The Cross: A call to the fundamentals of religion – J C Ryle

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Also by J C Ryle –

  1. God’s Book, the Bible 
  2. What think ye of Christ
  3. Exhorting young men

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The Cross: A call to the fundamentals of religion

I. Let me show you what the Apostle Paul did not glory in.
~There are many things that Paul might have gloriedin, if he had thought as some do in this day. If everthere was one on earth who had something to boastof in himself, that man was the great apostle of theGentiles. Now, if he did not dare to glory, who shall?He never gloried in his national privileges…..
~He never gloried in his own works. None everworked so hard for God as he did. He was moreabundant in labors than any of the apostles. No livingman ever preached so much, traveled so much, andendured so many hardships for Christ’s cause….
~He never gloried in his knowledge. 
~He never gloried in his graces.
~He never gloried in his churchmanship.
~Oh! reader, beware of self-righteousness. Opensin kills its thousands of souls. Self-righteousnesskills its tens of thousands. Go and study humility withthe great apostle of the Gentiles. Go and sit with Paulat the foot of the cross. Give up your secretpride. Cast away your vain ideas of your owngoodness. Be thankful if you have grace, but never glory in it for a moment. Work for God and Christ with heart and soul, and mind and strength, but never dream for a second of placing confidence in any work of your own.
II. Let me explain to you what he did glory in.
III. Let me show you why all Christians should think and feel about the cross like Paul.

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A little bit about J C Ryle from Wikipedia:

Ryle was a strong supporter of the evangelical school and a critic of Ritualism. He was a writer, pastor and an evangelical preacher. Among his longer works are Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century (1869), Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 vols, 1856–69), Principles for Churchmen (1884). Ryle was described as having a commanding presence and vigorous in advocating his principles albeit with a warm disposition. He was also credited with having success in evangelizing the blue collar community. His second son, Herbert Edward Ryle also a clergyman, became Dean of Westminster.

Ryle, J.C (John Charles) (1816-1900)

Thoroughly evangelical in his doctrine and uncompromising in his principles, J.C. Ryle was a prolific writer, vigorous preacher, and faithful pastor.

He was born at Macclesfield and educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. He was a fine athlete who rowed and played Cricket for Oxford, where he took a first class degree in Modern Greats and was offered a college fellowship (teaching position) which he declined. The son of a wealthy banker, he was destined for a career in politics before answering a call to ordained ministry.

He was spiritually awakened in 1838 while hearing Ephesians 2 read in church. He was ordained by Bishop Sumner at Winchester in 1842. For 38 years he was a parish vicar, first at Helmingham and later at Stradbrooke, in Suffolk. He became a leader of the evangelical party in the Church of England and was noted for his doctrinal essays and polemical writings. In 1880, at age 64, he became the first bishop of Liverpool, at the recommendation of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. He retired in 1900 at age 83 and died later the same year.

In his diocese, he exercised a vigorous and straightforward preaching ministry, and was a faithful pastor to his clergy, exercising particular care over ordination retreats. He formed a clergy pension fund for his diocese and built over forty churches. Despite criticism, he put raising clergy salaries ahead of building a cathedral for his new diocese. Ryle combined his commanding presence and vigorous advocacy of his principles with graciousness and warmth in his personal relations. Vast numbers of working men and women attended his special preaching meetings, and many were led to faith in Christ. (Source http://www.anglicanlibrary.org)

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