Well I’m behind others who are reading Holiness by J.C. Ryle in the blog world but that way I can glean from the book and their reviews and hopefully comprehend the book better. The full text of Ryle’s original work on Holiness is included in J. I. Packer’s book Faithfulness and Holiness. Here’s a quote from the book that I wanted to share from chapter 2 on Sin…
“In the next place, a right view of sin is one of the best antidotes to the overstrained theories of Perfection, of which we hear so much in these times. I shall say but little about this, and in saying it I trust I shall not give offence. If those who press on us perfection mean nothing more than an all-round consistency, and a careful attention to all the graces which make up the Christian character, reason would that we should not only bear with them, but agree with them entirely. By all means let us aim high. But if men really mean to tell us that here in this world a believer can attain to entire freedom from sin, live for years in unbroken and uninterrupted communion with God, and feel for months together not so much as one evil thought, I must honestly say that such an opinion appears to me very unscriptural. – I go even further. I say that the opinion is very dangerous to him that holds it, and very likely to depress, discourage, and keep back inquirers after salvation. I cannot find the slightest warrant in God’s Word for expecting such perfection as this while we are in the body. …Christ alone is without sin; and that all we, the rest, though baptized and born again in Christ, offend in many things;
…we do not love God so much as we are bound to do, with all our hearts, mind, and power; we do not fear God so much as we ought to do; we do not pray to God but with many and great imperfections. We give, forgive, believe, live, and hope imperfectly; we speak, think, and do imperfectly; we fight against the devil, the world, and the flesh imperfectly. Let us, therefore, not be ashamed to confess plainly our state of imperfections.”
James 5:16 ~ “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
I John 1:8-10 ~ “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
I am imperfect and I prove it many times a day but thanks be to God that He keeps leading me forward and He continues His work of sanctification on me.