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He loves the things that once he hated
(J. C. Ryle, "Alive or Dead?")
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old things have passed away. Behold, all things
have become new!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
Whatever part of the globe we live in, our eyes need
to be opened--naturally we never see our sinfulness,
guilt, and danger.
Whatever nation we belong to, our understandings
need to be enlightened--naturally we know little or
nothing of the plan of salvation. Like the Babel-builders,
we think to get to heaven our own way.
Whatever church we may belong to, our wills need
to be bent in the right direction--naturally we would
never choose the things which are for our peace; we
would never come to Christ.
Whatever be our rank in life, our affections need to
be turned to things above--naturally we only set them
on things below, earthly, sensual, short-lived and vain.
Pride must give place to humility;
self-righteousness to self-abasement;
carelessness to seriousness;
worldliness to holiness;
unbelief to faith.
Satan's dominion must be put down within us--and the
kingdom of God set up. Self must be crucified--and Christ
must reign. Until these things come to pass, we are as
dead as stones. When these things begin to take place,
and not until then, we are spiritually alive.
The true Christian knows all this by experience.
He loves the things that once he hated, and
hates the things that once he loved. He has . . .
In short, the whole bias and current of his being
is changed. Ask his nearest relatives and friends,
and they would bear witness to it. Whether they
liked it or not, they would be obliged to confess
he was no longer the same person.
Once he could see no beauty and excellence in the
Lord Jesus Christ. Now he would tell you that He is . . .
the pearl above all price,
the chief among ten thousand,
Once he thought lightly about sin. He could not
see the necessity of being so particular about it.
He could not think a man's words, and thoughts,
and actions, were of such importance, and required
such watchfulness. Now he would tell you sin is the
abominable thing which he hates--the sorrow and
burden of his life. He longs to be more holy.
Once he cared only for this world . . .
Now he looks upon it as an empty, unsatisfying place.
His treasure is in heaven. His home is beyond the grave.
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