Walking With God

Book: 
Walking With God
Reviewer: 
Joseph J. Adrian

"Walking With God" is an abridged version of J.C. Ryle's 19th-century work "Practical Religion." Some think Ryle is among the most helpful Christian writers on practical Christianity. The Anglican Gospel Minister, in the chapter Effort, is looking at Luke 13:24, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate . . ." He comments on one of the ways in which the gate is narrow——"It is narrow for those who love sin and are not willing to part with it."

With what degree of difficulty is that gate passed through? The word "strive" emphasizes the effort that is required. One of the reasons great effort is necessary is because——". . . we may expect opposition and a hard battle if our souls are to be saved." Diligence and striving are essential in using "God's Appointed Means" to seek and to serve Him.

It is of great importance that we are certain that our Christianity is real. Ryle asserts that a number of the Parables in the Word of God are addressing this concern. The Parables of the Sower, The Wheat and the Tares, and The Ten Virgins are a few of them. To help the reader think through this he asks——"What place does your Christianity occupy in your heart?" The condition or state of your heart reveals the truth about the authenticity of your Christianity. The author biblically asserts that your Christianity should——". . . Rule in your heart." It should govern your affections, and your will, therefore directing your choices and decisions.

The world in which we live is temporal, everything is subject to decay——"There is nothing undying about us except our souls." In light of this reality, what should be most important to us? This world, which will be no more one day, or our souls which will exist eternally. Though our life is so brief, in comparison to eternity, our eternal destiny is determined by our short time of probation here. According to Ryle, a delusion that many embrace is that you can be——". . . without Religion in this world, and yet be a Saint in the next."

Some of the other subjects J.C. Ryle writes on with his characteristic depth and "Biblical Clarity" are——the world, heirs of God, illness, love, and zeal. His written ministry continues to be used by the Lord in the lives of His People in our generation, as they were when first published in the 2nd half of the 19th century.