It is no light matter to speak to any assembly of immortal souls about the things of God. But the most serious of all responsibilities is, to speak to a gathering of ministers, such as that which I now see before me. The awful feeling will come across my mind, that one single word said wrong, sinking into some heart, and bearing fruit at some future time, in some pulpit, may lead to harm, of which we cannot know the extent. But there are occasions when true humility is to be seen, not so much in loud professions of our weakness, as in forgetting ourselves altogether.
This is the second installment of Ryle's masterful book, Warnings to the Churches
, and D.v., we shall add to these two until it is complete.
So, in this month's article Ryle addresses the subject of the sanctity of the Word and the serious responsibility to make sure we do not in any way take away from it, add to it, or change it in any way, shape or form. I can personally certainly identify with the sentiment mentioned in the short introductory remark. I remember well speaking with a guest preacher about 'fear' of preaching. I explained that such 'fear' came upon me in great measure each and every time I even contemplated having to preach the Word. That fear wasn't the natural and typical fear of standing before a congregation or some other group of people. But rather it was a fear of not "rightly dividing the Word of Truth" and leading someone astray from the one true God and salvation in Christ. His response was that he never experienced any type of fear because God had called him to preach and therefore he was 'anointed' and not like 'normal' men. There was no humility within this man and I fear once again that there are far too many men in the pulpit ministry who share this attitude.
However, even though Ryle's address was given before a group of ministers, it is no less applicable to us 'mortals' for we are responsible to continue in our Master's words as disciples and apply that Word to our mind and hearts through the enlightening and power of the Spirit, both to ourselves and to those around us as God gives us the opportunity. And no less importantly, may that Word through the indwelling Spirit give us humility of heart that we may not exalt ourselves above others. For, it is by GRACE that we are saved, THROUGH faith in the LORD Christ, so that we may do good works and honor God our Savior and Father in heaven.
You can read this month's article here: Not Corrupting the Word
In His service and grace,