J C Ryle and Biblical Authority

‘If anyone asks me, ‘What is the best safeguard against false doctrine?’ I answer in one word: ‘The Bible – the Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied.’ We must go back to the old prescription of our Master: ‘Search the Scriptures’ (John 5:39 AV). If we want a weapon to wield against the devious schemes of Satan, there is nothing like ‘the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God’. But to wield it successfully, we must read it habitually, diligently, intelligently and prayerfully. This is a point on which, I fear, many fail. In an age of hurry and frenzied activity, few read their Bibles as much as they should. More books perhaps are read than ever, but less of the one book which makes man wise to salvation. Roman Catholicism and liberal theology could never have made such havoc in the church if there had not been a most superficial knowledge of the Scriptures throughout the land. A Bible-reading congregation is the strength of a church.’

– J. C. Ryle, first bishop of Liverpool

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