To those who love the Lord Jesus – J.C. Ryle

To those who love the Lord Jesus and believe in Him, and yet desire to love Him better, suffer this word of exhortation, and apply it to your heart. Keep before your mind, an ever-present truth, that the Lord Jesus is an actual living person, and deal with Him as such. I fear the personality of our Lord is sadly lost sight of by many Christians in the present day. Their talk is more about salvation than about the Savior; more about redemption than about the Redeemer; more about justification than about Jesus; more about Christ’s work than about Christ’s person. This is a great fault, and one that fully accounts for the dry and sapless character of the faith of many Christians. If you would grow in grace, and have joy and peace in believing, then beware of falling into this error. Cease to regard the gospel as a mere collection of dry doctrines. Look at it rather as the revelation of a mighty living Being in whose sight you are daily to live. Cease to regard it as a mere set of abstract propositions and principles and rules. Look at it as the introduction to a glorious Friend. This is the kind of gospel that the apostles preached. They did not go about the world telling men of love and mercy and pardon in the abstract. The leading subject of all their sermons was the loving heart of an actual living Christ. Nothing surely is so likely to prepare us for that heaven where Christ’s personal presence will be all, and that glory where we shall meet Christ face to face, as to realize communion with Christ as an actual living Person here on earth. Oh, there is all the difference in the world between an idea and a person….The last word of this message.. I want men to read the four Gospels more than they do. I want men to become better acquainted with Christ. I want unconverted men to know Jesus, that they may have eternal life through Him. I want believers to know Jesus better, that they may become more happy, more holy and more meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. He will be the holiest man who learns to say with Paul, “To me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).

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From Consider Your Ways: Being a Pastor’s Address to His Flock

– J.C. Ryle

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