by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
In God we trust ... not in ourselves
The Apostle Paul ... had known what it was to trust to his own zeal and sincerity and to his own efforts. He knew all about the striving and the sweating, the fasting and all the mighty efforts. But he knew also the feeling of hopelessness. He knew the failure to find satisfaction. And then he had experienced that glorious release which had come to him with the knowledge of the gospel. But here were his fellow countrymen still going on in the old way ... still striving to do the impossible....
"How sad," he cried, "how tragic. They have the zeal and the sincerity, but it is of no value. They are trying to justify themselves, but they never can; and while they are thus trying and failing, they are deliberately refusing the knowledge which could give them in reality everything they desire and more." It was bad enough that all that energy and effort should be a sheer waste; but the tragedy was heightened and made infinitely greater by the contemplation of what they might have been if they had but accepted the gospel.
They not only failed, but they utterly refused to be made successful. They preferred to trust to themselves and their own zeal and their own efforts and fail, rather than trust themselves to Jesus Christ and be saved.
They were so anxious to do things themselves that they refused God's offer of eternal salvation as a pure gift.... They had but to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, that He had died to atone for their sins and had risen again from the grave in order to justify them; and they would find themselves righteous in the sight of God and receive forgiveness of their sins. They said they wanted to be right with God; yet they deliberately refused the one way of being put right with God.
Truth Unchanged, Unchanging, pp. 70-2
Comments on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A First Book of Daily Readings
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