For personal reflection over the next few weeks I’d like to share Ryle’s thoughts as he “[tries] to show precisely and particularly” what true Christianity costs us:
1. True Christianity will cost one his self-righteousness. He must cast away all pride and high thoughts and conceit of his own goodness. He must be content to go to heaven as a poor sinner saved only by free grace and owing all to the merit and righteousness of another. He must really feel as well as say the Prayer Book words, that he has “erred and gone astray like a lost sheep,” that he has “left undone the things he ought to have done, and there is no health in him.”
He must be willing to give up all trust in his own morality, respectability, praying, Bible reading, church going, and sacrament receiving, and to trust in nothing but Jesus Christ.1
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
1 This excerpt is taken from Chapter 5 The Cost of the book Holiness by JC Ryle, p. 73. Public domain. Emphasis mine.