The Danger of Perfection

In face of such facts as these I must protest against the language used in many quarters, in these last days, about perfection. I must think that those who use it either know very little of the nature of sin, or of the attributes of God, or of their own hearts, or of the Bible, or of the meaning of words. When a professing Christian coolly tells me that he has got beyond such hymns as “Just as I am,” and that they are below his present experience, though they suited him when he first took up religion, I must think his soul is in a very unhealthy state! When a man can talk coolly of the possibility of “living without sin” while in the body, and can actually say that he has “never had an evil thought for three months,” I can only say that in my opinion he is a very ignorant Christian! I protest against such teaching as this. It not only does no good, but does immense harm. It disgusts and alienates from religion far-seeing men of the world, who know it is incorrect and untrue. It depresses some of the best of God’s children, who feel they never can attain to “perfection” of this kind. It puffs up many weak brethren, who fancy they are something when they are nothing. In short, it is a dangerous delusion.

J.C. Ryle | Holiness: It’s Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots

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