by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
I believe it, I will act upon it
The gospel of Jesus Christ... is something that demands a decision and a committal.... It is not a philosophy that you look at and compare and contrast with other philosophies.... It is, of course, a wonderful philosophy, but the temptation is to regard it as just that, as something to be read about, and to be interested in. But the gospel refuses to be taken like that; it is essentially something that comes to us demanding to control our lives. It comes to us in much the same way as our Lord Himself approached men. You remember how, as He walked along, He came across a man like Matthew, and said to him, ‘Follow me’, and Matthew got up and followed Him. The gospel does something like that. It does not say: ‘Consider Me; admire Me.’ It says: ‘Follow Me; believe Me.’ It always calls for a decision, for a committal.
This is obviously something that is quite vital. There is no purpose in describing the glories and the wonders and the beauties of that narrow way if we are still going to look at it only from a distance. It is a road that is to be trodden; it is something we are to enter into....
So we ask ourselves a very simple question.... Have I committed myself to this way of life? Is it the thing which controls my life? ... This, of course, involves a very definite act of the will. It calls upon me to say, ‘Recognizing this as God’s truth and as the call of Christ, I am going to give myself to it, come what may. I am not going to consider the consequences. I believe it, 1 will act upon it; this henceforth is going to be my life’.
There was a time when some of our forefathers used to teach that it was a good thing for every Christian to make a covenant with God ... they would sit down and solemnly write out on paper the covenant which they made with God, and they would put their signature to it.... There is something to be said for that.... The Christian life demands a decision.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, ii, pp. 229–30