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    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Assurance Against The Enemy

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

The verses above give those who are among Christ’s sheep a promise that they will never be lost to Him. The soul of the Christian will be preserved against the temptations of the enemy. According to Bishop J. C. Ryle:

There is assurance upon assurance, that none may have an excuse for doubting. There is always something plucking at Christ’s sheep: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, the devil, and the world are ever striving hard to destroy them—but they shall not succeed! Do you think the devil will give up his kingdom without a mighty struggle? Oh no, he goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour; he wars a constant warfare with all who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ—but the word of God is pledged that he shall never prevail. Not all the powers of darkness shall avail to quench one single spark of real gospel faith. . . .

Are you indeed Christ’s sheep? Can you feel within yourselves the working of His blessed Spirit, mortifying the works of the flesh, and drawing up your minds to heavenly things? Have you the witness in yourselves that you have gone through a real spiritual change, that you hate the sins which once you loved, and love the things which once you despised? Have you good reason to believe that you have indeed put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new man with the lamb-like nature of your blessed Master? Then, oh, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory! Pray that you may not stand still—but go on from grace to grace and strength to strength; pray that you may bear much spiritual fruit, for thus is your Father glorified, and then will you make your own calling and election sure to yourselves. (“The Privileges of the True Christian”)

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