I recently heard from an old friend about the following scenario – – – >
A suave guy showed up in our community. Everyone was immediately drawn to him. He was good looking, outgoing, hospitable, easy to talk to, articulate, and he even spoke of how “he’s not perfect” and how he “needs the grace of God.” But after a few months the man’s deeper convictions and ambitions started to appear with consistency and increasing forcefulness. The meekness we had once been dazzled by dwindled, and now the man’s agenda was felt with ferocity (…it was stilled glazed in a feigned humility [for he remained – in many ways – likeable and approachably cordial], but no amount of sham subordination lacquer could assuage the imperious flavor now flowing off of this man). Simply put, this guy thought he was really really really right (which – as it turns out – was his deepest conviction). He paid convincing lip-service to the inerrant declarations of Romans 7:24-25 and 1 Timothy 1:15 …but he harbored an insidious agenda to eclipse God’s emphasis found in 1 Corinthians 2:2, 2 Corinthians 5:21, and Hebrews 12:2.
After listening to my friend share about his experience I came across this excerpt from Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones’ book, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure:
“To make it quite practical I have a very simple test. After I have explained the way of Christ to somebody I say ‘Now, are you ready to say that you are a Christian?’ And they hesitate. And then I say, ‘What’s the matter? Why are you hesitating?’ And so often people say, ‘I don’t feel like I’m good enough yet. I don’t think I’m ready to say I’m a Christian now.’ And at once I know that I have been wasting my breath. They are still thinking in terms of themselves. They have to do it. It sounds very modest to say, ‘Well, I don’t think I’ good enough,’ but it’s a very denial of the faith. The very essence of the Christian faith is to say that He is good enough and I am in Him. As long as you go on thinking about yourself like that and saying, ‘I’m not good enough; Oh, I’m not good enough,’ you are denying God – you are denying the gospel – you are denying the very essence of the faith and you will never be happy. You think you’re better at times and then again you will find you are not as good at other times than you thought you were. You will be up and down forever. How can I put it plainly? It doesn’t matter if you have almost entered into the depths of hell. It does not matter if you are guilty of murder as well as every other vile sin. It does not matter from the standpoint of being justified before God at all. You are no more hopeless than the most moral and respectable person in the world.”
Have you wholeheartedly laid hold of this truth?
Have you established 1 Corinthians 2:2 and 1 Timothy 1:15 as your lens for looking through, and living all of life?
Do you fanatically savor this revelation the way described in Romans 7:24-25?
Do value this redemption more than, and count it inestimably better than, any and all good visible tangible other creations (Luke 14:26)?
May all your life be lived in joyful submission and smiling subordination to this Way, this Truth, and this Life and Life to the fullest (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 12:2)!