Ryle: Let us never rest until we have grace reigning in our souls.

J.C.Ryle on John 6:66-71

got graceLet us mark, lastly, in this passage, what little benefit some men get from religious privileges. We read that our Lord said, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil.” And it goes on, “He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.”

If ever there was a man who had great privileges and opportunities, that man was Judas Iscariot. A chosen disciple, a constant companion of Christ, a witness of His miracles, a hearer of His sermons, a commissioned preacher of His kingdom, a fellow and friend of Peter, James, and John–it would be impossible to imagine a more favorable position for a man’s soul. Yet if anyone ever fell hopelessly into hell, and made shipwreck at last for eternity, that man was Judas Iscariot. The character of that man must have been black indeed, of whom our Lord could say he is “a devil.”

Let us settle it firmly in our minds, that the possession of religious privileges alone is not enough to save our souls. It is neither place, nor light, nor company, nor opportunities, but grace that man needs to make him a Christian.

  • With grace we may serve God in the most difficult position–like Daniel in Babylon, Obadiah in Ahab’s court, and the saints in Nero’s household.
  • Without grace we may live in the full sunshine of Christ’s countenance, and yet, like Judas, be miserably cast away.

Then let us never rest until we have grace reigning in our souls. Grace is to be had for the asking. There is One sitting at the right hand of God who has said–“Ask, and it shall be given you.” (Matt. 7:7.) The Lord Jesus is more willing to give grace than man is to seek it. If men have it not, it is because they do not ask it.