I Am Not What I Used To Be! by J.C. Ryle

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

The regenerate man is a holy man. He endeavors . . .

to live according to God’s will,
to do the things that please God,
to avoid the things that God hates.

His aim and desire is to love God with heart and soul, and mind and strength–and to love his neighbor as himself. His wish is to be continually looking to Christ as his Example as well as his Savior; and to show himself Christ’s friend, by obeying whatever He commands.

No doubt he is not perfect. None will tell you that sooner than himself. He groans under the burden of indwelling corruption cleaving to him. He finds an evil principle within him constantly warring against grace, and trying to draw him away from God. Yet, in spite of all short-comings, the average bent and bias of . . .

his ways is holy;
his doings holy;
his tastes holy
and his habits holy.

In spite of all his swerving and turning aside, like a ship going against a contrary wind, the general course of his life is in one direction–toward God and for God. He will generally be able to say, with old John Newton, “I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be in another world. But still, I am not what I once used to be! By the grace of God, I am what I am!”

“Let none conclude that they have no grace, because they have many imperfections in their obedience. Your grace may be very weak and imperfect, and yet you may be truly born again, and be a genuine son of God and heir of heaven.” (Hopkins, 1670)

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