speaks as thou wouldst have it. But remember, friend, and mark this line, Thy final sentence is not yet come from the mouth of thy Judge; and what if, after all thy self-flattering hopes and groundless confidence, a sentence should come from him quite cross to that of thine own heart? where art thou then? what a confounded person wilt thou be? Christless, speechless, and hopeless, all at once!”
~ John Flavel

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What Love Is Demonstrated in the Giving of His Son

What an astonishing act of love was this then, for the Father to give the delight, the darling, of his soul, out of his very bosom, for poor sinners! all tongues must needs pause and falter, that attempt the expressions of his grace, expressions being here swallowed up: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” John 3: 16. How did he love them? nay, here you must excuse the tongues of angels; which of us would deliver a child, the child of our delights, an only child, to death for the greatest inheritance in the world? what tender parent can endure a parting pull with such a child? when Hagar was taking her last leave (as she thought) of her Ishmael, Gen. 21: 16. the text saith, “she went and sat over against him, a good way off: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over-against him, and lift up her voice, and wept:” though she were none of the best of mothers, nor he the best of children, yet she could not give up the child. O it was hard to part! what an outcry did David make, even for an Absalom! wishing he had died for him.
What a hole (as I may say) has the death of some children made in the hearts of some parents, which will never be closed up in this world! yet surely, never did any child lie so close to a parent’s heart, as Christ did to his Father’s; and yet he willingly parts with him, though his only one, the Son of his delights, and that to death, a cursed death, for sinners, for the worst of sinners. O the admirable love of God to men! matchless love! a love past finding out! Let all men, therefore, in the business of their redemption, give equal glory to the Father with the Son, John 5: 23. If the Father had not loved thee, he had never parted with such a Son for thee.”
~ John Flavel

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Comfort to the Dying

Let this encourage thy heart, O saint, in a dying hour, and not only make thee patient in death, but in a holy manner impatient till thou be gone; for whither is thy soul now going, but to that bosom of love whence Christ came? John 17: 24. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am:” and where is he but in that bosom of glory and love where he lay before the world was? ver. 5. O then let every believer encourage his soul; comfort ye one another with these words, I am leaving the bosom of a creature, I am going to the bosom of God.”
~ John Flavel

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sanctifying Truth

Truth is the sanctifying instrument, John 17: 17. the mould into which our souls are cast, Rom. 6: 17. according therefore to the stamps and impressions it makes upon our understandings, and the order in which truths lie there, will be the depth and lastingness of their impressions and influences upon the heart; as, the more weight is laid upon the seal, the more fair and lasting impression is made upon the wax. He that sees the grounds and reasons of his peace and comfort most clearly, is like to maintain it the more constantly.”
~ John Flavel

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hebrews 13:5

“As God did not at first choose you because you were high, He will not now forsake you because you are low.”
~ John Flavel

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There is a double nature in all believers

There is a double nature in all believers. Converted, renewed, sanctified as they are, they still carry about with them a mass of indwelling corruption, a body of sin. Paul speaks of this when he says, "I find a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind" (Romans 7:21-23). The experience of all true Christians in every age confirms this. They find within, two contrary principles, and a continual strife between the two. To these two principles our Lord alludes when He addresses His half-awakened disciples. He calls the one flesh and the other spirit. He says, "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
~ J.C. Ryle

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Say Not That You Cannot Be Saved

Say not, O but my sins are greater than can be forgiven: the difficulties of my salvation are too great to be overcome, especially by a poor creature as I am, that am able to do nothing, no, not to raise one penny towards the discharge of that great debt I owe to God. For here thou wilt find, upon thy union with Christ, that there is merit enough in his blood, and mercy enough in his bowels, to justify and save such a one as thou art. Yea, and I will add for thine encouragement, that it is a righteous thing, with God to justify and save thee, that canst not pay him one penny of all the vast sums thou owest him; when, by the same rule of justice, he condemns the most strict, self-righteous Pharisee, that thinks thereby to quit scores with him. It is righteous for a judge to cast him that has paid ninety-nine pounds of the hundred, which he owed, because the payment was not full; and to acquit him, whose surety has paid all, though himself did not, and freely confess that he cannot pay one farthing of the whole debt.”
~ John Flavel

