by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
The Christian and the non-Christian
The Christian and the non-Christian are absolutely different in what they admire. The Christian admires the man who is "poor in spirit" while the Greek philosophers despised such a man; and all who follow Greek philosophy, whether intellectually or practically, still do exactly the same thing....
The world believes in self-confidence, self-expression, and the mastery of life; the Christian believes in being "poor in spirit." Take the newspapers and see the kind of person the world admires. You will never find anything that is further removed from the Beatitudes than that which appeals to the natural man and the man of the world. What calls forth his admiration is the very antithesis of what you find here....
Then, obviously, they must be different in what they seek. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst...." After what? Wealth, money, status, position, publicity? Not at all. "Righteousness." ... Take any man who does not claim to be a Christian.... Find out what he is seeking and what he really wants, and you will see it is always different from this.
Then, of course, they are absolutely different in what they do. That follows of necessity.... The non-Christian is absolutely consistent. He says he lives for this world. "This," he says, "is the only world, and I am going to get all I can out of it." Now the Christian ... regards this world as but the way of entry into something vast and eternal and glorious. His whole outlook and ambition is different. He feels, therefore, that he must be living in a different way.
As the man of the world is consistent, so the Christian also ought to be consistent. If he is, he will be very different from the other man; he cannot help it. [See 1 Peter 2:11, 12].... Another essential difference ... is in their belief as to what they can do. The man of the world is very confident as to his own capacity.... The Christian is a man ... who is truly aware of his own limitations.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, i, pp. 37-8
“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.”
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