What will hold us firm when temptations come? J. C. Ryle has considered this question and answered:
“Far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)
Shall I look at my own graces and gifts? Shall I take comfort in my own faith, and love, and penitence, and zeal, and prayer? Shall I turn to my own heart, and say, “this same heart will never be false and cold”? Oh, no! God forbid! I will look at the cross of Christ. This is my grand argument. This is my main stay. I cannot think that He who went through such sufferings to redeem my soul, will let that soul perish after all, when it has once cast itself on Him. Oh, no! what Jesus paid for, Jesus will surely keep. He paid dearly for it. He will not let it easily be lost. He called me to Himself when I was a dark sinner — He will never forsake me after I have believed. When Satan tempts us to doubt whether Christ’s people will be kept from falling, we should tell Satan to look at the cross.
“The believer is so freed from eternal wrath, that if Satan and conscience say, ‘You are a sinner, and under the curse of the law,’ he can say, ‘It is true, I am a sinner; but I was hanged on a tree and died, and was made a curse in my Head and Lawgiver Christ, and His payment and suffering is my payment and suffering.’” — Rutherford’s Christ Dying. 1647.
And now, will you marvel that I said all Christians ought to boast in the cross? Will you not rather wonder that any can hear of the cross and remain unmoved? I declare I know no greater proof of man’s depravity, than the fact that thousands of so-called Christians see nothing in the cross. Well may our hearts be called stony — well may the eyes of our mind be called blind — well may our whole nature be called diseased — well may we all be called dead, when the cross of Christ is heard of and yet neglected. Surely we may take up the words of the prophet, and say, “Hear, O heavens, and be astonished O earth; an astounding and a horrible thing is done,” — Christ was crucified for sinners, and yet many Christians live as if He was never crucified at all! (“The Cross of Christ”)
Filed under: Bible, Bishop J. C. Ryle, Christianity, Faith, God, Jesus Christ, Reformed Christian Topics, Salvation, Satan | Tagged: Christ, Christian, Epistle to the Galatians, J. C. Ryle, Jesus, True Cross | 1 Comment »