Book Recommendation: Holiness by J.C. Ryle

Some books you read once and then either give them away or just tuck them away because you know you will most likely never reread them. The book is not necessarily bad for you to set it aside with no intention of cracking it open again; however, sometimes, reading a book once is enough.


Holiness by J.C. Ryle is not an example of such a book. For the past decade (at least), I have found myself repeatedly going back to this treasure. Ryle’s treatment of sin, justification, sanctification, and holiness (among other topics) is extremely helpful.


In my sermon last Sunday, I shared some of Ryle’s reasons to be holy. Here are five examples:


  1. We must be holy because God commands it (Matthew 5:20, 48; I Thess. 4:3; I Peter 1:15,16)

  2. We must be holy because this is why Christ came into the world (2 Cor. 5:15; Eph. 5:25,26; Titus 2:14).

  3. We must be holy because it is sound evidence that we have saving faith (James 2:17).

  4. We must be holy because it proves that we love Jesus (John 14:15, 21,23:15:14).

  5. We must be holy for the sake of others (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 3:1,2).

Ryle does an excellent job of distinguishing between justification and sanctification and how holiness fits within the status of and command to believers.


If you are unfamiliar with this 19th-century theologian, you can read a short biography of J.C. Ryle here.

If you have not yet read Holiness by J.C. Ryle, you can pick up a copy on Amazon for about $11, or better yet, you can download a free electronic version of the book here.


Have you read Holiness by J.C. Ryle? If so, let me know what you thought if in the comments section.


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