In Name Only or In Reality?

In Practical Religion J.C. Ryle states,

“When a man is a Christian in name only, and not in reality,– in outward things only, and not in his inward feelings,– in profession only, and not in practice,– when his Christianity in short is a mere matter of form or fashion or custom, without any influence on his heart or life,…He possesses indeed the form or husk or skin of religion, but he does not possess its substance or its power.”

Christianity is personal. God desires to have a personal relationship with us, and we respond individually to him. We are not saved because our family heritage, we are not regenerated because of the town we live in, and we are not converted because of the church we attend. We either have a personal relationship with God or not.

Christianity is internal. Our hairstyle, clothing, jewelry, car, boat, and home do not make us Christians. We cannot put on a Christian coat and become a believer. We need to have the power of God living and at work in our hearts. Our hearts need to be subordinate to Christ, and our motives and desires must be devoted to all he wants and commands.

Do you have a personal relationship with Christ? Do you have the power of God within you? If you do, praise God for his kindness to you. If you do not, pause right now and pray to God, asking for him to transform you this very moment.

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