A Law Unto Himself

Berlin, Luthertag

 

“A second truth about the unbeliever is that he is not subject to the law of God; he hates the law of God. The world is demonstrating that today. It hates even the very notion of the law; it hates discipline, and what it describes as freedom is nothing but license. Man by nature, and in sin, wants to be a law unto himself, he wants to do what he likes to do, what pleases him, what takes his fancy at the moment; and he objects to every suggestion of law and discipline and government and order.”  –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones “Romans 8:5-17” p. 43

Why It Is So Important To Study the Bible

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There are some proverbs that practically beg for personal application. Proverbs 3:27 is one of them: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” That little maxim resonates in a hundred other passages including, of course, the Golden Rule and the second Great Commandment: “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” Taken together, they reinforce the Bible’s clear emphasis on doing good to others, on living in such a way that we are constantly focused on how we can be a blessing to the people in our lives.

I thought of this proverb recently as I pondered personal devotions. I had been speaking to people who were struggling with their devotions, who were sporadic at their best and plain uninterested at their worst. Some had tried and failed, tried again and failed again, tried a third time and thrown in the towel. Others (by their own assessment) had grown lazy or weary, first skipping a day here and there, then skipping a week, then a month. And it was in this context that this little proverb came to my mind: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”

One of the great benefits of having access to the Bible and to private spaces is that we have all we need to engage in this time of daily devotion. We can easily find a time and space to read the Bible, to ponder it, and to pray. But maybe this individual practice has spawned an individual spirit. Maybe we see devotions as something we do first for ourselves. In that way it is easy enough to let the practice go, like skipping a meal or missing that workout at the gym. It isn’t hard to take a pass if I’m the only one bearing the consequences.

But the benefit of personal devotions goes far beyond self. The benefit of knowledge of God and intimacy with God extends to your family, to your neighbors, to your church. If you can’t or won’t do devotions for your own sake, won’t you do it for the sake of others? Won’t you do it for their good, even if not for your own?

Husband or wife, make your personal devotions an expression of love for your spouse. Do it for his or her sake. You express love for your spouse when you draw close to God because your love for God will overflow into love for your spouse. You express love for your spouse when you realize your deep sinfulness and, therefore, your deep need for divine correction and instruction. You love your spouse best when you love God best.

Mom or dad, do your personal devotions for the sake of your children. Not reading and not praying is simply not loving. It is in your power to do good to your children by spending time with the Lord, for that time will grow you in mercy and patience and respect and a hundred other parenting virtues. You fail to show your children love when you fail to do them this good.

Christian, do your personal devotions for the sake of your neighbors. Your intimacy with God will generate in you a desire to see your neighbors enjoy the same intimacy. Are you lukewarm in your evangelism? Are you ambivalent about the state of their souls? Your apathy toward God is expressing itself in apathy toward your neighbor.

Church member, do your personal devotions for the sake of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Read the Word and speak to God so you can draw closer to God, so you can grow in conformity to Christ. Grow in knowledge to help protect your church from error, grow in character to help protect your church from ungodliness, grow in holiness to help protect your church from yourself and your own sin.

One of the great dangers in the Christian life is living first for self. One of the associated dangers, then, is seeing personal devotion as a practice that goes no further than my own mind, my own heart. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Your intimacy with God, your knowledge of God, your time with God, works its way outward to everyone around you. The good you can do them every day is the good of spending time with God.

https://jesaja662.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/one-very-good-reason-to-read-your-bible/

Being At Peace With God

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“‘To be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ What is the content of the term ‘peace with God’? The righteousness of the law can never be fulfilled in any man who is not at peace with God. The Apostle has already told us that fact about the unbeliever. We find it in verse 7 [of Romans 8]. The unbeliever is not only spiritually dead, but at the same time he is ‘at enmity against God’, his whole understanding of God is quite wrong. He regards God as an enemy; God is someone whom he hates. He may say he believes in God, but according to the Scripture he hates God; he feels that God is against him, he wishes there were not a God. Obviously such a man cannot possibly please God, neither can the righteousness of the law of God be fulfilled in him.”  –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones “Romans 8:5-17” p. 43

https://stilltheyspeak.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/life-and-peace/

Sin Sickness?

head-mirrorWhen disease is diagnosed, it is important to ask the question: ‘Is it serious?’ It is even more important to ask that question about the spiritual disease of sin. Many people will almost cheerfully admit to being sinners, because they have no idea what this means. They treat it as being ‘just human nature’, or they shelter behind the fact that ‘everybody does it’ . But those statements dodge the real issue: is sin serious? Here are some of the things the Bible says about you as a sinner.

You are debased. This does not mean that you are as bad as you can possibly be, nor that you are constantly committing every sin. Nor does it mean that you cannot tell right from wrong, or do things that are pleasant and helpful. But it does mean that sin has invaded every part of your nature and personality — your mind, will, affections, conscience, disposition and imagination. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. (Jeremiah 17:9) The root of your trouble is not what you do but what you are! You sin because you are a sinner.

You are defiled. The Bible pulls no punches here: For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. (Mark 7:21-22) Notice that the list includes thoughts, words and actions. This shows that in God’s sight all sin is equally serious: Some people limit their idea of sin to things like murder, adultery and robbery, but the Bible makes it clear that we have no right to think of sin in this way. Sin is anything that fails to meet God’s perfect standards. Anything we say, think or do that is less than perfect is sin. Now face up to this question: Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin’? (Proverbs 20:9)

You are defiant. The Bible teaches that sin is lawlessness, (1 John 3:4) deliberate rebellion against God’s authority and law. No civil law forces you to lie, cheat, have impure thoughts, or sin in any other way. You choose to sin. You choose to break God’s holy law. You deliberately disobey him and that is serious, because God is a righteous judge who expresses his wrath every day. (Psalm 7:11) God can never be ‘soft’ about sin, and you can be sure that not even one sin will go unpunished.

Some small part of God’s punishment of sin comes in this life (though we may not recognise it). But the final punishment will be inflicted after death when on the Day of Judgement each one of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)….

~John Blanchard

Your Unfitness

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Learn this lesson: not to trust Christ because you repent, but trust Christ to make you repent…not to come to Him because you are fit to come, but to come to Him because you are unfit to come. Your fitness is your unfitness. Your qualification is your lack of qualification. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon Sermon – A Revival Promise

Charles Spurgeon Sermon – A Revival Promise

Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: 4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. 5 One shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

Charles Spurgeon Sermon – A Revival Promise