Sunday Considerations: Alive or Dead

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Sunday Considerations attempts to offer something edifying for Christians to consider as they prepare to come together as the body of Christ to worship. Below are a few words from J.C. Ryle to consider.

I speak to you yourself, and to none else—not to your neighbor—but to you, not to Africans or New Zealanders—but to you. I do not ask whether you are an angel, or whether you have the mind of David or Paul—but I do ask whether you have a well-founded hope that you are a new creature in Christ Jesus, I do ask whether you have reason to believe you have put off the old man and put on the new—whether you are conscious of ever having gone through a real spiritual change of heart—whether, in one word, you are dead or alive. 1

Ryle offers this insightful quote from Baxter.

“Believe me, whatever you are, you shall never be saved for being a Lord or a knight, a gentleman or a rich man, a learned man or a well-spoken, eloquent man; nor yet for being a Calvinist, or a Lutheran, an Arminian, an Anabaptist, a Presbyterian, an Independent, or a Protestant, formally and merely as such; much less for being a Papist, or of any such grossly deluded sect—but as a regenerate Christian it is that you must be saved—or you can have no hope.”—Richard Baxter. 1659. 2

A few paragraphs later he states:

In spiritual things, as in everything else, it is the highest wisdom to make sure work. Take nothing for granted. Do not measure your condition by that of others. Bring everything to the measure of God’s Word. A mistake about your soul is a mistake for eternity! “Surely,” says Leighton, “they that are not born again, shall one day wish they had never been born.”

Sit down this day and think. Commune with your own heart and be still. Go to your own room and consider. Enter into your own closet, or at any rate contrive to be alone with God. Look the question fairly, fully, honestly in the face. How does it touch you? Are you among the living or among the dead?

“If your state be good, searching into it will give you the comfort of it. If your state be bad, searching into it cannot make it worse; nay, it is the only way to make it better—for conversion begins with conviction.”—Hopkins. 1680. 3

  1. J. C. Ryle. Alive or Dead? (Kindle Locations 291-295). Monergism Books.
  2. Ibid., Kindle Locations 297-301
  3. Ibid., Kindle Locations 325-331
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The above article was posted on July 16, 2011 by Mark Lamprecht.
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