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The Potter's Clay

Scripture, Theology, the Christian worldview, and other ramblings.

20 December 2005

He loves the things that once he hated


by J. C. Ryle

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old things have passed away. Behold, all things
have become new!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

Whatever part of the globe we live in, our eyes need
to be opened--naturally we never see our sinfulness,
guilt, and danger.

Whatever nation we belong to, our understandings
need to be enlightened--naturally we know little or
nothing of the plan of salvation. Like the Babel-builders,
we think to get to heaven our own way.

Whatever church we may belong to, our wills need
to be bent in the right direction--naturally we would
never choose the things which are for our peace; we
would never come to Christ.

Whatever be our rank in life, our affections need to
be turned to things above--naturally we only set them
on things below, earthly, sensual, short-lived and vain.

Pride must give place to humility;
self-righteousness to self-abasement;
carelessness to seriousness;
worldliness to holiness;
unbelief to faith.

Satan's dominion must be put down within us--and the
kingdom of God set up. Self must be crucified--and Christ
must reign. Until these things come to pass, we are as
dead as stones. When these things begin to take place,
and not until then, we are spiritually alive.

The true Christian knows all this by experience.
He loves the things that once he hated, and
hates the things that once he loved. He has . . .
new habits,
new companions,
new ways,
new tastes,
new feelings,
new opinions,
new sorrows,
new joys,
new concerns,
new pleasures,
new hopes,
new fears.

In short, the whole bias and current of his being
is changed. Ask his nearest relatives and friends,
and they would bear witness to it. Whether they
liked it or not, they would be obliged to confess
he was no longer the same person.

Once he could see no beauty and excellence in the
Lord Jesus Christ. Now he would tell you that He is . . .
the pearl above all price,
the chief among ten thousand,
his Redeemer,
his Advocate,
his Priest,
his King,
his Physician,
his Shepherd,
his Friend,
his All.

Once he thought lightly about sin. He could not
see the necessity of being so particular about it.
He could not think a man's words, and thoughts,
and actions, were of such importance, and required
such watchfulness. Now he would tell you sin is the
abominable thing which he hates--the sorrow and
burden of his life. He longs to be more holy.

Once he cared only for this world . . .
its pleasures,
its business,
its occupations,
its rewards.
Now he looks upon it as an empty, unsatisfying place.
His treasure is in heaven. His home is beyond the grave.

19 December 2005

He puts us in our right place

J. C. Ryle, "Having the Spirit"

"When He comes, He will convict the world about
sin, righteousness, and judgment." (John 16:8)

All who have the Spirit are convinced by Him of sin.

He alone can open a man's eyes to the real extent of
his guilt and corruption before God. He always does
this when He comes into the soul. He puts us in our
right place! He shows us the vileness of our own hearts,
and makes us cry with the publican, "God be merciful to
me a sinner!" He pulls down those proud, self-righteous,
self-justifying notions with which we are all born--and
makes us feel as we ought to feel--"I am a sinful man,
and I deserve to be in hell!"

Sin is no more pleasant to those who are taught by the
Spirit. It is their sorrow when tempted by it. It is their
shame when they are overtaken by it. Their desire is to
be free from it altogether. Their happiest times are when
they are enabled to walk most closely with God. Their
saddest times are when they are furthest off from Him.

"When He comes, He will convict the world about
sin, righteousness, and judgment." (John 16:8)

13 December 2005

Something peculiar, distinct, and different


J. C. Ryle, "Conversion"

The effects of the Spirit's work in conversion will always
be seen. Those effects may be weak and feeble at first.
But there where there is true conversion, some fruit
will always be seen.

Where no effect can be seen--there you may be sure
is no grace. Where no visible fruit can be found--there
you may be sure is no true conversion.

Does anyone ask me what we may expect to see
in a true conversion? I reply, There will always be
something seen in a converted man's . . .
character,
and feelings,
and conduct,
and opinions,
and daily life.

You will not see perfection in him--but you will
see in him something peculiar, distinct, and
different from other people. You will see him . . .
hating sin,
loving Christ,
following after holiness,
taking pleasure in his Bible,
persevering in prayer.

You will see him . . .
penitent,
humble,
believing,
temperate,
charitable,
truthful,
good-tempered,
patient,
upright,
honorable,
kind.

