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Christ is not Dead

Bishop J. C. RyleJ. C. Ryle:

Jesus Christ is able to save to the uttermost, notwithstanding all the trials that believers have to go through. Hear what the Apostle Paul says to Timothy: “I suffer: nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2 Tim. i. 12.) So long as Jesus Christ lives, the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ may be assured that no affliction shall be allowed to break off the union between him and his risen Head. He may suffer greatly and be sorely tried. But while Christ lives he shall never be forsaken. Neither poverty, nor sickness, nor bereavements, nor separations, shall ever separate Jesus and His believing people. We have an ever-living, ever-interceding Priest. Christ is not dead, but alive.

Christ is able to save to the uttermost, notwithstanding all the persecutions that believers have to go through. See what is said of St. Paul, when he met with much opposition at Corinth. We are told that the Lord stood by him in the night, and said, “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace, for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee, for I have much people in this city.” (Acts xviii. 10.) Remember what He said to St. Paul at a former time, when He met him on the way to Damascus: “Saul, Saul, why persecute thou Me?” (Acts ix. 4.) Every injury done to the believer is an injury done to the living Head in heaven. And every persecution showered down upon the head of the poor child of God here is known, felt, and, I may add with all reverence, resented, by our Great Elder Brother, who is ever living to make intercession for us. Christ lives, and therefore believers, though persecuted, shall not be destroyed. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” (Rom. viii. 87.) We have an ever-living, ever-interceding Priest. Christ is not dead, but alive.

Christ is able to save to the uttermost, notwithstanding all the temptations of the devil. Remember that famous passage in the Gospel of St. Luke, where our Lord, speaking to St. Peter, says, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” (Luke xxii.32.) Prayer like that is still carried on. Those words were spoken as an emblem of what the Lord is ever doing on behalf of His believing people. Satan, the prince of this world, is ever going about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. But Christ lives; and, blessed be God, while Christ lives Satan shall not be able to overcome the soul that believes on Him. We have an ever-living, ever-interceding Priest. Christ is not dead, but alive.

Christ is able to save to the uttermost, notwithstanding the sting of death, and all that death brings with it. When David remembered that, he said, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” (Ps. xxiii. 4) You and I may die, but Christ still lives. The hour may come when friends can do us no more good, when faithful servants can no longer minister to our wants, when all that love, and kindness, and affliction can do to alleviate pain and make the last journey pleasant, can no longer render any service to us. But then the thought that Christ lives–Christ interceding, Christ caring for us, Christ at the right hand of God for us,–ought to cheer us. The sting of death will be taken away from the man that leans upon a dying and also a living Savior. Christ never dies. Through faith in that living Savior we shall have a complete victory. We have an ever-living, ever-interceding Priest. Christ is not dead, but alive.

 

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  1. Reblogged this on My Delight and My Counsellors.

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