The Fight Is On!

Never is the cause of sin so helped as when Christians waste their strength in quarreling with one another, and spend their time in petty squabbles.

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

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Don’t Walk around Looking Like You Were Weaned on Sour Pickles

True religion was never meant to make [people] melancholy. On the contrary, it was intended to increase real joy and happiness among [people]. . . . The Christian who withdraws entirely from the society of his fellow men, and walks the earth with a face as melancholy as if he was always attending a funeral, does injury to the cause of the gospel. A cheerful, kindly spirit is a great recommendation to a believer. . . . A merry heart, and a readiness to take part in all innocent mirth, are gifts of inestimable value. They go far to soften prejudices, to take up stumbling-blocks out of the way, and to make way for Christ and the gospel.

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John Vol. 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2012), 64.

Conflictless Christianity

The saddest symptom about many so-called Christians is the utter absence of anything like conflict and fight against spiritual apathy in their Christianity. They eat, they drink, they dress, they work, they amuse themselves, they get money, they spend money, they go through a brief round of formal religious services once or twice every week. But of the great spiritual warfare – its watchings and strugglings, its agonies and anxieties, its battles and contests – of all things they appear to know nothing at all. Let us take care that this case is not our own.

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

How Could We Ever Be Sure about Anything?

We need not wonder that so much importance is attached to our Lord’s resurrection. It is the seal and memorial stone of the great work of redemption, which He came to do. It is the crowning proof that He has paid the debt He undertook to pay on our behalf, won the battle He fought to deliver us from hell, and is accepted as our guarantee and our substitute by our Father in heaven.

Had He never come forth from the prison of the grave, how could we ever have been sure that our ransom had been fully paid (1 Corinthians 15:17)? Had He never risen from His conflict with the last enemy, how could we have felt confident that He has overcome the power of death from the devil (Hebrews 2:14)? But thanks be unto God, we are not left in doubt. The Lord Jesus really rose again for our justification.

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)