Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Only the Work of the Holy Spirit

"Nothing, nothing, nothing will ever convince man of sin but the power of the Holy Ghost. Show him hell, and he will not flee from it; show him heaven, and he will not seek it; silence him with warnings, and yet he will not stir; prick his conscience, and yet he will remain hard. Power from on high must come down and do the work. To show a man what he really is, needs the Holy Spirit of God.

Reader, if you have any feeling of your own sinfulness, you ought to thank God for it. That very sense of weakness, wickedness, and corruption, which perhaps makes you uncomfortable, is in reality a token for good, and a cause for praise. The first step towards being really good, is to feel bad. That first preparation for heaven, is to know that we deserve nothing but hell. Before we can be counted righteous we must know ourselves to be miserable sinners. Before we can have inward happiness and peace with God, we must learn to be ashamed and confounded because of our manifold transgressions. Before we can rejoice in a well-grounded hope, we must be taught to say, 'Unclean! unclean! God, be merciful to me a sinner!'" (J. C. Ryle)

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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