• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • February 2008
    M T W T F S S
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One Way

J. C. Ryle writes in “Only One Way to Salvation:”

We are to venture the whole salvation of our souls on Christ, and on Christ only. We are to cast loose completely and entirely from all other hopes and trusts. We are not to rest partly on Christ, partly on doing all we can, partly on keeping our church, partly on receiving the sacrament. In the matter of our justification Christ is to be all. This is the doctrine of the text.

Heaven is before us, and Christ the only door into it; Hell beneath us, and Christ alone able to deliver us from it; the devil behind us, and Christ the only refuge from his wrath and accusations; the law against us, and Christ alone able to redeem us; sin weighing us down, and Christ alone able to put it away.

Do you know the Christ of whom he speaks?


Chad VanRens reminds us that we are to both love and fear God.

We marvel at God’s mercy in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly (Rom 5:6). Yet we are still very much aware of remaining sin in us and we fear God because we know how much he hates sin. But our fear of God is not like the fear of the ungodly. They have no hope. Their fear is a terror. There is nothing for the ungodly but indignation, wrath and judgment unless they will repent.

By contrast godly fear is free from the fear of condemnation for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). And that is the sense in which the Apostle John speaks of fear being cast out. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18). That is the sort of fear that Christians do not have. We who have been forgiven of our sins do not have the terror of impending judgment. That is gone. What is left is a godly and righteous fear. Christians love and fear God because he is so holy and terrible, and yet so merciful. Love to God drives true Christians to strive to please him in all they do by keeping his commands and being careful not to displease him. Knowing the fear of the Lord we know the terrors that he will inflict upon the wicked for their sins and yet, for the Christian such terror has been removed and replaced by forgiveness and peace. Our greatest fear is that we will sully the name of Christ by our disobedience. So it is by the fear of God that we depart from evil.

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