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The One True Church – JC Ryle. Part 2

08/11/2011

Ryle has been speaking about the One True Church. He has told us that this church is composed of all true believers who all have the same marks of faith. Now he goes further…

3. It is a Church WHICH IS DEPENDENT UPON NO MINISTERS UPON EARTH, however much it values those who preach the gospel to its members.

The life of its members does not hang upon Church-membership, or baptism, or the Lord’s Supper — although they highly value these things when they are to be had. But it has only one Great Head — one Shepherd, one chief Bishop — and that is Jesus Christ. He alone, By His Spirit, admits the members of this Church, though ministers may show the door.

Till He opens the door no man on earth can open it — neither bishops, nor presbyters, nor convocations, nor synods. Once let a man repent and believe the gospel, and that moment he becomes a member of this Church.

Like the penitent thief, he may have no opportunity of being baptised; but he has that which is far better than any water-baptism — the baptism of the Spirit.

He may not be able to receive the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper; but he eats Christ’s body and drinks Christ’s blood by faith every day he lives, and no minister on earth can prevent him.

He may be ex-communicated by ordained men, and cut off from the outward ordinances of the professing Church; but all the ordained men in the world cannot shut him out of the true Church.

It is a Church whose existence does not depend on forms, ceremonies, cathedrals, churches, chapels, pulpits, fonts, vestments, organs, endowments, money, kings, governments, magistrates or any act of favor whatsoever from the hand of man.

It has often lived on and continued when all these things have been taken from it. It has often been driven into the wilderness, or into dens and caves of the earth, by those who ought to have been its friends.

Its existence depends on nothing but the presence of Christ and His Spirit; and they being ever with it, the Church cannot die.

To be continued…

From → Encouragement

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