by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Fall to rise
There are certain simple principles about which we must be quite clear before we can ever hope to enjoy this Christian salvation. The first is conviction of sin. We must be absolutely clear about our sinfulness. Here I follow the method of the Apostle Paul and raise an imaginary objection. I imagine someone saying at once: "Are you going to preach to us about sin; are you going to preach about conviction of sin? You say your object is to make us happy; but if you are going to preach to us about conviction of sin, surely that is going to make us still more unhappy. Are you deliberately trying to make us miserable and wretched?" To which the simple reply is, "Yes!" That is the teaching of the great Apostle in these chapters.* It may sound paradoxical—the term does not matter—but beyond any question, that is the rule, and there are no exceptions.
You must be made miserable before you can know true Christian joy. Indeed the real trouble with the miserable Christian is that he has never been truly made miserable because of conviction of sin. He has by-passed the essential preliminary to joy; he has been assuming something that he has no right to assume.
Let me put it again in a Scriptural statement. You remember the aged Simeon standing with the infant Lord Jesus Christ in his arms? He said a very profound thing when he said, "This Child is set for the fall and for the rising again of many in Israel."
There is no rising again until there has been a preliminary fall. This is an absolute rule, and yet this is the thing that is being so sadly forgotten by so many today and assumed by as many more. But the Scripture has its order, and its order must be observed if we are to derive the benefits of the Christian salvation. Ultimately the only thing which is going to drive a man to Christ and make him rely upon Christ alone is a true conviction of sin.
Spiritual Depression, pp. 27-8
“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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