“Never look at yourself again”

“Like Abraham, you must never look at yourself again, and at all that is so true of you. You are justified in spite of all that; it is what God has done in Christ. Look to that, rest on that, be confident in that. Hold up your head with boldness; yea, I say it with reverence, go even into the presence of God with ‘holy boldness’ and in ‘the full assurance of faith’; not boldness in yourself, but in your Mediator, in your great High Priest, in the One whom God raised from the dead in order to let you know that your sins were dealt with at the Cross once and for ever, and that He looks upon you as His dear child.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans, p. 250 (HT: John Fonville)

No Condemnation!

“…when the devil comes and says, ‘You have no standing, you are condemned, you are finished’, you must say, ‘No! my position did not depend upon what I was doing, or not doing; it is always dependant upon the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Turn to the devil and tell him, ‘My relationship to God is not a variable one. The case is not that I am a child of God, and then again not a child of God. That is not the basis of my standing, that is not the position. When God had mercy upon me, He made me His child, and I remain his child. A very sinful, and a very unworthy one, perhaps, but still his child! And now, when I fall into sin, I have not sinned against the law, I have sinned against love. Like the prodigal, I will go back to my Father and I will tell Him, “Father, I am not

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What is true of Him

  “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 We must think of suffering in a new way, we must face everything in a new way. And the way in which we face it all is by reminding ourselves that the Holy Spirit is in us. There is the future, there is the high calling, there is the persecution, there is the opposition, there is the enemy. I see it all. I must admit also that I am weak, that I lack the necessary powers and propensities. But instead of stopping there . . . I say, “But the Spirit of God is in me. God has given me his Holy Spirit.” . . . What matters . . . is not what is true of us but what is true of Him. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, page 100. (HT: Ray Ortlund)

Why You Need to Start Talking to Yourself More

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, pp. 20-21: Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.” (HT: Justin Taylor)

“We preach Christ crucified” – Do we?

Martyn-Lloyd Jones: “I am increasingly convinced that so much in the state of the Christian church today is to be explained chiefly by the fact that for nearly a hundred years the church has been preaching morality and ethics, and not the Christian faith. It is this preaching of the ‘good life’, or being ‘a good little gentleman’, and of viewing religion as ‘morality touched by emotion’, as Matthew Arnold put it, that has been the curse. Such men have shed the doctrines; they dislike any idea of atonement, they dismiss the whole notion of the miraculous and the supernatural, and ridicule talk about re-birth. Christianity to them is that which teaches a man to live a good life.”  (Life in the Spirit, 19) (HT: Matthew Morizio)

Lloyd-Jones on Jonathan Edwards

“No man is more relevant to the present condition of Christianity than Jonathan Edwards. . . . He was a mighty theologian and a great evangelist at the same time. . . . He was pre-eminently the theologian of revival. If you want to know anything about true revival, Edwards is the man to consult. Revivals have often started as the result of people reading volumes such as these two volumes of Edwards’ Works.” -D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1976 (HT: Reformed Voices)

The Gospel In Two Words

“But God.” (Ephesians 2:4a) “With these two words we come to the introduction to the Christian message, the peculiar, specific message which the Christian faith has to offer to us. These two words, in and of themselves, in a sense contain the whole of the gospel. The gospel tells of what God has done, God’s intervention; it is something that comes entirely from outside us and displays to us that wondrous and amazing and astonishing work of God which the apostle goes on to describe and to define in the following verses.” – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones God’s Way of Reconciliation chapter 2, page 59 Grand Rapids: Baker Book House; 1972 (HT: Adrian Warnock, via Erik Kowalker)

What preaching is meant to do

Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 “Paul knew he was clothed with power and authority. How does one know it? It gives clarity of thought, clarity of speech, ease of utterance, a great sense of authority and confidence as you are preaching, an awareness of a power not your own thrilling through the whole of your being, and an indescribable sense of joy. . . . What about the people? They sense it at once; they can tell the difference immediately. They are gripped, they become serious, they are convicted, they are moved, they are humbled. Some are convicted of sin, others are lifted up to the heavens, anything may happen to any one of them. They know at once that something quite unusual and exceptional is happening. . . . What then are we to do about this? There is

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Vibrant Christianity

“It is one thing to believe the truth, it is a very different thing to apply it. We did listen, and apply the truth, initially, otherwise we would not be Christians at all. But it is possible for us … to go on, content with just listening to, or reading the truth, and never applying it to ourselves, or examining ourselves in the light of it. Is this not one of the most alarming possibilities in the Christian life? … read the life of any man who has ever been used of God … in connection with revival, and you will always find that he was a man who had examined himself, and had become alarmed about himself. It has always been the thing that has led him to God and to prayer — his astonishment at himself. But if we do not examine ourselves we will never truly pray, and our lives will be lived entirely on the surface.

