One mark of "growth in grace" is increased humility. The man whose soul is "growing" feels his own sinfulness and unworthiness more every year. He is ready to say with Job, "I am vile"; and with Abraham, I am "dust and ashes"; and with Jacob, "I am not worthy of the least of all Thy mercies"; and with David, "I am a worm"; and with Isaiah, "I am a man of unclean lips"; and with Peter, "I am a sinful man, O Lord." (Job 40:4; Gen. 18:27; 32:10; Ps. 22:6; Isa. 6:5; Luke 5:8.) The nearer he draws to God, and the more he sees of God's holiness and perfections, the more thoroughly is he sensible of his own countless imperfections. The further he journeys in the way to heaven, the more he understands what St. Paul meant when he says, "I am not already perfect"; "I am not meet to be called an apostle"; "I am less than the least of all saints"; "I am chief of sinners." (Phil. 3:12; 1 Cor. 15:9; Eph. 3:8; 1 Tim. 1:15.) The riper he is for glory, the more, like the ripe corn, he hangs down his head. The brighter and clearer is his light, the more he sees of the shortcomings and infirmities of his own heart. When first converted, he would tell you he saw but little of them compared to what he sees now. Would anyone know whether he is growing in grace? Be sure that you look within for increased humilityJ.C. Ryle, Holiness, pp. 105-106.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Are You Growing in Grace? Part 1
From J.C. Ryle: