“Let us learn to exalt Him more” by J. C. Ryle

“It is written that ‘no man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.’ (John 1:18) The eye of mortal man has never beheld God the Father. No man could bear the sight. Even to Moses it was said, ‘Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.’ (Exod. 33:20.)

Yet all that mortal man is capable of knowing about God the Father is fully revealed to us by God the Son. He, who was in the bosom of the Father from all eternity, has been pleased to take our nature upon Him, and to exhibit to us in the form of man, all that our minds can comprehend of the Father’s perfections.

In Christ’s words, and deeds, and life, and death, we learn as much concerning God the Father as our feeble minds can at present bear. His perfect wisdom,—His almighty power,—His unspeakable love to sinners,—His incomparable holiness,—His hatred of sin, could never be represented to our eyes more clearly than we see them in Christ’s life and death.

In truth, ‘God was manifest in the flesh,’ when the Word took on Him a body. ‘He was the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of His person.’ He says Himself, ‘I and my Father are one.’ ‘He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.’ In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.’ (Coloss. 2:9.) These are deep and mysterious things. But they are true. (1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 1:3; John 10:30; 14:9.

And now, after reading this passage, can we ever give too much honour to Christ? Can we ever think too highly of Him? Let us banish the unworthy thought from our minds for ever. Let us learn to exalt Him more in our hearts, and to rest more confidingly the whole weight of our souls in His hands.

Men may easily fall into error about the three Persons in the holy Trinity if they do not carefully adhere to the teaching of Scripture. But no man ever errs on the side of giving too much honour to God the Son. Christ is the meeting-point between the Trinity and the sinner’s soul. ‘He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which sent Him.’ (John 5:23.)”

–J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, Vol. 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1869/2012), 26-27. Ryle is commenting on John 1:18.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Glory of Christ, Gospel according to John, J.C. Ryle, Jesus Christ, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

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