Sunday, March 9, 2008

Holiness - Week 2

Today was the second week of our church Sunday School class on J.C. Ryle's book "Holiness." We read through the Introduction and Chapter 1 for today. For next Sunday, we will be reading Chapter 2 on Sanctification and Chapter3 on Holiness.

One quote which we covered in class had to do with sin. The doctrine of sin seems to be avoided in so much Christian preaching and teaching today. Ryle sensed the same thing in his own time and place (1879 England). His observations would apply to good Christian teaching in any era. He wrote:

Now, I know nothing so likely to counteract this modern plague as constant clear statements about the nature, reality, vileness, power and guilt of sin. We must charge home into the consciences of these men of broad views and demand a plain answer to some plain questions. We must ask them to lay their hands on their hearts and tell us whether their favorite opinions comfort them in the day of sickness, in the hour of death, by the bedside of dying parents, by the grave of a beloved wife or child. We must ask them whether a vague earnestness, without definite doctrine, gives them peace at seasons like these. We must challenge them to tell us whether they do not sometimes feel a gnawing "something" within, which all the free inquiry and philosophy and science in the world cannot satisfy. And then we must tell them that this gnawing "something" is the sense of sin, guilt and corruption, which they are leaving out in their calculations. And, above all, we must tell them that nothing will ever make them feel rest but submission to the old doctrines of man’s ruin and Christ’s redemption and simple childlike faith in Jesus.

Links for today's readings

Links for next Sunday's readings

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