Rabble-Rouser Ryle

J.C. Ryle’s “Warnings to the churches,” point 12″


“‘Christ is the way: men without Him are Cains, wanderers, vagabonds. His is the truth: men without Him are liars, like the devil of old. He is the life: men without Him are dead in trespasses and sins. He is the light: men without Him are in darkness, and go they know not whither. He is the vine: men that are not in Him are withered branches prepared for the fire. He is the rock: men not built on Him are carried away with a flood. He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last…the founder and finisher of our salvation. He that hath not Him hath neither beginning of good nor shall have end of misery. Oh, blessed Jesus, how much better were it not to be than to be without Thee! never to be born than not to die in Thee! A thousand hells come short of this, eternally to want Jesus Christ.’ This witness is true. If we can say Amen to the spirit of this passage it will be well with our souls.”

It appears from Ryle’s comments that he is commenting on John 14:6. Ironically Ryle denies that Christ is able to “found” or “finish” the salvation of all whom He represented at the cross. Behold the blasphemy:

“Christ is…a Saviour for all mankind….He did not suffer for a few persons only, but for all mankind…What Christ took away, and bore on the cross, was not the sin of certain people only, but the whole accumulated mass of all the sins of all the children of Adam….I hold as strongly as anyone, that Christ’s death is profitable to none but the elect who believe in His Name. But I dare not limit and pare down such expressions as the one before us. I dare not say that no atonement has been made, in any sense, except for the elect. I believe it is possible to be more systematic than the Bible in our statements….I dare not confine the intention of redemption to the saints alone. Christ is for every man…I repudiate the idea of universal salvation as a dangerous heresy and utterly contrary to Scripture. But the lost will not prove to be lost because Christ did nothing for them. He bore their sins, He carried their transgressions, He provided payment; but they would not put in their claim to any interest in it…The atonement was made for all the world, though it is applied and enjoyed by none but believers.” [14]

[14] Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Grand Rapids, 1900), Vol. III, pp. 61f.

Cited by Norman F. Douty in his book, Did Christ Die Only for the Elect? (Wipf and Stock, 1998), page 77.

Ryle has the unmitigated gall to dare say that Jesus died “in some sense” for those in hell. Ryle treats the cross of Christ as NOTHING. Ryle opens up the floodgates of self-salvation since he believes that Christ died “in some sense” for those in hell. For Ryle, this “some sense” is exhibited not in effecting salvation for the non-elect, but limited “only” to bearing their sins, carrying their transgressions, and providing payment. Easy conclusion stated in a calm manner: Ryle is a God-hating, efficacious-blood-of-Christ-despising LIAR.

Whosever righteousness one believes makes the difference between salvation and damnation is the righteousness one is attempting to come to God in. If one believes that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception, then they are ipso facto attempting to come to the Father in their own righteousness (contrary to John 14:6).

J.C. Ryle believed that Jesus Christ established an everlasting righteousness for those who will everlastingly perish. Thus Mr. Ryle is attempting to come to the Father through his own established righteousness (cf. Romans 10:3). God hates it and will not accept it.

“For Christ is the end of Law for righteousness to everyone that believes” (Romans 10:4).

Jesus Christ is the end of law for righteousness — NOT J.C. Ryle.