The Necessity of Holiness – 2

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John Charles Ryle (May 10, 1816 – June 10, 1900) was an evangelical Anglican clergyman and first Bishop of Liverpool. He was renowned for his powerful preaching and extensive tracts. John C. Ryle was a big man, physically, intellectually, scripturally and spiritually. The fact is that Ryle, though very definitely a Victorian of the Victorians, seemed to be able to leave behind him the verbosity and sentimentality of many of his contemporaries so that his writings still speak today, not only to the older generations, but to younger Christians as well.

The Necessity of Holiness – 2

Follow . . . holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. – Hebrews 12:14.

What true practical holiness is, what sort of persons are those whom God calls holy – continued.

From last week: (b) A holy man will . . . feel what Paul felt when he said, “I delight in the law of God according to the inward man,” – Romans 7:22, and what David felt when He said, “All Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.” – Psalm 119:128.

(c) A holy man will strive to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. He will not only live the life of faith in Him, and draw from Him all his daily peace and strength, but he will also labor to have the mind that was in Him, and to be “conformed to the image of His Son.” – Romans 8:29. It will be his aim to bear with and forgive others, even as Christ forgave us,—to be unselfish, even as Christ pleased not Himself,—to walk in love, even as Christ loved us,—to be lowly-minded and humble, even as Christ made Himself of no reputation and humbled Himself. He will remember that Christ was a faithful witness for the truth,—that He came not to do His own will,—that it was His meat and drink to do His Father’s will,—that He would continually deny Himself in order to minister to others,—that He was meek and patient under undeserved insults,—that He thought more of godly poor men than of kings,—that He was full of love and compassion to sinners,—that He was bold and uncompromising in denouncing sin,—that He sought not the praise of men, when He might have had it,—that He went about doing good,—that He was separate from worldly people,—that He continued instant in prayer,—that He would not let even His nearest relations stand in His way when God’s work was to be done.

These things a holy man will try to remember. By them he will endeavor to shape his course in life. He will lay to heart the saying of John, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” – 1 John 2:6; and the saying of Peter, that “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” – 1 Peter 2:21. Happy is he who has learned to make Christ his “all,” both for salvation and example! Much time would be saved, and much sin prevented, if men would oftener ask themselves the question, “What would Christ have said and done, if He were in my place?”

(d) A holy man will follow after meekness, longsuffering, gentleness, patience, kind tempers, government of his tongue. He will bear much, forbear much, overlook much, and be slow to talk of standing on his rights. We see a bright example of this in the behavior of David when Shimei cursed him,—and of Moses when Aaron and Miriam spake against him (2 Samuel 16:10; Numbers 12:3).

(e) A holy man will follow after temperance and self-denial. He will labor to mortify the desires of his body,—to crucify his flesh with his affections and lusts,—to curb his passions,—to restrain his carnal inclinations, lest at any time they break loose. Oh, what a word is that of the Lord Jesus to the Apostles, “Take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life,” – Luke 21:34; and that of the Apostle Paul, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:27.

(f) A holy man will follow after charity and brotherly kindness. He will endeavor to observe the golden rule of doing as he would have men do to him, and speaking as he would have men speak to him. He will be full of affection towards his brethren,—towards their bodies, their property, their characters, their feelings, their souls. Paul wrote, “He who loves another has fulfilled the law,” – Romans 13:8. He will abhor all lying, slandering, backbiting, cheating, dishonesty, and unfair dealing, even in the least things. The shekel and cubit of the sanctuary were larger than those in common use. He will strive to adorn his religion by all his outward demeanor, and to make it lovely and beautiful in the eyes of all around him. Alas, what condemning words are the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians, and the Sermon on the Mount, when laid alongside the conduct of many professing Christians!

To Be Continued

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Minor adapted and modified excerpts (Scriptures and some archaic words) from:
J. C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots, 1889, In Public Domain.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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