More Systematic than the Bible


J.C. Ryle



John 6:27 "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."

When our Lord says, "The Son of man shall give you the meat that endureth to everlasting life," He appears to me to make one of the widest and most general offers to unconverted sinners, that we have anywhere in the Bible. The men to whom He was speaking were, beyond question, carnal–minded and unconverted men. Yet even to them Jesus says, "The Son of man shall give unto you." To me it seems an unmistakable statement of Christ's willingness and readiness to give pardon and grace to any sinner. It seems to me to warrant ministers in proclaiming Christ's readiness to save any one, and in offering salvation to any one, if he will only repent and believe the Gospel. The favorite notion of some, that Christ is to be offered only to the elect, that grace and pardon are to be exhibited but not offered to a congregation, that we ought not to say broadly and fully to all whom we preach to, Christ is ready and willing to save you, such notions, I say, appear to me entirely irreconcilable with the language of our Lord. Election, no doubt, is a mighty truth and a precious privilege. Complete and full redemption no doubt is the possession of none but the elect. But how easy it is, in holding these glorious truths, to become more systematic than the Bible, and to spoil the Gospel by cramping and limiting it!


Expository Thoughts On The Gospels. St. John. John Charles Ryle. James Clarke & Co. Ltd., 7 All Saints Passage. Cambridge, Great Britain. 1985, pages 355-6.