I’ve recently started preaching through Colossians here at Bellefield, and came across this great quote from Lancelot Ridley (d. 1576), an Anglican preacher who, upon the recommendation of Thomas Cranmer, served as one of Canterbury Cathedral’s six preachers until he was defrocked in 1553 following Mary I’s accession.
Commenting on Colossians 1:5, Ridley said:
“Learn that the grace of God and his benefits are surely known by the truth of God’s Word. Here it seems that Saint Paul would have us to learn and know Christ and the grace of God by no other thing but by the truth, and to judge everything by the truth of God’s holy Word, for the Holy Spirit is the surest declarer of himself. Learn also that Christ and the grace of God and God’s benefits are unknown where the Word of God is not preached. And how can God be loved, feared or dreaded where he is not known? Or how can there be any health or eternal salvation where is not love, fear or dread of God? And if it is life eternal…to know God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, then it must follow that it is death not to know God’s benefits to us for Christ’s sake. These benefits are unknown where the Word of God is not taught; therefore how necessary it is for our salvation to have the Word of God plenteously preached and truly taught, that God might be known, loved, feared and dreaded, and his will and pleasure fulfilled of all people.”
(Reformation Commentary on Scripture, New Testament vol. XI, Philippians, Colossians. p. 136)