Salvation: Nothing Seen, Nothing Possessed

“We maintain that to tell a man he is born of God or regenerated while he is living in carelessness or sin, is a dangerous delusion and calculated to do infinite harm to his soul. We affirm confidently that fruit is the only certain evidence of a man’s spiritual condition; that if we would know whose he is and whom he serves, we must look first at his life. Where there is the grace of the Spirit, there will be always more or less the fruit of the Spirit. Grace that cannot be seen is no grace at all, and nothing better than Antinomianism. In short, we believe that where there is nothing seen, there is nothing possessed” (J.C. Ryle, cited from Prepared to Stand Alone by Iain Murray). “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4).