Can’t reach Paradise without the Cross

Posted: May 9, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity

All the children of God have a cross to carry. They have trials, troubles, and afflictions to go through for the Gospel’s sake. They have trials from the world, trials from the flesh, and trials from the devil. They have trials of feeling from relations and friends – hard words, hard conduct, and hard judgment. They have trials in the matter of character – slander, misrepresentation, mockery, suggestion of false motives – all these often rain thick upon them. They have trials in the matter of worldly interest. They often have to choose whether they will please people, and lose glory; or gain glory and offend people. They have trials from their own hearts. They have each generally their own thorn in the flesh, which is their worst foe. This is the experience of the children of God. Some of them suffer more, and some less. Some of them suffer in one way, and some in another. God measures out their portions like a wise physician, and cannot err. But never, I believe, was there one child of God who reached paradise without a cross.

~ J.C. Ryle

Tract: Are You an Heir?

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Comments
  1. Peter Black says:

    Bishop Ryle’s discussion here implies that reaching Paradise is an accomplishment which is achieved only by effort on the part of the pilgrim (viator, in medieval terms). But that is not compatible with the Reformation view that salvation is the work of God alone. He is described in theological terms as the “monergistic” author of individual salvation. Every human instinct argues that we must do our best in order to please God. There is no “pleasing God” by one’s best efforts. The standard, according to Jesus, is “perfection.” (Matthew 5:48) Since we do not attain to that requirement, we are well advised to rely on the only One who has thus pleased God, as specified in I Corinthians 1:30. The great temptation is to follow the boast of Frank Sinatra: “I did it my way.”

  2. doulos tou Theou says:

    This topic isn’t about salvation, I think you missed his point.

  3. Peter Black says:

    How many members of a local communion in the church today distinguish between justification and everyday life as communicants? Very few. I submit that most Christian persons think they are “pleasing God,” by what they do, and thereby earning his favor. They miss the point that God’s grace (gloria dei) is always unearned, undeserved, and unmerited. This approach (that of Bishop Ryle) is misleading.

  4. doulos tou Theou says:

    “This is the experience of the children of God”

    To be that they would already have to have been justified by God. Therefore ,

    “Some of them suffer in one way, and some in another. God measures out their portions like a wise physician, and cannot err.”

    That’s what the point of the quote is, children of God will face trials & suffering.
    Jesus talks about it somewhere.

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