The absence of a sense of wonder in the Christian life; the missing power in the Christian life; the power of the Resurrection working in believers; the power to continue and sustain.
“Christianity is stimulating, Christianity is exhilarating, Christianity is thrilling! That is what Paul is saying, ‘Do not be drunk with wine, wherein is excess’ — do not go and take drink if you are looking for a thrill, or for a stimulus, or for some exhilaration–‘but be filled with the Spirit’, and you will have all that and more. This is the tremendous idea which is so characteristic of New Testament teaching. Wine–alcohol–as I have already reminded you, pharmacologically speaking is not a stimulant; it is a depressant. Take up any book on pharmacology and look up ‘alcohol’, and you will find, always, that it is classified among the depressants. It is not a stimulus. ‘Well’, you say, ‘why do people drink alcohol in order to receive a stimulus?’ In a sense I have already been answering the question. What alcohol does is this; it knocks out those higher centres, and so the more primitive elements in the brain come up and take control; and a man feels better temporarily. He has lost his sense of fear, and he has lost his discrimination, he has lost his power to assess. Alcohol merely knocks out his higher centres and release the more instinctive, primal elements; but the man believes that he is being stimulated. What is really true of him is that he has become more of an animal; his control over himself is diminished.
That is the exact opposite of being filled with the Spirit; for what the Spirit does is truly to stimulate….What does He stimulate? He stimulates our every faculty. He stimulates the mind and the intellect… He stimulates the heart also… The Christian is a man whose mind is expanding, whose heart is moved and enlarged. And he wants to do something, he wants to make a contribution, to wants to extend the confines of the Kingdom of God, he wants others to share in it. It affects the whole of the man, intellect, emotions and will. What a stimulus!” –Martyn Lloyd-Jones “Life In the Spirit” Ephesians 5:18
” …the life of sin is a life of dissatisfaction. …it never satisfies… The life that people live outside Christ never gives them satisfaction; they spend large sums of money on it, but all in vain. That is because it is a life that stimulates, and draws out of us instead of giving to us. So it always leaves us tired, weary, exhaused, and in pain, suffering endless remorse. … But when you become a Christian that tragic situation ends.” –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones “Romans 8:5-17” p. 46
“But let us look at it also from the standpoint of the Christian man having peace within himself. Not only peace between him and God, who is outside him, but peace within himself! This can be divided into negative and positive aspects. Negatively, it means the end of the old restlessness. The first thing that happens to a man when he becomes a Christian is that he gets rid of the restlessness which characterized his old life. Restlessness is always a main characteristic of the life of sin. We find a perfect description of the matter in Isaiah chapter 57 verse 20: ‘The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters throw up mire and dirt.’ Such is man in sin.” –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones “Romans 8:5-17” p. 46
“The natural man is a spiritual anarchist at all times; and nothing is becoming so increasingly evident in our modern world, as it falls away from God and from religion, as this element of anarchy and lawlessness and disorder that is coming in, in every realm of life, and leading to terrible confusion and chaos. The unbeliever is not subject to the law of God. Indeed we are told more about him; he is not even capable of being subject to it – ‘neither indeed can be’. Because he is what he is, because of the evil that is in him, and because of the perversion, the power of sin in him, he cannot even desire to be subject to the law of God.” –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones “Romans 8:5-17” p. 43
“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
“‘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
Miracles; and their purpose in the early Church; miracles and belief; Ananias and Sapphira: a warning; Christianity and the element of fear.
Why don’t we see signs and wonders like we read about in Scripture? God uses signs and wonders to get people’s attention–then once the people are marveling and listening, God preaches His message of repentance and revival.
Signs and Wonders – Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Sermon
Acts 5:11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. 12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.