“Let the religion which we aim to possess be a religion in which grace is the main thing. Let it not content us to be able to speak eloquently, or preach powerfully, or reason ably, or argue cleverly, or profess loudly, or talk fluently.
Let it not satisfy us to know the whole system of Christian doctrines, and to have texts and words at our command.
These things are all well in their way. They are not to be undervalued. They have their use. But these things are not the grace of God, and they will not deliver us from hell.
Let us never rest until we have the witness of the Spirit within us that we are ‘washed, and sanctified, and justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.’ (1 Cor. 6:11.) Let us seek to know that ‘our names are written in heaven,’ and that we are really one with Christ and Christ in us.
Let us strive to be ‘epistles of Christ known and read of all men,’ and to show by our meekness, and charity, and faith, and spiritual-mindedness, that we are the children of God.
This is true religion. These are the real marks of saving Christianity. Without such marks, a man may have abundance of gifts and turn out nothing better than a follower of Judas Iscariot, the false apostle, and go at last to hell.
With such marks, a man may be like Lazarus, poor and despised upon earth, and have no gifts at all. But his name is written in heaven, and Christ shall own him as one of His people at the last day.”
–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1879), 1: 361. Ryle is commenting on Luke 10:17-20.