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Godly Fear

By this fear the people of God are excited to, and confirmed in the way of their duty. Eccles. 12:13. Fear God, and keep “his commandments.” It is,the keeper of both tables, because the duties of both tables are influenced by it. It is this fear of God that makes us have a due respect to all his commands, and it is as powerful to confirm us in, as it is to excite us to our duties. Jer. 32: 40. ” I will put my fear into ” their inwards, and they shall not depart from me.” Look as he that sows does not regard the winds, but goes on in his labour whatever weather the face of heaven threatens ; so he that fears God, will be found in the way of his duty, let the aspect of the times be never so lowering and discouraging: and, truly, this is no small advantage, in times of frights and distractions. Slavish fear sets a man upon the devil’s ground, religious fear upon God’s ground : And, how vast an odds is there in the choice of our ground, when we are to endure a great fight of affliction!
Another excellent use of this fear is, to preserve the purity and peace of our consciences by preventing grief and guilt therein, Prov. 16: 6. The fear of the  Lord is to depart from evil.” See how it kept Joseph, Gen. xxxix. 9. and Nehemiah, chap. v. 15. And this benefit is invaluable, especially in a day of outward calamity and distress. Look, in what degree the fear of God prevails in our hearts, answerable thereunto will the serenity, peace, and quietness of our consciences be; and proportional unto that will our strength and comfort be in the evil day, and our courage and confidence to look dangers in the face.
T o conclude, a principal use of this fear of God is, to awaken us to make timely provisions for future distresses, that whensoever they come, they may not come by way of surprise upon us. Thus Noah, being moved with fear, prepared an ark,” Heb. 11: 7 I t was the instrument of his and his family’s salvation. Some men owe their death to their fears, but good men, in a sense, owe their lives to their fears; sinful fears have slain some, and godly fears have saved others. A wise man fears and departs from evil, (saith Solomon) but a fool rages and is confident. His fears give a timely alarm  before the enemy falls into his quarters, and beat them up; by this means he hath time to get into his chambers of security and rest before the storm fall : But the fool rages, and is confident,” he never fears till he begin to feel yea, most times he is past all hope before he begin to have any fear.
~ John Flavel

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A holy man is not aware that he is holy...

A holy man is not aware that he is holy...As soon as we begin to talk about how holy we are, we are not holy anymore.
   ~ A. W. Tozer

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sin is...

“Sin is the dare of God's justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, and the contempt of His love”
   ~ John Bunyan

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Importance of Doctrine for Young Believers

A young ungrounded Christian, when he sees all the fundamental truths, and sees good evidence and reasons of them, perhaps may be yet ignorant of the right order and place of every truth. It is a rare thing to have young professors to understand the necessary truths methodically: and this is a very great defect: for a great part of the usefulness and excellency of particular truths consisteth in the respect they have to one another. This therefore will be a very considerable part of your confirmation, and growth in your understandings, to see the body of the Christian doctrine, as it were, at one view, as the several parts of it are united in one perfect frame; and to know what aspect one point has upon another, and which are their due places. There is a great difference betwixt the sight of the several parts of a clock or watch, as they are disjointed and scattered abroad, and the seeing of them conjointed, and in use and motion. To see here a pin and there a wheel, and not know how to set them all together, nor ever see them in their due places, will give but little satisfaction. It is the frame and design of holy doctrine that must be known, and every part should be discerned as it has its particular use to that design, and as it is connected with the other parts.”
~ John Flavel

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Oh the Depth of the Evil of Sin!

“If the death of Christ was that which satisfied God for our sins, there is infinite evil in sin, since it could be not expiated but by an infinite satisfaction. Fools make a mock at sin, and there are few in the world who are duly sensible of its evil; but certainly, if God should exact of thee the full penalty, thy eternal sufferings could not satisfy for the evil there is in one vain thought. You may think it severe, that God should subject His creatures to everlasting sufferings for sin, and never be satisfied with them any more; bit when you have well considered that the Being against whom you sin is the infinitely blessed God, and how God dealt with the angels that fell, you will change your mind.
Oh the depth of the evil of sin! If ever you wish to see how great and horrible an evil sin is, measure it in your thoughts, either by the infinite holiness and excellency of God, who is wronged by it, or by the infinite sufferings of Christ, who died to satisfy for it; and then you will have deeper apprehensions of its enormity.”
~John Flavel

Friday, June 24, 2011

The extent of the atonement

The extent of the atonement is defined by the intent of the atonement.”
   ~Steven Lawson

Thursday, June 23, 2011

You can do more than pray

“You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed”
    ~ John Bunyan

Sunday, June 12, 2011

When's the last time you were moved by Christ?

