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Faithfulness and Holiness

JI Packer

This past Sunday, I spoke about Paul’s desire to be faithful in holiness while ministering in Thessalonica. As they watched him work his ‘day’ job, they witnessed a difference to the way he lived compared to the way others lived. By working hard at his trade and treating others fairly, Paul would be demonstrating a dependence on the word of God (as he practiced obedience to ethical living) and a dependence upon God’s provision (as he relied upon God to provide his needs rather than leaning upon his own ingenuity). His desire to be righteous before others was a key component in attracting the Thessalonian believers to a life in Christ.

So what about us, where do we start? I want to introduce you a resource that has blessed by life for the past fifteen years as I strove toward holiness. It is the book, Holiness by J.C. Ryle (1816-1900). Ryle was the first bishop of Liverpool. When he was presented to the diocese of one of the largest cities in Britain, he had few resources and much opposition to his evangelical ministry, Most thought he would fail. But Ryle was a man who completely placed his dependence upon God. And by doing so inspired an entire generation of young ministers. He was a tireless worker who did much to advance the Gospel in Liverpool.

It is amazing that Ryle found the time to write as much as he did. But by far, his most popular work was Holiness. Its message is just as relevant today as was in 1877 when it was first published. People in the modern era are surprised at how easy it is to read and that his message is just as applicable in the second millennium. It has endured for over a century now inspiring many generations of English speakers. I would encourage you to read it. You can download a free copy of the book in pdf from . But a better option is to purchase this edition from Amazon . J.I. Packer has written a wonderful introduction to the work with a biographical overview of Ryles’ life.