Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The diligent use of scriptural means
Another quote from Bishop J. C. Ryle's Holiness (read the whole book here):
Sanctification, again, is a thing which depends greatly on a diligent use of scriptural means. When we speak of ‘means,’ I have in view Bible reading, private prayer, regular attendance on public worship, regular hearing of God’s Word and regular reception of the Lord’s Supper. I lay it down as a simple matter of fact, that no one who is careless about such things must ever expect to make much progress in sanctification. I can find no record of any eminent saint who ever neglected them. They are the appointed channels through which the Holy Spirit conveys fresh supplies of grace to the soul, and strengthens the work which He has begun in the inner man. Let men call this legal doctrine if they please, but I will never shrink from declaring my belief that there are no ‘spiritual gains without pains.’ I should soon expect a farmer to prosper in business who contented himself with sowing his fields and never looking at them till harvest, as expect a believer to attain much holiness, who was not diligent about his Bible reading, his prayers, and his use of his Sundays. Our God is a God who works by means, and He will never bless the soul of that man who pretends to be so high and spiritual that he can get on without them.