When's the last time your heart, yes your affections were moved by Christ? Where u read something that made u LONG for Him? That made u desire Him more? When's the last time while praying u lost track of time or was upset because time flew so fast? We are His bride, we were purchased by His blood that we might know Him, that we might enjoy His presence, that we might rest in Him!!!!
         ~Julius Mickel

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Work to Know Christ More Purely

Take heed that you rest not satisfied with that knowledge of Christ you have attained, but grow on towards perfection. It is the pride and ignorance of many professors, when they have got a few raw and undigested notions, to swell with self-conceit of their excellent attainments. And it is the sin, even of the best of saints, when they see (veritas in profundo) how deep the knowledge of Christ lies, and what pains they must take to dig for it, to throw by the shovel of duty, and cry, Dig we cannot. To your work, Christians, to your work; let not your candle go out: sequester yourselves to this study, look what intercourses, and correspondence are betwixt the two world; what communion soever God and souls maintain, it is in this way; count all, therefore, but dross in comparison of that excellency which is in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.”
~ John Flavel

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The trumpet shall one day sound

There is a resurrection after death. Let this never be forgotten. The life that we live here in the flesh is not all. The visible world around us is not the only world with which we have to do. All is not over when the last breath is drawn, and men and women are carried to their long home in the grave. The trumpet shall one day sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. All that are in the graves shall hear Christ's voice and come forth--those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of damnation. This is one of the great foundation truths of the Christian religion. Let us cling to it firmly, and never let it go.
~ J.C. Ryle

Saturday, June 4, 2011

To be in Christ is to be in the midst of that new creation

To be in Christ is to be in the midst of that new creation, which is to come forth from the ruins of these old heavens and this worn-out earth. If any be in Christ, then to him the new creation has come—‘Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’
He is like one who has already reached his glorious home, who is looking back upon this land of the storm and the curse, as one who has found his way to the city of peace, and laid himself down upon the banks of the pure river, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Thus faith is taught to anticipate the glory, and to dwell in the midst of it, as if it had actually arrived.
If these things be so, then how differently, from what we too often do, should we read such chapters as the two closing ones of Revelation. It is not imagination, dwelling upon pictures, as some speak; it is faith conducting us into the very midst of the reality.
    ~Horatius Bonar

Friday, June 3, 2011

A suitable Savior

If the Son of God had gone from incarnation to the cross without a life of temptation and pain to test his righteousness and his love, he would not be a suitable Savior for fallen man. His suffering not only absorbed the wrath of God. It also fulfilled his true humanity and made him able to call us brothers and sisters (Hebrews 2:17).
     ~ John Piper

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Be Found in Christ!

Look to it, my dear friends, that none of you be found Christless at your appearance before him. Those that continue Christless now, will be left speechless then. God forbid that you that have heard so much of Christ, and you that have professed so much of Christ, should at last fall into a worse condition than those that never heard the name of Christ.”
~ John Flavel

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Once joined to Christ by faith...

Many shall come from the east and west—and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 8:11)
If we were in the presence of a stern judge, or of a king clothed in awful majesty, we should not dare to sit down.
But there will be nothing to make believers afraid in the kingdom of heaven. Though the sins of their lives ‘were as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow; and though red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ Their sins will be ‘remembered no more;’ ‘sought for, and not found;’ ‘blotted out as a thick cloud;’ ‘cast behind God’s back;’ ‘plunged in the depths of the sea.’
Once joined to Christ by faith, they are complete in the sight of God the Father, and even the perfect angels shall see no spot in them. Surely they may well sit down; and feel at home!
    ~J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thousands and tens of thousands have sought for pardon at the mercy-seat of Christ