These, at any rate, will be his aims--these are the
things which he will follow after, however short he
may come of perfection. In some converted people
you will see these things more distinctly, in others
less. This only I say, wherever there is conversion,
something of this kind will be seen. True conversion
is a thing that can always be seen.

Never, never, will I allow that the blessed Spirit can
be in a man's heart--when no fruit of the Spirit can
be seen in his life! A conversion which allows a man
to live in sin, to lie, and drink, and swear--is not the
conversion of the Bible. It is a counterfeit conversion,
which can only please the devil, and will lead the man
who is satisfied with it--not to heaven, but to hell!

08 December 2005

Rotten at the Heart

(Note: I am on a Ryle kick for some reason. I am finding his writings quite convicting. - JL)

J. C. Ryle, "Our Hope!" 1877

"Everyone who has this hope in Christ keeps
himself pure, just as Christ is pure." 1 John 3:3

The man who has a good hope will show it in all
his ways. It will influence his life, his character,
and his daily conduct. It will make him strive to
be a holy, godly, conscientious, spiritual man.
He will feel under a constant obligation to serve
and please Him from whom his hope comes.

If there is light in a house it will shine through the
windows--if there is any real hope in a man's soul
it will be seen in his ways. Show me your hope in
your life and daily behavior. Where is it? How does
it appear? If you cannot show it, you may be sure
it is nothing better than a delusion and a snare.

The hope that does not make a man . . .
honest,
honorable,
truthful,
sober,
diligent,
unselfish,
loving,
meek,
kind,
faithful
in all the relations of life--is not from God.

Let us beware of any hope that does not exercise
a sanctifying influence over our . . .
hearts,
lives,
tastes,
conduct, and
conversation.
It is a hope that never came down from above. It is
mere base metal, and counterfeit coin. It lacks the
mint-stamp of the Holy Spirit, and will never pass
current in heaven. The hope that does not make a
man holy--is no hope at all.

The person who can allow himself in any willful and
habitual breach of God's law, is rotten at the heart!
He may talk of his hope as much as he pleases--but
he has none in reality. His religion is . . .
a joy to the devil,
a stumbling block to the world,
a sorrow to true Christians,
and an offence to God!

Oh, that people would consider these things!

05 December 2005

Because JIBBS requested it...

Seven Sevens

If JIBBS says so, I do it, no questions asked.

Seven things to do before I die:

1. Lord willing, have children
2. Travel to Africa
3. Row a marathon
4. Visit every pro ballpark in America
5. Go to the Maldives
6. See my parents, brother, grandmother come to Christ
7. Summit Mt. Rainier

Seven things I cannot do:
1. Skateboard
2. Root for Wazzu or Oregon
3. Eat mincemeat pie
4. Not be annoyed with liberals
5. Get my way
6. Remember to fold the laundry
7. Beat my father-in-law at Puerto Rico or Settlers of Catan.

Seven things that attract me to my wife:

1. Uh, she’s drop dead stunning (I was resurrected after she said “Hi” to me the first time…)
2. She agrees with me on my sports opinions, and will go to a game with me anytime.
3. God is preeminent in her life
4. She deals with my bad memory
5. She keeps me civil
6. She prevents me from looking like a ragamuffin
7. She is a better card player than I am

Seven things I say most often:
1. “Hey”
2. “Sup”
3. “Yo”
4. “Crumb”
5. “oh yeah”
6. “It’s the liberals fault”
7. “What?!?!”

Seven books (or series) I love:

1. The Holiness of God - Sproul
2. Apologetics to the Glory of God / Doctrine of God - Frame
3. A Godly Man’s Picture - Watson
4. The Pleasures of God - Piper
5. The Cross – M.L. Jones
6. The Mystery of Marriage - Mason
7. The Hobbit / LOTR / Unfinished Tales - Tolkien

Seven movies I would watch over and over again:

1. LOTR Trilogy
2. Field of Dreams
3. Star Wars Episodes IV-VI
4. Blackhawk Down
5. Rudy
6. Napoleon Dynamite
7. Patton

Seven Five (sorry, most of my blogroll has been tagged…) people I want to join in, too:

1. Mike Perrigoue
2. Nathan White
3. Doug Patton
4. FIDE-O
5. Monty (aka The Montster) - Get a blog dude!!!