Thursday, December 19, 2013

Luke Day #19

From J.C. Ryle's Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke
The door of hope which the Gospel reveals to sinners, is very wide open. Let us leave it open as we find it Let us not attempt in narrow-minded ignorance, to shut it. We should never be afraid to maintain that Christ is "able to save to the uttermost," and that the vilest of sinners may be freely forgiven if they will only come to Him. We should offer the Gospel boldly to the worst and wickedest, and say, "There is hope. Only repent and believe. Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool." (Isaiah. 1:18.)
Hospitals discharge many cases as incurable. But there are no incurable cases under the Gospel. Any sinner may be healed, if he will only come to Christ.
We must never reckon anything little that concerns the soul. The ways by which the Holy Spirit leads men and women to Christ are wonderful and mysterious. He is often beginning in a heart a work which shall stand to eternity, when a looker-on observes nothing remarkable. In every work there must be a beginning, and in spiritual work that beginning is often very small.
We learn, thirdly, from these verses, Christ's free compassion towards sinners, and Christ's power to change hearts. A more striking instance than that before us it is impossible to conceive. Unasked, our Lord stops and speaks to Zaccheus. Unasked, He offers Himself to be a guest in the house of a sinner. Unasked, He sends into the heart of a tax-collector the renewing grace of the Spirit, and puts him that very day among the children of God. (Jerem. 3:19.) It is impossible, with such a passage as this before as, to exalt too highly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot maintain too strongly that there is in Him an infinite readiness to receive, and an infinite ability to save sinners. Above all, we cannot hold too firmly that salvation is not of works, but of grace. If ever there was a soul sought and saved, without having done anything to deserve it, that soul was the soul of Zaccheus.
Grace, free grace, is the only thought which gives men rest in a dying hour. Let us proclaim these doctrines confidently to everyone to whom we speak about spiritual things.
Grace that cannot be seen, like light — and tasted, like salt, is not grace, but hypocrisy. The man who professes to know Christ and trust Him, while he cleaves to sin and the world, is going down to hell with a lie in his right hand. The heart that has really tasted the grace of Christ, will instinctively hate sin.
In all our thoughts about Christ, let us never forget His second advent. It is well to know that He lived for us, and died for us, and rose again for us, and intercedes for us. But it is also well to know that He is soon coming again.
We know but little of true Christianity, if we do not feel a deep concern about the souls of unconverted people. A lazy indifference about the spiritual state of others, may doubtless save us much trouble. To care nothing whether our neighbors are going to heaven or hell, is no doubt the way of the world.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible