The following two paragraphs from my reading in Ryle (text: John 4:43–54) this week struck me as profoundly comforting and encouraging:
We learn, lastly, from this passage, that Christ’s word is as good as Christ’s presence. We read, that Jesus did not come down to Capernaum to see the sick young man, but only spoke the word, “Your son lives.” Almighty power went with that little sentence. That very hour the patient began to amend. Christ only spoke, and the cure was done. Christ only commanded, and the deadly disease stood fast.
The fact before us is singularly full of comfort. It gives enormous value to every promise of mercy, grace, and peace, which ever fell from Christ’s lips. He that by faith has laid bold on some word of Christ, has placed his feet upon a rock. What Christ has said, He is able to do; and what He has undertaken, He will never fail to make good. The sinner who has really reposed his soul on the word of the Lord Jesus, is safe to all eternity. He could not be safer, if he saw the book of life, and his own name written in it. If Christ has said, “Him that cometh to me, I will in nowise cast out,” and our hearts can testify, “I have come,” we need not doubt that we are saved. In the things of this world, we say that seeing is believing. But in the things of the Gospel, believing is as good as seeing. Christ’s word is as good as man’s deed. He of whom Jesus says in the Gospel, “He liveth,” is alive forevermore, and shall never die.
Possessing the Word of Christ is as good as having him here with me, in the flesh! That is an astounding thought. I need not seek some mystical experience of his presence. I need only immerse myself in Scripture and allow the word of Christ to richly dwell within me, and all that he is is present in his Word. What a blessed reality!