Posted by: proregno | May 16, 2013

Skrifoordenking: Vir of teen My ? Lukas 11:23 – 26 (JC Ryle)

Image of J. C. Ryle

They are a solemn warning to us, never to be satisfied with religious reformation without heart conversion. There is no safety except in ‘thorough Christianity’. … The devil must not only be cast out. The Holy Spirit must take his place. Christ must dwell in our hearts by faith. We must not only be moralized, but spiritualized. We must not only be reformed, but born again. Let us lay these things to heart. – JC Ryle

Op ons pelgrimspad in en deur hierdie lewe, kan ‘n mens so maklik moeg en moedeloos raak.

Ons is swak en nietig in onsself, daarom dat ons ‘n Verlosser nodig het, ons het goeie nuus nodig, ons kan nie sonder die Evangelie van ons Here Jesus Christus nie.

Ons gemeente, en seker baie ander gemeentes van Christus in die GKSA is oppad na die heilige nagmaal, die volgende 2 Sondae, DV.

Ons is besig met selfondersoek, en dit is maar ‘n pynlike saak.  As ek my-self ondersoek in die lig van my-self en in die lig van die wêreld om my, dan lyk ek dalk nie te sleg nie.

Maar in die lig van God se Woord, dan besef ek al te goed, soos die Nagmaalsformulier sê:

Ons het inderdaad nog baie gebreke: gebrek aan geloof, aan ywer in God se diens, aan liefde tot God en ons naaste. Ons het egter deur die genade van die Heilige Gees van harte berou oor ons sondes en begeer opreg om volgens al die gebooie van God te lewe. Daarom kan ons seker wees dat God ons in genade aanneem en waardig maak om deel te he aan die hemelse spys en drank.

En as ‘n gelowige, as lidmaat van sy Kerk, as benadigde sondaar wat die voorreg het om die ‘woorde van die ewige lewe’ (Joh.6:68) te mag verkondig – is ek maar te bewus van my eie gebreke, sondes en tekortkominge.  Soos Spurgeon dit gestel het: hoe nader jy aan ons heilige God kom, hoe meer besef jy hoe onheilig jy is, en hoe min ons gehoorsaamheid dus is.  Of RC Sproul wat die beeld gebruik van ‘n mot wat om ‘n kers vlieg, hoe nader hy aan die kers kom, hoe nader is hy aan sy dood. Hoe nader ons aan die Here kom (Jes.6:1-3), hoe meer word ons bewus van ons eie sondigheid (Jes.6:4,5).

Maar dank God, daar is Een wat volkome HEILIG was en is, sodat ons op grond van sy verdienste en heiligheid (1 Kor.1:30,31), as heilig beskou word deur ons Vader, en hoe langer hoe meer heilig kan word (Jes.6:6,7):

  15 Maar soos Hy wat julle geroep het, heilig is, moet julle ook in jul hele lewenswandel heilig word,  16 omdat daar geskrywe is: Wees heilig, want Ek is heilig.  17 En as julle Hom as Vader aanroep wat sonder aanneming van die persoon oordeel volgens elkeen se werk, wandel dan in vrees gedurende die tyd van julle vreemdelingskap;  18 omdat julle weet dat julle nie deur verganklike dinge, silwer of goud, losgekoop is uit julle ydele lewenswandel wat deur die vaders oorgelewer is nie,  19 maar deur die kosbare bloed van Christus, soos van ‘n lam sonder gebrek en vlekkeloos,  20 wat wel vooruit geken is voor die grondlegging van die wêreld, maar in hierdie laaste tye geopenbaar is om julle ontwil,  21 julle wat deur Hom glo in God wat Hom uit die dode opgewek en Hom heerlikheid gegee het, sodat julle geloof en hoop op God kan wees.

Ons selfondersoek in die komende weke is:

1. ken ek waarlik vir God in Christus, openbaar my lewe dat Ek aan Hom behoort ( 2 Pe.1:10) ?