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New Covenant: Priority of Indicative

D. Martin Lloyd-Jones once wrote: “[T]he Sermon on the Mount is a description of character and not a code of ethics or of morals. It is not to be regarded as a law- a kind of new ‘Ten Commandments’ or set of rules and regulations which are to be carried out by us-but rather as a description of what we Christians are meant to be” D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, Vol.1, [IVP, 1966], 23. (HT: Matthew Morizio)

A plea for doctrinal clarity

. “We meet it most [a general ecumenical outlook] in the form of an all-pervasive climate of opinion which dislikes anything that is really distinctive in doctrine or in life, which demands, indeed, ever less emphasis on doctrine, on definition, or on ethical principle. . “Never was a time when polemics in any form was at such a discount. There have been periods in history when the preservation of the very life of the church depended upon the capacity and readiness of certain great leaders to differentiate truth from error and boldly to hold fast to the good and to reject the false; but our generation does not like anything of the kind. It is against any clear and precise demarcation of truth and error.” – D. Martyn Lloyd Jones (HT: Todd Pruitt)

Lloyd-Jones: Living Water

I’m just about to leave to preach in a friends church. My text is, 2Tim.1:6,7. My title is, ‘Fanning the flame’. I pray that preacher and people alike share this expectation and encounter described here by the Doctor. My thanks to Justin Taylor for posting this: Crossway has now published Living Water: Studies in John 4—56 previously unpublished sermons by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Here is an excerpt: Possibly one of the most devastating things that can happen to us as Christians is that we cease to expect anything to happen. I am not sure but that this is not one of our greatest troubles today. We come to our services and they are orderly, they are nice ‒ we come, we go ‒ and sometimes they are timed almost to the minute, and there it is. But that is not Christianity, my friend. Where is the Lord of glory? Where is the one sitting by the well? Are we expecting him?

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Don’t trust your resolutions!

From David Mathis: Reading Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ classic Spiritual Depression would be a strong way to start the new year. The title can be a tad deceiving. It’s not merely a book for those with a pronounced sense of spiritual depression. It’s a book for all Christians—for the daily spiritual depressions we all face this side of heaven. Lloyd-Jones ends his second chapter with these challenging and refreshing words: Would you like to be rid of this spiritual depression? The first thing you have to do is to say farewell now once and forever to your past. Realize that it has been covered and blotted out in Christ. Never look back at your sins again. Say: ‘It is finished, it is covered by the Blood of Christ’. That is your first step. Take that and finish with yourself and all this talk about goodness, and look to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only then that true happiness and joy are

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Pressing In To Know God

Do you know God? Do you know anything of this familiar trafficking with Him, this communion with Him, which is real? I am not talking about just getting on your knees and saying your prayers. I am speaking about a realization of the presence of God—God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We are meant to enjoy that. These are some of the exceeding great and precious promises that God has held out before us, and my argument is that if we know nothing about this, then we are guilty of limiting Him. We are not enjoying to the full what He has put at our disposal, what He has prepared for us as His people. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Christopher Catherwood, Seeking the Face of God: Nine Reflections on the Psalms, 1st U.S. ed. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2005), 87. (HT: Adrian Warnock)

“Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you…”

“‘But wait a minute,’ says somebody. ‘Are you saying that the passage of the years makes no difference? Are you asking me to believe that I have got to go back nearly two thousand years, and that the truth is what these men taught then?’ . . . Yes, I am, and this is why. There can be no development in this truth, and there has not been, because this is not truth that man works out for himself, but is truth which God reveals. Not one of the apostles was a discoverer of truth. The mighty apostle Paul never discovered the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. . . . It is a revelation; it is something that is given by God, something that has been revealed by him supremely in the person of his only-begotten Son.” D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Love So Amazing: Expositions of Colossians 1, pages 63-64. (HT: Ray Ortlund)

The trouble with the church: we think too much about ourselves

From God’s Ultimate Purpose by Martyn-Lloyd Jones: The Bible is God’s book, it is a revelation of God, and our thinking must always start with God. Much of the trouble in the Church today is due to the fact that we are so subjective, so interested in ourselves, so egocentric. That is the peculiar error of this present century. Having forgotten God, and having become so interested in ourselves, we become miserable and wretched, and spend our time in ’shallows and in miseries.’ The message of the Bible from beginning to end is designed to bring us back to God, to humble us before God, and to enable us to see our true relationship to Him. And that is the great theme of this Epistle [Ephesians]…We must not start by examining ourselves and our needs microscopically; we must start with God, and forget ourselves. In this Epistle we are taken as it were by the hand by the Apostle and

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Our greatest object

From D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Fight of Faith 1939-1981: The more I study this New Testament, and live this Christian life, the more convinced I am, indeed the more certain I am, that our fundamental difficulty, our fundamental lack, is a lack of love of God; it is not our knowledge so much that is defective, [although that has become increasingly so], it is our love of God and our greatest object and endeavor should be to know Him better and to love Him more truly. (HT: Theocentric Preaching)

The Gospel is Historical

What does it mean when we say that the gospel is historical? Dr. Tim Keller explains: The gospel is historical . . . The word “gospel” shows up twice [1 Peter 1:1-12, 1:22-2:12]. Gospel actually means “good news.” You see it spelled out a little bit when it says “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”. Why do we say that the gospel is good news? Some years ago, I heard a tape series I am sure was never put into print by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. It was an evening sermon series on 1 Corinthians 15. He clarified how the Gospel is based on historical events in how the religion got its start. He said there was a big difference between advice and news. The Gospel, he would say, is good news, but not good advice. Here’s what he said about that: “Advice is counsel about something that hasn’t

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The glory of the gospel

I love this quote of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, posted by John Fonville: The glory of the gospel is that it is primarily an announcement of what God does, and has done, in the Person of Jesus Christ. That was the essence of Paul’s gospel…That was the gospel which was preached by all the apostles. They preached Jesus as the Christ. They made a proclamation, an announcement. Primarily, they called upon people to listen to what they called ‘good news’. They did not in the first instance outline a programme for life and living…They preached, not a programme but a Person. They said that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God come from Heaven to earth. They said that He manifested and demonstrated His unique deity by living a perfect, spotless, sinless life of complete obedience to God, and by performing miracles. His death on the Cross was not merely the end of His life but the result of His

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