Marching In Mark’s Gospel








Dr C.K. McClinton

BA (Hons); M.A.; Ph.D.; D. Litt



Ulster Christians Fellowship






A series of daily-reading teachings from the Gospel of Mark which are designed to expand the student’s knowledge of sound doctrine; using the medium of Bible Exposition to encourage practical Christian faith - with selected quotations from the excellent work of J.C. Ryle (1816-1900): to reintroduce Ryle’s writings to the 21 Century church; to enhance Christian understanding of God’s Word; to exalt the Name of Christ Jesus as both Saviour and Lord.


J. C. Ryle 1886 – 1900 Bishop of Liverpool

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia


John Charles Ryle (10 May 1816 – 10 June 1900) was an English evangelical Anglican bishop. He was the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool.


He was the eldest son of John Ryle, private banker, of Park House, Macclesfield, M.P. for Macclesfield 1833–7, and Susanna, daughter of Charles Hurt of Wirksworth, Derbyshire. He was born at Macclesfield on 10 May 1816.

He was educated at Eton and the University of Oxford, where his career was unusually distinguished. He was Fell exhibitioner at Christ Church, from which foundation he matriculated on 15 May 1834. He was Craven scholar in 1836, graduated B.A. in 1838, having been placed in the first-class in literæ humaniores in the preceding year, and proceeded M.A. in 1871. He was created D.D. by diploma on 4 May 1880.

Ryle left the university with the intention of standing for parliament on the first opportunity, but was unable to do so because of his father's bankruptcy. He took holy orders (1841–42) and became curate at ExburyHampshire. In 1843, he was preferred to the rectory of St Thomas, Winchester, which he exchanged in the following year for that of HelminghamSuffolk. The latter living he retained until 1861, when he resigned it for the vicarage of Stradbroke in the same county. The restoration of Stradbroke church was due to his initiative. In 1869, he was made rural dean of Hoxne, and in 1872 honorary canon of Norwich. He was select preacher at Cambridge in 1873 and the following year, and at Oxford from 1874 to 1876, and in 1879 and the following year. In 1880, he was designated dean of Salisbury, and at once, 19 April, advanced to the newly created see of Liverpool, which he ably administered until his death at Lowestoft on 10 June 1900. He is buried at All Saints ChurchChildwallLiverpool.


He married three times but his first two wives died young. The first marriage was on 29 October 1845, to Matilda Charlotte Louisa, daughter of John Pemberton Plumptre, of Fredville, Kent. The second, in March 1850, was to Jessy, daughter of John Walker of Crawfordton, Dumfriesshire. The third, on 24 October 1861, was to Henrietta, daughter of Lieutenant-colonel William Legh Clowes of Broughton Old Hall, Lancashire. He had a daughter by his first wife, and four other children by his second wife Jessy. His second son, Herbert Edward Ryle also a clergyman, became successively Bishop of Exeter, Bishop of Winchester and Dean of Westminster.



John Charles Ryle, by Carlo Pellegrini, 1881.

Ryle was a strong supporter of the evangelical school and a critic of ritualism. He was a writer, pastor and an evangelical preacher. Among his longer works are Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century (1869), Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 vols, 1856–69), and Principles for Churchmen (1884). Ryle was described as having a commanding presence and vigorous in advocating his principles albeit with a warm disposition. He was also credited with having success in evangelizing the blue-collar community. He was a strong believer in the return of the Jews to their own land as being prophesied in the Bible and thus was part of the movement that led to the Balfour Declaration.

Published works

·       The Cross: A Call to the Fundamentals of Religion (1852)

·       Expository Thoughts on Matthew,

·       Expository Thoughts on Mark,

·       Expository Thoughts on LukeVol. 1Vol. 2,

·       Expository Thoughts on JohnVol. 1Vol. 2Vol. 3,

·       Coming Events and Present Duties, and Prophecy, (1867) Now published as Are You Ready for the End of Time?

·       Shall We Know One Another, (1870)

·       Knots Untied, (1877)

·       Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots, (1877,

·       Practical Religion: Being Plain Papers on the Daily Duties, Experience, Dangers, and Privileges of Professing Christians, (1878)

·       Higher Criticism: Some Thoughts on Modern Theories about the Old Testament (1880)

·       Simplicity in Preaching, (1882)

·       Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times, (1887)

·       The Duties of Parents, (1888)

·       From Old Times: or Protestant Facts and Men, (1890) (partially reprinted as Five English Reformers)

·       Bible Inspiration: Its Reality and Nature (1877)

·       Christian Leaders of the Last Century (1873)

·       Tracts and Other Works

 Repent! Then Believe!                                   Mark 1:1-15

 Text: “Therefore, turn thou to thy God; keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.”      

                                                                                 Hosea 12:6.

 Good morning, repentant Christian!  Not enough for you to have initially repented - turned away from your life of sin, old attitudes, habits, and worldliness - to follow hard after the Living Christ.  You, having turned away from sin, now seek a daily turning towards Christlikeness, by the power of God the Holy Spirit.  Praise God, you do well.  May the Lord enable you and I to be obedient to His Word throughout this day and always. Amen! (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

 How often in this apostate day we hear pastors, teachers, and lay-person Christians get Christ’s Gospel message of repentance wrong.  Repentance seems to have become merely a word mouthed frequently by Churchy people, a word that has lost its intended meaning; a word devoid of Spiritual application to the souls of sinners today.  How sad. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

 Christ’s message revealed in today’s Bible passage is, “...Repent ye, and believe the Gospel...” (V.15).  It is not a message of, ‘Get saved and made fit for a Holy Heaven, then live an ungodly life of Hell on earth!’  No!  The message of the Master is “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel...”.  (Acts 2:41-47) (1 Peter 1:15-16)

 Repentance is a concept sorely neglected in the Church of the 21st Century; a fundamental doctrine which is absolutely necessary, not only for a soul’s Salvation, but for the progressive sanctification of our natural state before God.  We all need to be progressively sanctified daily, as we seek to fellowship with our Holy Lord God and with each other in the Body of Christ.  We have hindered prayer-lives and hampered fellowship when once the doctrine of repentance is neglected. 

 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18)

 “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither is His ear heavy, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”  (Isaiah 59:1-2)

 Mark’s Gospel makes genuine repentance an absolute precursory to true belief of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified for sinners.

 J.C. Ryle Comments: “The Gospel of St. Mark, which we now begin, is in some respects unlike the other three Gospels. It tells us nothing about the birth and early life of our Lord Jesus Christ. It contains comparatively few of His sayings and discourses. Of all the four inspired histories of our Lord’s earthly ministry, this is by far the shortest.

 “But we must not allow these peculiarities to make us undervalue St. Mark’s Gospel. It is a Gospel singularly full of precious facts about the Lord Jesus, narrated in a simple, terse, pithy, and condensed style. If it tells us few of our Lord’s sayings, it is eminently rich in its catalogue of His doings. It often contains minute historical details of deep interest, which are wholly omitted in Matthew, Luke, and John. In short, it is no mere abridged copy of St. Matthew, as some have rashly asserted, but the independent narrative of an independent witness, who was inspired to write a history of our Lord’s works, rather than of His words. Let us read it with holy reverence. Like all the rest of Scripture, every word of St. Mark is “given by inspiration of God,” and every word is “profitable.” (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900)

 Repentance:  Turning away from our past life of sin, and turning to God is the act of initial, or primary, repentance.  However, if that primary act is a genuine one, then a continual repentance from sin to God shall follow.  (Hebrews 12:12-15) (Psalm 42:1)

 In reality, we sinners shall always sin.  Yet our sins, after genuine repentance, shall become all the more exceedingly sinful to us, and we shall immediately feel the Holy Spirit’s deep grief convicting us to seek forgiveness and a forsaking of the sin into which we have so foolishly fallen.  (John 16:8) (Luke 22:54-62)

When we feel the pangs of conviction sin, it only goes to prove the legitimacy of our belief - a belief in God’s Word which teaches us to truly repent and continually believe/trust in the Lord. Therefore, apparent defeat by sin is swallowed up in a very real Spiritual victory through the Cross of Christ Jesus.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!           (1 John 1:8-9)

Repentance is itself the gift of God to Hell-deserving sinners whom He has chosen to save.  Esau sought repentance, yet couldn’t have it.  Saul of Tarsus wasn’t looking for it, yet was blessed with it on a dusty Damascus road.  “Salvation is of the Lord...”.  (Acts 9:) (Hebrews 12:14-17) (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Go to then, genuine Christian, when sin seems to have a victory - repent and believe - the Lord has made a provision for weak mortals like you and me.   Thanks be to the Living, Loving Lord God!             (2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Thought:  True belief, bringing true repentance, proves a true Bible belief. 

(c) Dr C.K. McClinton

Ulster Christians

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