Thursday, June 20, 2013

Book Review: Expository Thoughts on Mark

Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Mark. J.C. Ryle. 384 pages.

I shared quotes in two previous posts about J.C. Ryle's commentary on the gospel of Mark. One post covering Mark 1-8; a second post covering Mark 9-16. I would love it if readers would take the time to read through the quotes. I feel this book to so rich in gospel truth. A truly amazing read!!! I love, love, love Ryle's writing. He's so readable, so passionate, so bold. He says what needs to be said, yet, he says it with grace and compassion. I think everyone should give Ryle a try! And Mark is the shortest gospel, so this commentary which is broken down into daily-sized portions would be PERFECT. 

Here are SIXTEEN REASONS to give J.C. Ryle a try. 

Mark 1
All of us are by nature born in sin and children of wrath, and all need to repent, be converted, and born again, if we would see the kingdom of God. All of us are by nature guilty and condemned before God, and all must flee to the hope set before us in the Gospel, and believe in it, if we would be saved. All of us, once penitent, need daily stirring up to deeper repentance. All of us, though believing, need constant exhortation to increased faith.
Mark 2
Our grand reason for our faith, and practice, should always be, "Thus it is written in the Bible." "What says the Scripture?" We should endeavor to have the word of God on our side in all debatable questions... Let us however remember, that if we are to use the Bible as our Lord did, we must know it well, and be acquainted with its contents. We must read it diligently, humbly, perseveringly, prayerfully, or we shall never find its texts coming to our aid in the time of need. To use the sword of the Spirit effectually, we must be familiar with it, and have it often in our hands. There is no royal road to the knowledge of the Bible. It does not come to man by intuition. The book must be studied, pondered, prayed over, searched into, and not left always lying on a shelf, or carelessly looked at now and then. It is the students of the Bible, and they alone, who will find it a weapon ready in hand in the day of battle.
Mark 3
Nothing justifies separation from a church but the separation of that church from the Gospel.
Mark 4
Religious light is not given to a man for himself alone, but for the benefit of others. We are to try to spread and diffuse our knowledge. We are to display to others the precious treasure that we have found; and persuade them to seek it for themselves. We are to tell them of the good news that we have heard, and endeavor to make them believe and value it themselves.
Mark 5
How incredible it is that we do not hate sin more than we do! Sin is the cause of all the pain and disease in the world. God did not create man to be an ailing and suffering creature. It was sin, and nothing but sin, which brought in all the ills that flesh is heir to. It was sin to which we owe every racking pain, and every loathsome infirmity, and every humbling weakness to which our poor bodies are liable. Let us keep this ever in mind. Let us hate sin with a godly hatred.
Mark 6
We cannot work miracles as He did; in this He stands alone. But we can walk in His steps, in the matter of private devotion. If we have the Spirit of adoption, we can pray. Let us resolve to pray more than we have done hitherto. Let us strive to make time, and place, and opportunity for being alone with God. Above all, let us not only pray BEFORE we attempt to work for God, but pray also AFTER our work is done.
Mark 7
Let us name all whom we love before God continually. Let us pray for all — the worst, the hardest, and the most unbelieving. Let us continue praying for them year after year, in spite of their continued unbelief. God's time of mercy may be a distant one. Our eyes may not see an answer to our intercession. The answer may not come for ten, fifteen, or twenty years. It may not come until we have exchanged prayer for praise, and are far away from this world. But while we live, let us pray for others. It is the greatest kindness we can do to any one, to speak for him to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Mark 8
There are few surer marks of an unconverted heart, than carelessness and indifference about the souls of others.
Mark 9
It is not possible to say too much about Christ. But it is quite possible to say too little about hell.
Mark 10
We must never forget that Jesus feels love and compassion for the souls of the ungodly. Without controversy He feels a distinguishing love for those who hear His voice and follow Him. They are His sheep, given to Him by the Father, and watched with a special care. They are His bride, joined to Him in an everlasting covenant, and dear to Him as part of Himself. But the heart of Jesus is a wide heart. He has abundance of pity, compassion, and tender concern even for those who are following sin and the world.
Mark 11
But never let us forget that the crowning fact in all we know of Jesus Christ, is His death upon the cross. From that death flow all our hopes. Without that death we would have nothing solid beneath our feet. May we prize that death more and more every year we live; and in all our thoughts about Christ, rejoice in nothing so much as the great fact that He died for us!
Mark 12
Not least, let us teach our children to value the Bible. The very best portion we can give them, is a knowledge of the Scriptures.
Mark 13
The second coming of Christ shall be utterly unlike the first. He came the first time in weakness, a tender infant, born of a poor woman in the manger at Bethlehem, unnoticed, unhonored, and scarcely known. He shall come the second time in royal dignity, with the armies of heaven around Him, to be known, recognized, and feared by all the tribes of the earth. He came the first time to suffer — to bear our sins — to be reckoned a curse — to be despised, rejected, unjustly condemned, and slain. He shall come the second time to reign — to put down every enemy beneath His feet — to take the kingdoms of this world for His inheritance — to rule them with righteousness — to judge all men, and to live for evermore.
Mark 14
Let us live in the daily recollection that our Savior is one day coming back to this world. Let the Christ in whom we believe, be not only the Christ who died for us and rose again — the Christ who lives for us and intercedes — but the Christ who will one day return in glory, to gather together and reward His people, and to punish fearfully all His enemies.
Mark 15
May we never rest until we can say by faith, "Christ is mine. I deserve hell. But Christ has died for me, and believing in Him I have a hope of heaven."
Mark 16
Finally, let us never forget, that Christ's believing Church in the world is of itself a standing miracle. The conversion and perseverance in grace of every member of that Church, is a sign and wonder, as great as the raising of Lazarus from the dead. The renewal of every saint is as great a marvel as the casting out of a devil, or the healing of a sick man, or the speaking with a new tongue. Let us thank God for this and take courage. The age of spiritual miracles is not yet past. Happy are they who have learned this by experience, and can say, "I was dead, but am alive again — I was blind, but I see."

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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