An actual, living, personal Friend

(J. C. Ryle, "Faith!")

A man who knows nothing of an inward, spiritual,
experimental religion--is not a true believer!

"Unto you who believe, Christ is precious." 1 Pet. 2:7

This text does not say "Christianity" is precious, or
the "Gospel" is precious, or "salvation" is precious--
but Christ Himself is precious!

A true believer's religion does not consist in mere
intellectual assent to a certain set of propositions
and doctrines. It is not a mere cold belief of a
certain set of truths and facts concerning Christ.
It consists in union, communion, and fellowship
with an actual living Person--even Jesus the Son
of God. It is a life of . . .
  faith in Jesus,
  confidence in Jesus,
  leaning on Jesus,
  drawing out of the fullness of Jesus,
  speaking to Jesus,
  working for Jesus,
  loving Jesus, and
  waiting for Jesus to come again.

Such life may sound like enthusiasm to many. But
where there is true faith, Christ will always be known
and realized, as an actual, living, personal Friend.
He who knows nothing of Christ as his own Priest,
Physician, Redeemer,  Advocate, Friend, Teacher,
Shepherd--knows nothing of saving faith! He is
yet dead in trespasses and sins!

The person who loves Jesus may be poor and needy in
this world--but he is rich in the sight of God. He may
be despised and sneered at by man--but he is honorable
in the sight of the King of kings. He is traveling towards
heaven! He has a mansion ready for him in the Father's
house! He is cared for by Christ, while on earth! He will
be owned by Christ before assembled worlds, in the life
which is to come!