Words Mean Something (3)

“I ask, in the first place, whether it is wise to speak of faith as the one thing needful, and the only thing required, as many seem to do now-a-days in handling the doctrine of sanctification?—Is it wise to proclaim in so bald, naked, and unqualified a way as many do, that the holiness of converted people is by faith only, and not at all by personal exertion? Is it according to the proportion of God’s Word? I doubt it.”

— JC Ryle on Holiness

This was written in 1889.  It’s interesting that the author has a concern about a common thought that all one must do is have faith.  Over a century ago, the idea of doing nothing else after belief was being critiqued.  Yet the idea of “simply believe” or “just have faith” is still taught today.  What’s our responsibility after belief?


6 Responses to “Words Mean Something (3)”

  1. What about communication and relationship? I am sure that God wants us to come to him in prayer; he already knows what we need, but relationship comes when we rely on him, and listen to his answer to us. We do not know what his plan is until he reveals it to us, talk about faith building! Even if we dont choose to accept his plan, he still loves us, and is patient for us to learn. The greatest gift in this life is when we realize God is communicating with us and to see his amazing work in our lives, it really builds the love in our relationship with him.

    • I think you’re on to something Diane. You could have added “tons” to the discussion last night. 🙂 Prayer is about engaging with God – not just saying a few words. Good thoughts!

  2. Leah Alexander Says:

    I believe that faith is the way. When one has faith he/she will do many things because it is a part of faith.
    When we eat cake, we don’t debate every ingredient in the cake. Just because we don’t ask, “Would you like some flour, eggs, baking soda…..” each time we ask someone if they want cake doesn’t mean cake isn’t all of that and couldn’t be cake without some of the ingredients. We simply accept the cake.
    All of the things such as how we treat other people, how to pray, how to make right choices etc are things we are suppose to do because we have faith. Because we believe we can use our lives as testimony.
    It’s important to teach and to study and to practice every aspect of faith, but in the end it is all an ingredient of the final result…….faith.

    • Leah,
      I think what Ryle was getting at was what it means to be holy. In other words, faith is where one begins. However, to simply claim faith and then do nothing else is unbiblical. So our faith causes us to recognize our responsibility to do certain things. As you said, “All of the things such as how we treat other people, how to pray, how to make right choices etc are things we are suppose to do because we have faith.” That’s the distinction that Ryle is making. That’s why I think the quote is worth noting. Thanks for reading.

  3. I understood it and agree it is noteworthy. I even agree. It is wrong to teach you must have faith only because I know you can’t have faith without being obedient, love, trust etc. Faith is what God gives us. Man can’t just say they have it and then try to prove it to God. Faith is belief that has manifested and God approves. Faith is comfort and joy that no man can just get himself. Faith is knowing…….Belief begins the growing. That’s what the Lord has taught me. Take it from a crash dummy-belief and faith are NOT the same things. That’s why I agree with Ryle, it is wrong to teach that because no one understands what faith is until The Lord Himself reveals it to a person.

    Anyways, I understood. I agree it is noteworthy and I agree with Ryle.

    If you were to ever substitute the word faith in your last comment with belief then you and I would totally agree 100%. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I was just adding to the discussion so that is not argumentative, please don’t take it that way. Belief is the beginning. Just as a peach seed truly is a peach, but it has growing to do. Then it is called a peach. Belief is faith when it grows so it is belief that requires us to do those things. Faith is the knowing and it is the evidence of things not seen. Faith IS. Belief is what will BE

    Remember……….belief begins the growing, faith is the knowing
    Belief is what will be, faith is I know it is

    I’m seriously not arguing with you and I get it. I just know the Lord taught me that is how it is. Many in the Bible believed in God, but few walked with the Lord. In the old testament God really loved the ones that walked with Him. In the new testament Jesus wants faith, but many was around Him as well. They ahd to believe He was real because they seen him. Some even believed what He said, but it took more than just belief to get them to faith. I was only contributing my notes from when I spend time with the Lord. Please don’t think I was trying to be disrespectful to you.

    • Never consider disagreement to be disrespectful. In fact, it makes us stronger. In this case, I think it’s all about semantics anyway. Have a blessed day!

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