by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
We are members one of another
... We must never forget our relationship to one another. The thing that held this man [Psalm 73] at first was not anything that he discovered about God's way with respect to himself but his recollection of his relationship to other people. That is marvelous, I think. That is the thing that held this man…. The apostle Paul puts that in a striking verse in Romans 14. He says, "None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself."
He goes on to elaborate it, and in doing so analyzes the question of the weaker brother. He does the same in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10. He puts it like this in a most remarkable phrase, "Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other" (10:29). In other words, you as a strong Christian must not decide this in terms of yourself. What about your weaker brother for whom Christ died? You must not offend his conscience. No man "liveth unto himself"; we are all bound up together, and if you cannot check yourself for your own sake, you must check yourself because of your weaker brother.
When you are next tempted, when the devil makes you forget that you are not an isolated case, when he suggests that this is something that concerns you alone, think of the consequences, remember the other people, remember Christ, remember God. If you and I fall, it is not an isolated fall; the whole Church falls with us.
This man realized that he was bound in the bundle of life with these other people. Say then to yourself, "I see that all these others are going to be involved. We are children of a heavenly kingdom; we are individual members, in particular, of the one Body of Christ. We cannot act in isolation." So if nothing else checks you when you are about to do something wrong, remember that fact, remember your family, remember the people to whom you belong, remember the Name that is on your forehead, and if nothing else will hold you, let that hold you. It held this man.
Faith on Trial, pp. 28-9
Comments on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A First Book of Daily Readings
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