A Study Guide for J. C. Ryle's Holiness (Leader's Guide)
First published in 1877 by the English evangelical Anglican bishop John Charles Ryle (1816 – 1900), Holiness remains to this day one of the most important books ever written on the subject. The author’s rich theological insights, keen spiritual observations, and elegant prose make the narrative a masterful read.
Holiness stands unrivaled as a practical book setting forth how to be holy, for without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
This is a prophetic book. “I have the privilege,” said Bishop Ryle, “of being one of Christ’s ambassadors. In His name I can offer eternal life to any man, woman or child who is willing to have it. In His name I offer pardon, peace, grace, glory, to any son or daughter of Adam who reads this message. But I dare not offer that person worldly prosperity as part and parcel of the Gospel. I dare not offer him long life, an increased income and freedom from pain.” Long before the Prosperity Gospel became controversial within Christendom, Bishop Ryle anticipated its message and pleaded for holiness, not a frantic pursuit for personal happiness.
This is a personal book. Every professing Christian must seriously consider the life he or she is living before God. “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
This is a passionate book. With eloquent rhetoric, J. C. Ryle raptures the soul of the reader and transports it to study the beauty of holiness. So come now, and examine in detail a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith, and be blessed.
This is a pastoral book. As Ryle urged, “Come then, this day, and be advised by one who loves your soul. Cease to do evil. Learn to do well.”