2. Groei ek in my heiligmaking, beweeg ek nader of weg van God (Luk.11:24-26) ?

3. Hoe lyk my dankbaarheidslewe, besef ek opnuut:

a. my sonde en ellende

b. my genadige verlossing in Christus

c. dat ek nou in dankbaarheid nie volgens sommige nie, maar al sy gebooie moet en wil lewe, deur sy Gees en Woord (HK Sondag 1; Sondag 44, v/a 114)

Om te help met hierdie selfondersoek, plaas ek twee aanhalings van JC Ryle, in sy verklaring op Luk.11:23-26, geneem uit sy Expository Thoughts on the Gospels.  Dit het my opnuut laat besin oor my geloof en roeping, omdat ‘n mens so maklik ‘gewoond’ kan raak aan ons kosbare geloof, en voor jy jouself kry begin jy die wonder van die Evangelie te vergeet, en begin jou passie af te neem, dalk iets van jou eerste liefde verlaat (Op.2:4,5).  JC Ryle roep ons deur die Woord om volkome toegewy te wees aan Christus, in ‘n lewe van dankbaarheid:

“He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” – Luke 11:23

Let us observe, for another thing, in these verses, how strongly our Lord teaches the impossibility of neutrality. He says, “he that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathers not with me, scatters.” The principle laid down in these words should be constantly remembered by all who make any profession of decided religion. We all naturally love an easy Christianity. We dislike collisions and separation. We like, if possible, to keep in with both sides. We fear extremes. We dread being righteous overmuch. We are anxious not to go too far. Such thoughts as these are full of peril to the soul.

Once allowed to get the upper hand, they may do us immense harm. Nothing is so offensive to Christ as lukewarmness in religion. To be utterly dead and ignorant, is to be an object of pity as well as blame. But to know the truth and yet “halt between two opinions,” is one of the chief of sins. Let it be the settled determination of our minds that we will serve Christ with all our hearts, if we serve Him at all. Let there be no reserve, no compromise, no half-heartedness, no attempt to reconcile God and mammon in our Christianity.

Let us resolve, by God’s help, to be “with Christ,” and “gather” by Christ’s side, and allow the world to say and do what it will. It may cost us something at first. It will certainly repay us in the long run. Without decision there is no happiness in religion. He that follows Jesus most fully, will always follow Him most comfortably. Without decision in religion, there is no usefulness to others. The half-hearted Christian attracts none by the beauty of his life, and wins no respect from the world.

24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.  25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.  26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. – Luk.11:23-25

Let us observe, finally, in these verses, how dangerous it is to be content with any change in religion short of thorough conversion to God. This is a truth which our Lord teaches by an dreadful picture of one from whom a devil has been cast forth, but into whose heart the Holy Spirit has not entered. He describes the evil spirit, after his expulsion, as seeking rest and finding none. He describes him planning a return to the heart which he once inhabited, and carrying his plan into execution–He describes him finding that heart empty of any good, and, like a house “swept and garnished” for his reception. He describes him as entering in once more, with seven spirits worse than himself, and once more making it his abode. And He winds up all by the solemn saying, “the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

We must feel in reading these fearful words, that Jesus is speaking of things which we faintly comprehend. He is lifting a corner of the veil which hangs over the unseen world. His words, no doubt, illustrate the state of things which existed in the Jewish nation during the time of His own ministry. But the main lesson of his words, which concerns us, is the danger of our own individual souls. They are a solemn warning to us, never to be satisfied with religious reformation without heart conversion. There is no safety except in ‘thorough Christianity’.

To lay aside open sin is nothing, unless grace reigns in our hearts. To cease to do evil is a small matter, if we do not also learn to do well. The house must not only be swept and whitewashed. A new tenant must be introduced, or else the leprosy may yet appear again in the walls. The outward life must not only be garnished with the formal trappings of religion. The power of vital religion must be experienced in the inward man. The devil must not only be cast out. The Holy Spirit must take his place. Christ must dwell in our hearts by faith. We must not only be moralized, but spiritualized. We must not only be reformed, but born again. Let us lay these things to heart.

Many professing Christians, it may be feared, are deceiving themselves. They are not what they once were, and so they flatter themselves, they are what they ought to be. They are no longer sabbath-breaking, daring sinners, and so they dream that they are Christians. They see not that they have only changed one kind of devil for another. They are governed by a decent, Pharisaic devil, instead of an audacious, riotous, unclean devil. But the tenant within is the devil still. And their last end will be worse than their first. From such an end may we pray to be delivered!

Whatever we are in religion, let us be thorough. Let us not be houses swept and garnished, but uninhabited by the Spirit. Let us not be potsherds covered with silver, fair on the outside, but worthless on the inside. Let our daily prayer be, “Search me, O God–and see whether there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:24.)

– Ryle, J.C.  (2011-10-27). Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Second Edition) (Kindle Locations 13204-13210). Monergism Books. Kindle Edition.


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