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Ryle on the Self-Forgetful Spirit of John the Baptist

Aware of my own ambition and self-love, I’m convicted and challenged by this good word from one of my favorite dead men, J. C. Ryle:

“The greatest saints of God in every age of the Church have always been men of John the Baptist’s spirit. In gifts, and knowledge, and general character they have often differed widely. But in on e respect they have always been alike;—they have been ‘clothed with humility.’ (1 Pet 5:5) They have not sought their own honour. They have thought little of themselves. They have been ever willing to decrease if Christ might only increase, to be nothing if Christ might be all.” (J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, III, 44)

One Response

  1. Hi Chris,

    Great post and timely since I just read from Luke 3 this morning. People seemed to be awe-struck with John the Baptist (they wondered “whether he might be the Christ,” v. 15). He answered them “he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie” (v. 16).

    May his prophetic spirit be ours behind the pulpit and may his humility be ours in our life and heart. Keep up the good work my brother.


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