Thousands and tens of thousands have sought for pardon at the mercy-seat of Christ, and not one has ever returned to say that he sought in vain. Sinners of every name and nation—sinners of every sort and description—have knocked at the door of the fold, and none have ever been refused admission.
If the way which the Gospel sets before us were a new and untraveled way—we might well feel faint-hearted. But it is not so. It is an old path. It is a path worn by the feet of many pilgrims, and a path in which the footsteps are all one way. The treasury of Christ’s mercies has never been found empty. The well of living waters has never proved dry.
    ~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, May 30, 2011

From his incarnation to his reign at the Father’s right hand

From his incarnation to his reign at the Father’s right hand, Jesus is not only the Lord who became the servant, but the servant who is Lord and continues even in this exalted state to serve his Father’s will and his people’s good. From eternity to eternity, he offers his ‘Here I am’ to the Father on behalf of those who have gone their own way. For now, Christ reigns in grace; when he returns in judgment and vindication, his kingdom will be consummated in everlasting glory.

 ~ Michael Horton

Sunday, May 29, 2011

When the people of God reach heaven

When the people of God reach heaven, they will see Jesus Christ, God and man, with their bodily eyes, as He will never lay aside the human nature. They will behold that glorious blessed body, which is personally united to the divine nature, and exalted above principalities and powers and every name that is named. There we shall see, with our eyes, that very body which was born of Mary at Bethlehem, and crucified at Jerusalem between two thieves: the blessed head that was crowned with thorns; the face that was spit upon; the hands and feet that were nailed to the cross; all shining with inconceivable glory. 
      ~Thomas Boston

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God

"If people believe in God at all today, the overwhelming majority hold that this God – however he, she, or it may be understood – is a loving being. But that is what makes the task of the Christian witness so daunting. For this widely disseminated belief in the love of God is set with increasing frequency in some matrix other than biblical theology. The result is that when informed Christians talk about the love of God, they mean something very different from what is meant in the surrounding culture.

I do not think that what the Bible says about the love of God can long survive at the forefront of our thinking if it is abstracted from the sovereignty of God, the holiness of God, the wrath of God, the providence of God, or the personhood of God – to mention only a few nonnegotiable elements of basic Christianity. The result, of course, is that the love of God in our culture has been purged of anything the culture finds uncomfortable. The love of God has been sanitized, democratized, and above all sentimentalized.

If the love of God is exclusively portrayed as an inviting, yearning, sinner-seeking, rather lovesick passion, we may strengthen the hands of Arminians, semi-Pelagians, Pelagians, and those more interested in God’s inner emotional life than in his justice and glory, but the cost will be massive."

~D. A. Carson

Friday, May 27, 2011

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. —1 John 1:8-9

“The best of men, even believers in Christ, are not without sin in themselves; and when any of the saints are said to be perfect, it must be understood in a comparative sense, or as they are considered in Christ. There never was but one since Adam, and that is Christ, who has fulfilled, or could perfectly fulfil the law; the thing is impossible and impracticable for fallen man:”

—John Gill (1697-1771)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In the Garden Lyrics: Michael Card

Trembling with fear, alone in the garden 
Battle before the final war
Blood became tears, there in the garden
To fall upon the silent stone
There in the darkness the Light
And the darkness stood still
Two choices, one tortured will
And there once the choice had been made

All the world could be saved
by the One in the garden

The light of the dawn, was seen in the garden
By gentle eyes so sadly wise
The angels appear, they come to the garden
Clothed with sighs, they realize
The One they've adored from the start
Will be broken apart
By the ones He had come to save
So they're here simply now to be near
He's no longer alone, they sit by him and moan

The loving heart of an actual living Christ

Cease to regard the Gospel as a mere collection of dry doctrines. Look at it rather as the revelation of a mighty living Being in whose sight you are daily to live. Cease to regard it as a mere set of abstract propositions and abstruse principles and rules. Look at it as the introduction to a glorious personal Friend. This is the kind of Gospel that the apostles preached. They did not go about the world telling men of love and mercy and pardon in the abstract. The leading subject of all their sermons was the loving heart of an actual living Christ. This is the kind of Gospel which is most calculated to promote sanctification and fitness for glory. Nothing, surely, is so likely to prepare us for that heaven where Christ’s personal presence will be all, and that glory where we shall meet Christ face to face, as to realize communion with Christ, as an actual living Person here on earth. There is all the difference in the world between an idea and a person.
~ J.C. Ryle