True Faith is a Matter of the Heart – J.C. Ryle

True faith does not depend merely on the state of man’s head and understanding, but on the state of his heart. His mind may be convinced. His conscience may be pierced. But so long as there is anything the man is secretly loving more than God, there will be no true faith. The man himself may be puzzled, and wonder why he does not believe. He does not see that he is like a child sitting on the lid of his box, and wishing to open it, but not considering that his own weight keeps it shut.

Let a man make sure that he honestly and really desires first the praise of God. It is the lack of an honest heart which makes many stick fast in their false religion all their days, and die at length without peace. Those who complain that they hear, approve, assent, but make no progress, and cannot get any hold on Christ, should ask themselves this simple question – “Am I honest? Am I sincere? Do I really desire first the praise of God?”

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, 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.


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  3. Tell me then how does one get to that point where he honestly and really desires first the praise of God? I also feel there are things in my life that I guess I love more then God, cause it seems I can’t put them down. So are you saying the reason why I can’t is cause I don’t have true Faith in God to help me?

    1. Author


      Life is a process of growth, both in the Spirit and in the Word. To grow in God one needs a hunger for God, and by the tone of your note, you already have that. That is huge! Now, just stay in His word, talk to Him, spend time with Him (whether you feel Him or not), and endeavor to obey Him. Each time you obey Him, the pull of the things of this world become a little weaker. As you go, step-by-step, your hunger will grow, those things that stood in the way of Him in your life will fall away, and His praise for your faithfulness will increase and actually become noticeable. It is that central joy and peace of a true believer.

      You are closer than you think and feel. Strive to be peaceful and content, but a little dissatisfied, with your current position in Christ – content with what you have, yet ever reaching for a deeper level in Him. If you have not received Jesus into your heart do that now. Read this page: Salvation.

      Keep reading the Word and building your faith. That is what will give you victory in life.

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