I am not what I once used to be!
C. Ryle, "Are
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without
which no man shall see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14
The regenerate man is a holy man. He
endeavors . . .
to live according to God's will,
to do the things that please God,
to avoid the things that God hates.
His aim and desire is to love God with heart and soul,
mind and strength--and to love his neighbor as himself.
His wish is to be continually looking to Christ as his Example
as well as his Savior; and to show himself Christ's friend, by
obeying whatever He commands.
No doubt he is not perfect. None will tell you that sooner
than himself. He groans under the burden of indwelling
corruption cleaving to him. He finds an evil principle within
him constantly warring against grace, and trying to draw
him away from God. Yet, in spite of all short-comings,
the average bent and bias of . . .
his ways is holy;
his doings holy;
his tastes holy
and his habits holy.
In spite of all his swerving and turning aside, like a ship
going against a contrary wind, the general course of his
life is in one direction--toward God and for God. He will
generally be able to say, with old John Newton, "I am not
what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am
what I hope to be in another world. But still, I am not what
I once used to be! By the grace of God, I am what I
"Let none conclude that they have no grace, because they
have many imperfections in their obedience. Your grace may
be very weak and imperfect, and yet you may be truly born
again, and be a genuine son of God and heir of heaven."