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One of my favorite…

January 22, 2008

commentators this year has become J.C. Ryle. To prepare for teaching Matthew this year, I’ve been reading his book Expository Thoughts on Matthew. In his foreword, Ryle states, “I now send forth the volume, with an earnest prayer that it may tend to the promotion of pure and undefiled religion, help to extend the knowledge of Christ, and be a humble instrument in aid of the glorious work of converting and edifying immortal souls.”

Ryle is exceptionally pastoral in his writing, and his statement of purpose is clearly shown as convictingly, lovingly, boldly, he confronts the reader with the truth of Scripture. In comments he makes on Mt. 13:1-23, Ryle says,

“There is only one evidence of hearing the Word rightly. That evidence is to bear ‘fruit.’ The fruit here spoken of is the fruit of the Spirit. Repentance towards God, faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ, holiness of life and character, prayerfulness, humility, charity, spiritual mindedness,–these are the only satisfactory proofs that the seed of God’s Word is doing its proper work in our souls. Without such proofs our religion is vain, however high our profession: it is no better than sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Christ has said, ‘I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit.’ (John 15:6) We must never be content with a barren orthodoxy, and a cold maintenance of correct theological views; we must not be satisfied with clear knowledge, warm feelings, and a decent profession’ we must see to it that the Gospel we profess to love, produces positive ‘fruit’ in our hearts and lives. This is real Christianity. These words of St. James should often ring in our ears: ‘Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.’ (James 1:22)”

May each one today bearing His name go out to do His Word.



One Comment leave one →
  1. January 22, 2008 7:55 pm

    Oh, I SO needed this today. Perfect. Brilliant. Thank you for sharing this. I am marking it “shared” in my Google Reader, too.

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