Saturday, February 24, 2018

My Victorian Year #8

This week I'll be sharing a little from J.C. Ryle. (Probably a LOT) And also some from Charles Spurgeon.

Christ's Invitation by J.C. Ryle
Matthew 11:28

  • The text which heads this paper is one which deserves to be written in letters of gold. Few verses of Scripture have done more good to the souls of people than this old familiar invitation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us examine it carefully, and see what it contains.
  • There are four points in the text before us, to which I am going to ask attention. On each of these I have somewhat to say. First. Who is the Speaker of this invitation? Secondly. To whom is this invitation addressed? Thirdly. What does the Speaker ask us to do? Lastly. What does the Speaker offer to give?
  • The Speaker of the invitation before you is the greatest and best friend that man has ever had. It is the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God.
  • He is One who is ALMIGHTY. He is God the Father's fellow and equal. He is very God of very God. By Him were all things made. In His hand are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He has all power in heaven and earth. In Him all fullness dwells. He has the keys of death and hell.
  • He is One who is most LOVING. He loved us so that He left heaven for our sakes, and laid aside for a season the glory that He had with the Father. He loved us so that He was born of a woman for our sakes, and lived thirty-three years in this sinful world. He loved us so that He undertook to pay our mighty debt to God, and died upon the cross to make atonement for our sins.
  • He is One who knows the heart of man most thoroughly. He took on Him a body like our own, and was made like man in all things, sin only excepted. He knows by experience what man has to go through. He has tasted poverty, and weariness, and hunger, and thirst, and pain, and temptation. He is acquainted with all our condition upon earth.
  • He is One who never breaks His word. He always fulfills His promises. He never fails to do what He undertakes. He never disappoints the soul that trusts Him.
  • Where are the laboring and heavy-laden? They are everywhere. They are a multitude that man can scarcely number; they are to be found in every climate, and in every country under the sun.
  • Did God create man at the beginning to be unhappy? Most certainly not. Are human governments to blame because people are not happy? At most to a very slight extent. The fault lies far too deep to be reached by human laws. There is another cause, a cause which many unhappily refuse to see. THAT CAUSE IS SIN.
  • Sin and departure from God, are the true reasons why people are everywhere laboring and heavy-laden. Sin is the universal disease which infects the whole earth. Sin brought in thorns and thistles at the beginning, and obliged man to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow.
  • Sin is the cause of all the burdens which now press down mankind. Most people know it not, and weary themselves in vain to explain the state of things around them. But sin is the great root and foundation of all sorrow, whatever proud man may think. How much people ought to hate sin!
  • "Come unto Me." There is a grand simplicity about the three words now before you. Short and plain as the sentence seems, it contains a mine of deep truth and solid comfort. Weigh it look at it consider it ponder it well.
  • I believe that it is one half of saving Christianity to understand what Jesus means, when He says, "Come unto Me."
  • Take notice, that coming to Christ means something more than coming to church and chapel. You may fill your place regularly at a place of worship, and attend all outward means of grace, and yet not be saved. All this is not coming to Christ.
  • Take notice, that coming to Christ is something more than coming to the Lord's table. You may be a regular member and communicant; you may never be missing in the lists of those who eat that bread and drink that wine, which the Lord commanded to be received, and yet you may never be saved.
  • Take notice, that coming to Christ is something more than coming to ministers. You may be a constant hearer of some popular preacher, and a zealous partisan of all his opinions, and yet never be saved. All this is not coming to Christ.
  • Take notice, once more, that coming to Christ is something more than coming to the possession of head-knowledge about Him. You may know the whole system of evangelical doctrine, and be able to talk, argue, and dispute on every jot of it, and yet never be saved. All this is not coming to Christ.
  • Coming to Christ is coming to Him with the heart by simple FAITH. Believing on Christ is coming to Him, and coming to Christ is believing on Him. It is that act of the soul which takes place when a man, feeling his own sins, and despairing of all other hope, commits himself to Christ for salvation, ventures on Him, trusts Him, and casts himself wholly on Him.
  • When a man turns to Christ empty that he may be filled, sick that he may be healed, hungry that he may be satisfied, thirsty that he may be refreshed, needy that he may be enriched, dying that he may have life, lost that he may be saved, guilty that he may be pardoned, sin-defiled that he may be cleansed, confessing that Christ alone can supply his needthen he comes to Christ.
  • Do not suppose that you will ever get any good from Christ, unless you go straight, direct, thoroughly, and entirely to Christ Himself. Trust not in a little outward formality; do not content yourself with a regular use of outward means.
  • Dismiss from your mind forever all idea of worthiness, merit, and fitness in yourself. Throw away all notions of goodness, righteousness, and personal deservings. Think not that you can bring anything to recommend you, or to make you deserving of Christ's notice.
  • Rest is one of the principal offers which the Gospel makes to man. "Come to me," says the world, "and I will give you riches and pleasure." "Come with me," says the devil, "and I will give you greatness, power, and wisdom." "Come unto Me," says the Lord Jesus Christ," and I will give you rest."
  • The rest that Christ gives is an inward and spiritual thing. It is rest of heart, rest of conscience, rest of mind, rest of affection, rest of will. It is rest, from a comfortable sense of sins being all forgiven and guilt all put away. It is rest, from a solid hope of good things to come, laid up beyond the reach of disease, and death, and the grave.
  • Rest such as this the Lord Jesus gives to those who come to Him, by showing them His own finished work on the cross, by clothing them in His own perfect righteousness, and washing them in His own precious blood. When a man begins to see that the Son of God actually died for his sins, his soul begins to taste something of inward quiet and peace.
  • Rest such as this the Lord Jesus gives to those who come to Him, by revealing Himself as their ever-living High Priest in heaven, and God reconciled to them through Him. When a man begins to see that the Son of God actually lives to intercede for him, he will begin to feel something of inward quiet and peace.
  • Rest such as this the Lord Jesus gives to those who come to Him, by implanting His Spirit in their hearts, witnessing with their spirits that they are God's children, and that old things are passed away, and all things are become new. When a man begins to feel an inward drawing towards God as a Father, and a sense of being an adopted and forgiven child, his soul begins to feel something of quiet and peace.
  • Rest such as this the Lord Jesus gives to those who come to Him, by dwelling in their hearts as King, by putting all things within in order, and giving to each faculty its place and work. When a man begins to find order in his heart in place of rebellion and confusion, his soul begins to understand something of quiet and peace. There is no true inward happiness, until the true King is on the throne.
  • Faith, simple faith, is the one thing needful in order to possess Christ's rest. Faith in Christ is the grand secret of happiness. Neither poverty, nor ignorance, nor tribulation, nor distress can prevent men and women feeling rest of soul, if they will only come to Christ and believe.
  • The religion which gives a man no inward comfort, can never be a religion from God.

Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening:

  • There are some of your graces which would never be discovered if it were not for your trials.
  • There is a wide distinction between confessing sin as a culprit—and confessing sin as a child.
  • Prayer is the forerunner of mercy. Turn to sacred history, and you will find that scarcely ever did a great mercy come to this world, unheralded by supplication.
  • You may or you may not be called to evangelize the people in any particular locality—but certainly you are called to see after your own family and friends.
  • You may be very deficient in talent yourself, and yet you may be the means of drawing to Christ one who shall become eminent in grace and service. Ah! dear friend, you little know the possibilities which are in you. You may but speak a word to a child, and in that child there may be slumbering a noble heart which shall stir the Christian church in years to come. Andrew has only two talents—but he finds Peter. Go you and do likewise.
  • If you will tell me when God permits a Christian to lay aside his armor, I will tell you when Satan has left off temptation. Like the old knights in war time, we must sleep with helmet and breastplate buckled on, for the arch-deceiver will seize our first unguarded hour—to make us his prey. May the Lord keep us watchful in all seasons, and give us a final escape from the jaw of the lion, and the paw of the bear.
  • “He has said” must be our daily resort.
  • This teaches us the extreme value of searching the Scriptures. There may be a promise in the Word which would exactly fit your case—but you may not know of it, and therefore you miss its comfort. You are like prisoners in a dungeon, and there may be one key in the bunch which would unlock the door, and you might be free; but if you will not look for it, you may remain a prisoner still, though liberty is so near at hand. There may be a potent medicine in the great pharmacopoeia of Scripture, and you may yet continue sick unless you will examine and search the Scriptures to discover what “He has said.”
  • We would be abler teachers of others, and less liable to be carried about by every wind of doctrine—if we sought to have a more intelligent understanding of the Word of God. As the Holy Spirit, the Author of the Scriptures is He who alone can enlighten us rightly to understand them, we should constantly ask His teaching, and His guidance into all truth.
  • There is nothing that we can do—without the power of God.
  • If there were no covenant, then we would fail indeed; for all grace proceeds from it, as light and heat from the sun. No angels ascend or descend, except upon that ladder which Jacob saw, at the top of which stood a covenant God.
  • God’s rod of mercy is ever outstretched in His hands; His sword of justice is in its scabbard, held down by that pierced hand of love which bled for the sins of men.
  • “The Lord is slow to anger,” because He is GREAT IN POWER. That person is truly great in power—who has power over himself. When God’s power does restrain Himself, then it is power indeed: the power that binds omnipotence is omnipotence surpassed.
  • You have not the liberty of making of your own cross; although unbelief is a master carpenter at cross-making. Neither are you permitted to choose your own cross; although self-will would gladly be lord and master. Your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine love—and you are cheerfully to accept it. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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