There Are No Degrees In Justification Christians sometimes have a tendency to make the “gate” or “way” more narrow than Jesus made it (Matt. 7:13).  Not only is this sinful and arrogant, it also portrays the Lord as strict, harsh, unmerciful, and unkind – when in reality he is gentle, meek, merciful, and full of loving-kindness beyond our comprehension.  I appreciate how J. C. Ryle said it (emphases his):

“Never, never let us curtail the freeness of the glorious gospel, or clip its fair proportions. Never let us make the gate more strait, and the way more narrow than pride or love of sin have made it already. The Lord Jesus is very pitiful and of tender mercy. He does not regard the quantity of faith, but the quality: He does not measure its degree, but its truth. He will not break any bruised reed, nor quench any smoking flax. He will never let it be said that any perished at the foot of the cross. “Him that cometh unto Me,” He says, “I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).”

“Yes! Though a man’s faith be no bigger than a grain of mustard seed, if it only brings him to Christ, and enables him to touch the hem of His garment, he shall be saved – saved as surely as the oldest saint in paradise – saved as completely and eternally as Peter, or John, or Paul. There are degrees in our sanctification.  In our justification there are none. What is written is written, and shall never fail: “Whosoever believeth on Him,”- not whosoever has a strong and mighty faith –  “Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 10:11).”

Mark well the above phrase, and memorize it to help you press on through those doubt-filled times in the Christian walk:

“Jesus will never let it be said that any perished at the foot of the cross.”

J. C. Ryle, Holiness, chapter 7.

shane lems
covenant presbyterian church
hammond, wi

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