I believe this is a critical question for all of us. What was it that Jesus asked Peter after the apostle had denied him publicly? “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?” (John 21:15-17). That was it; three times. No rebukes, criticism, harsh words, judgments, or recriminations.
This morning, after my Bible reading, I was reading a chapter from JC Ryle’s book “Holiness”. He makes an excellent point in the following comments:
“The true Christian is one whose religion is in his heart and life. It is felt by himself in his heart. It is seen by others in his conduct and life. He feels his sinfulness, guilt and badness, and repents. He sees Jesus Christ to be that divine Savior whom his soul needs, and commits himself to Him. He puts off the old man with his corrupt and carnal habits, and puts on the new man. He lives a new and holy life, fighting habitually against the world, the flesh and the devil. Christ Himself is the cornerstone of his Christianity. Ask him in what he trusts for the forgiveness of his many sins, and he will tell you, in the death of Christ. Ask him in what righteousness he hopes to stand innocent at the judgment day, and he will tell you it is the righteousness of Christ. Ask him by what pattern he tries to frame his life, and he will tell you that it is the example of Christ. But beside all this, there is one thing a true Christian which is eminently peculiar to him. That thing is love to Christ…Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ Himself says to the Jews: ‘If God were your Father, you would love me’ (John 8:42).
A true Christian loves Christ for all He has done for him. He has suffered in his stead, and died for him on the cross. He has redeemed him from the guilt, the power and consequences of sin by His blood. He has called him by His Spirit to self-knowledge, repentance, faith, hope and holiness. He has forgiven all his many sins and blotted them out. He has freed him from the captivity of the world, the flesh and the devil. He has taken him from the brink of hell, placed him in the narrow way, and set his face towards heaven. He has given him light instead of darkness, peace of conscience instead of uneasiness, hope instead of uncertainty, life instead of death. Can you wonder that the true Christian loves Christ?
And he loves Him besides, for all that He is still doing. He feels that He is daily washing away his many shortcomings and infirmities, and pleading his soul’s cause before God. He is daily supplying all the needs of his soul, and providing him with an hourly provision of mercy and grace. He is daily leading him by His Spirit to a city of habitation, bearing with him when he is weak and ignorant, raising him up when he stumbles and falls, protecting him against his many enemies, preparing an eternal home for him in heaven. Can you wonder that the true Christian loves Christ?”
“This love to Christ is the inseparable companion of saving faith.”
“Love to Christ will be the distinguishing mark of all saved souls in heaven.”
To the above comments brother, I would add a comment from Donald Stamps:
“The earliest creed or confession of the New Testament church was not Jesus is Savior, but Jesus is Lord (Rom. 10:9; Acts 8:16, 19:5; 1 Cor. 12:3). Jesus Christ is specifically called Savior 16 times in the NT and Lord more than 450 times. The current teaching in some evangelical circles that Jesus can be one’s Savior without necessarily being one’s Lord is found nowhere in the NT. No one can receive Jesus as Savior without receiving Him as Lord. This is an essential ingredient in apostolic preaching (Acts 36:40).” (pg. 1761, Life in the Spirit Study Bible).
Our JOY is in the Lord Jesus Brothers and Sisters!!!
Thank you Jesus!!!
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