04 December 2006

Motivation (18): Ryle

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, England:

"True Christians are what they are, because they are regenerate, and formal Christians are what they are, because they are not. The heart of a Christian in deed has been changed. The heart of the Christian in name only has not been changed. The change of heart makes the whole difference."

"Scripture describes regeneration as a great radical change of heart and nature – a thorough alteration and transformation of the whole inner man, a participation in the resurrection life of Christ, or, to borrow the words of the Church Catechism, 'a death unto sin and a new birth unto righteousness.'

"This change of heart in a true Christian is so complete that no word could be chosen more fitting to express it than that word ‘regeneration’ or new birth. Doubtless it is no outward, bodily alteration, but undoubtedly it is an entire alteration of the inner man. It adds no new faculties to a man’s mind, but it certainly gives an entirely new bent and bias to all his old ones. His will is so new, his taste so new, his opinions so new, his views of sin, the world, the Bible, and Christ so new, that he is to all intents and purposes a new man. The change seems to bring a new being into existence. It may well be called being born again."

J. C. Ryle, Regeneration (Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2003), 12, 14

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