J.C. Ryle

Sermon Producing Fruit

by Jason Moore on November 8, 2011

There are thousands who listen regularly to the preaching of the Gospel, and admire it while they listen. They do not dispute the truth of what they hear. They even feel a kind of intellectual pleasure in hearing a good and powerful sermon. But their religion never goes beyond this point. Their sermon-hearing does not prevent them living a life of thoughtlessness, worldliness, and sin.

Let us often examine ourselves on this important point. Let us see what practical effect is produced on our hearts and lives by the preaching which we profess to like. Does it lead us to true repentance towards God, and lively faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ? Does it excite us to weekly efforts to cease from sin, and to resist the devil? These are the fruits which sermons ought to produce, if they are really doing us good. Without such fruit, a mere barren admiration is utterly worthless. It is no proof of grace. It will save no soul.

~ J.C. Ryle

Originally posted here.


Is there any theological distinction more important than the difference between justification and sanctification. Both are necessary for the Christian, but they are not the same. Similar, but different.

So how are justification and sanctification alike?

  1. Both proceed originally from the free grace of God. It is of His gift alone that believers are justified or sanctified at all.
  2. Both are part of that great work of salvation which Christ, in the eternal covenant, has undertaken on behalf of His people. Christ is the fountain of life from which pardon and holiness both flow. The root of each is Christ.
  3. Both are to be found in the same persons. Those who are justified are always sanctified, and those who are sanctified are always justified. God has joined them together, and they cannot be put asunder.
  4. Both begin at the same time. The moment a person begins to be a justified person, he also begins to be a sanctified person. He may not feel it, but it is a fact.
  5. Both are alike necessary to salvation. No one ever reached heaven without a renewed heart as well as forgiveness, without the Spirit’s grace as well as the blood of Christ, without a meetness for eternal glory as well as a title. The one is just as necessary as the other.



What does holiness look like?
J.C. Ryle explains:
  1. True sanctification then does not consist in talk about religion.
  2. True sanctification does not consist in temporary religious feelings.
  3. True sanctification does not consist in outward formalism and external devoutness.
  4. Sanctification does not consist in retirement from our place in life, and the renunciation of our social duties.
  5. Sanctification does not consist in the occasional performance of right actions. (p. 32)
  6. Genuine sanctification will show itself in habitual respect to God’s law, and habitual effort to live in obedience to it as the rule of life.
  7. Genuine sanctification will show itself in an habitual endeavour to do Christ’s will, and to live by His practical precepts.
  8. Genuine sanctification will show itself in an habitual desire to live up to the standard which St. Paul sets before the churches in his writings.
  9. Genuine sanctification will show itself in habitual attention to the active graces which our Lord so beautifully exemplified, and especially to the grace of charity.
  10. Genuine sanctification, in the last place, will show itself in habitual attention to the passive graces of Christianity.
This list would make a good tool for self-examination and a good prompt for prayer. Ryle’s signs are biblical, and easier to understand that Jonathan Edwards.
Tomorrow: how justification and sanctification are alike and different.

Originally Posted here:


On the list of my top ten Christian books of all time is Holiness by J.C. Ryle (1816-1900). The book, a collection of twenty papers on the subject of holiness first published in 1879, is pungent, practical, and, after more than a century, still wonderfully readable. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was right: “[Ryle] is preeminently and always scriptural and expository…It is exposition at its very best and highest. It is always clear and logical and invariably leads to a clear enunciation of doctrine. It is strong and virile and entirely free from the sentimentality that is often described as ‘devotional.’”



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