High offices in the church
(J. C. Ryle, "The Gospel
of Luke" 1858)
"The leading priests and teachers of religious law
were actively plotting Jesus' murder." Luke 22:2
High offices in the church do not preserve the
holders of them from great blindness and sin.
The first step in putting Christ to death, was taken
by the religious teachers of the Jewish nation. The
very men who ought to have welcomed the Messiah,
were the men who conspired to kill Him. The very
pastors who ought to have rejoiced at the appearing
of the Lamb of God, had the chief hand in slaying
Him! These were the very men who crucified the Lord
of glory! With all their boasted knowledge, they were
far more ignorant than the few Galilean fishermen
who followed Christ!
Let us beware of attaching an excessive importance
to ministers of religion because of their office.
Ordination and office confer no exemption from error.
The greatest heresies have been sown, and
the greatest practical abuses introduced into
the church by ordained men!
We must test all teachers by the unerring rule of the
Word of God. It matters little who says a thing in
religion. But it matters greatly what it is that is said.
Is it scriptural?
Is it true?
This is the only question.
The lengths to which men may go in religion, and yet
be without grace, is far greater than we suppose.