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    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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Repent And Believe The Gospel

J. C. Ryle

Even true Christians are often doubtful, fearful, faint-hearted, ready to believe they shall not be saved, because of the corrupt nature which they find in their hearts. Jesus knew we would require strong assurance like this provided in the following text. J. C. Ryle writes:

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (John 10)

Glorious and comfortable things are written in this passage—but remember they are given to Christ’s flock only; I fence it out against all that are unbelieving and impenitent and profane. I warn you plainly, except you will hear the voice of Christ and follow Him, you have no right or portion in this blessed fountain of consolations. . . .

Of whom is the Lord Jesus speaking? Are we to suppose He only has in view patriarchs and prophets and apostles—men like Abraham and David and Job and Daniel, men who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, worked signs and miracles, and shed their blood for the kingdom of God’s sake? Are these the sort of people who alone can take comfort from those blessed words, “I know them . . . . they shall never perish.” Is everyone else to go on doubting to his life’s end? God forbid that I should tell you so! it were doing Satan’s work to preach such doctrine. This text may become the property of the worst of sinners—if he will only hear Christ’s voice and follow Him. . . .

It is for all who repent and believe the Gospel; it is for all who mourn over their past sins with a true godly sorrow, and flee to the Lord Jesus Christ with faith and prayer as their only hope, their all-sufficient Savior, their all in all. There is not one single man or woman of whom it shall not be written in the Lamb’s book of life, “This is one known of God, this is an heir of eternal life, this is a man or a woman that is never to perish, never to be plucked out of the Lord’s hand,” if you will only give up your sins and take Christ Jesus for your Shepherd and Redeemer. Your repentance may seem very faint, your faith may appear weak as water—but if there be so much as a grain of mustard seed, if there be enough to lead you a penitent to the foot of the cross, you shall find yourself one day numbered with the saints in glory everlasting. (“The Privileges of the True Christian”)

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