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Holiness; 5. The Cost (part 2), JC Ryle

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

II. Explanation of Why Counting the Cost is of Such Great Importance to Man’s
– no duty enjoyed by Christ can ever be neglected without damage

A. The person the author speaks of are
– not thoughtless about religion, they think a lot about it
– are not ignorant aof religion
– their great defect is that they are not “rooted and grounded” in their faith
– have picked up their knowledge second-handed
(1) being from a religious family
(2) being trained in religious ways
– and have never worked it out by their own inward experience
– have hastily taken up a profession of religion under the pressure of cirumstances BUT without any solid work of grace in their hearts
– like the Israelites, they left Egypt full of zeal and fervour, as if nothing could stop them. But when they found dangers and difficulties in the way, their courage soon cooled down

(the author spends several paragraphs providing illustrations here of examples in Scripture and in history of people who heard the Word, accepted it, but never “counted the cost” and their zeal soon diminished. GO READ IT.) As the author said, “they prove to have been nothing more than stony-ground hearers.”

Being a parent myself, I am pleased that the author spoke also of children growing up in Covenant Families and has cautioned to parent who may be quick to “see fruit” in a child of such a young age and also has exhorted to the parent to “test and see” or examine the child closely. I would even go further to say, to examine him even more closer so as their not to be a false sense.

His main thrust he says of this paper is “the absolute necessity of pressing the subject of the paper on all who profess a desire for holiness, and of crying aloud in all the Churches – “COUNT THE COST.”

He also stated in this paper that, “[he] thoroughly approves of offering men a full, free, present, immediate salvation in Christ Jesus . . . But I do say that these truths ought not to be set before men nakedly, singly, and alone. They ought to be told honestly what it is they are taking up . . . They ought not to be pressed into the ranks of Christ’s army without being told what the warfare entails . . . “they should be told to ‘count the cost’.”

“Be not deceived” was the cry of our faithful Reformers (Whitefield, Baxter, Latimer) “Consider well what you do. Do not run before you are called. Count the cost.”

Press them to consider their ways. Compel them with holy violence to come in, to lay down their arms, and to yield themselves to God. Offer them salvation, ready, free, full, immediate salvation. Press Christ and all His benefits on their acceptance. But in all your work tell the truth, and the whole truth. Be ashamed to use vulgar arts of a recruiting serjeant. Do not speak only of the uniform, the pay, and the glory; Speak also of the enemies, the battle, the armour, the watching, the marching, and the drill.

– Do not keep back “the cross” of self-denial that must be carried

– Entreat men to repent and come to Christ; but bid them at the same time to “count the cost”

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