by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
It is just here that the devil causes confusion. It suits him well that people should be concerned about sanctification and holiness and various other things; but they can never be right until they are right here, and that is why we must start with this ... great doctrine [of justification].
This confusion is an old trouble. In a sense it is the masterpiece of Satan. He will even encourage us to be righteous as long as he has us confused at this point. That he is doing so at the present time is clear from the fact that the average person in the Church seems to regard men as Christian simply because they do good works, even though they may be entirely wrong about this preliminary truth....
It is what our Lord was continually saying to the Pharisees, and it certainly was the major argument which the Apostle Paul had with the Jews. They were entirely wrong with regard to the whole question of the Law, and the main problem was to show them the right view of it.
The Jews believed that the Law was made by God in order that man might save himself by keeping it. They said that all one had to do was to keep the Law ... and that if you led your life according to the Law, God would accept you and you would be well-pleasing in his sight. And they believed that they could do that because they had never understood the Law. They put their own interpretation on it and made of it something that was well within their reach.
And so they thought that all was well. That is the picture of the Pharisees given in the Gospels and everywhere in the New Testament, ... and it is still the essence of the problem with many people. We have to realize that there are certain things about which we must be perfectly clear before we can really hope to have peace and to enjoy the Christian life.
Spiritual Depression, pp. 26-7
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
Comments on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A First Book of Daily Readings
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