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