The loving heart of an actual living Christ!
(J.C. Ryle, "Holiness, Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots" 1879)
I am afraid that many Christians in our day have lost sight of Christ. They talk . . .
more about salvation — than about their only Savior, and
more about redemption — than the one true Redeemer, and
more about Christ's work — than Christ Himself!
This is a great fault — one that accounts for the dry and shriveled spirit that infuses the religious lives of many who profess faith. As ever you would grow in grace, and have joy and peace in believing — beware of falling into this error!
Cease to regard the Gospel as a mere collection of dry doctrines. Look at it rather as the revelation of a mighty living Being in whose sight you are daily to live.
Cease to regard the Gospel as a mere set of abstract propositions and abstruse principles and rules. Look at it as the introduction to a glorious personal Friend.
This is the kind of Gospel that the apostles preached. They did not go about the world telling men of love and mercy and pardon in the abstract. The leading subject of all their sermons, was the loving heart of an actual living Christ!
This is the kind of Gospel which is most calculated to promote sanctification and fitness for glory. Nothing, surely, is so likely to prepare us for that Heaven where Christ's personal presence will be all, and that glory where we shall meet Christ face to face — as to realize communion with Christ as an actual living Person. There is all the difference in the world, between an idea and a person!